Kellogg’s has enlisted a ‘compost chef’ as it begins working towards its landmark sustainability commitment to more than halve its greenhouse emissions.
Renowned soils expert Anna Becvar is working with Kellogg’s British farmers to ensure the health and sustainability of their crops.
Becvar is advising farms in the Kellogg’s Origins Programme – the Manchester-based cereal giant’s attempt to ensure its foods are as natural and nutritious as possible – on harnessing organic materials to improve their soils.
Nicknamed the ‘compost chef’ at Kellogg’s for working magic on the soils, Becvar is actually advising on two very different processes that recycle food and green waste by diverting it from landfill.
1 – Composting: Producing compost from green waste in open windrows, or from green and food waste within ‘in-vessels’ (such as containers or silos) through mixing, aeration and self-generated heating. The compost produced is a stable, sanitised soil improver.
2 – Anaerobic digestion: Taking food wastes and breaking them down in the absence of oxygen to produce biogas and digestate ‘Biofertiliser’. The Biofertiliser is rich in nitrogen and a range of plant nutrients, saves on the need for fertilisers derived from fossil fuels and can cut the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere.
Using waste that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill helps reduce methane gas emissions.
The move is part of Kellogg’s promise to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2050, and those of its suppliers by 50% in the same timeframe.
Ann Noble, Kellogg’s sustainability manager, said: “Kellogg’s is always on the lookout for ways to be more sustainable. Why have food going to landfill, or use fossil fuel fertilizers, when you can use waste to create a rich soil that will help us grow future harvests?
“As a result of working with our compost chef, we’ve transformed our approach to caring for our soils.”
Becvar, director of Earthcare Technical, said: “I found Kellogg’s Origins growers to be really engaged on improving their soils. Effectively managed soils can not only generate more yield, but they can be less costly to work, reducing fuel use and potentially reducing impact on the wider environment.
“We’ve been focusing on the potential of improving soils with organic manures, such as quality compost and Biofertiliser made from recycled green waste and food waste. In the short term both compost and Biofertiliser can provide nutrients and reduce reliance on fertilisers. In the longer term we can build soil organic matter levels for better, more resilient soils and improved soil health.”