Duygu YILMAZ Chairman of the Sustainability Committee
The population of the world is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 and it is predicted that food production will need to be increased by 70% compared to 2010 in order to feed such a large population. Agriculture, which accounts for one fourth of greenhouse emissions that lead to global climate change, and uses 70% percent of fresh water resources, is one of the industries affected the most by climate change and demographic developments.
Agriculture in 2050 will have to be carried out only on limited lands, 75% of which is already degraded, with less water and fewer energy resources and it will be subject to the adverse effects of climate change. Increasing production to a certain level does not seem possible without making significant changes in agriculture and food systems. This means we have to switch to a sustainable agriculture and food industry. At Sütaş, our single most our single most important raw material is milk... We need cattle for milk and we also need to produce fodder plants and feeding stuff to feed the cattle.
Therefore, our sustainability activities depend on the sustainability of animal- and plant-based production. This is why sustainability is at the core of our way of doing business.
We believe that sustainable dairy farming operations are a way to guarantee healthy and adequate nutrition for the next generations and support the management of soil, water and natural resources in a sustainable manner. Based on that understanding, we focus on a wide variety of areas, such as production of animal feed, efficient utilization and preservation of natural resources such as water, ensuring high standards of animal welfare, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste from dairy farming operations, and increasing the yield and profitability of production operations to improve the conditions under which dairy farmers operate.
We believe that sustainable plant production is essential for continuing the production of feed plants and feed materials without causing an adverse impact on the environment and natural resources. Therefore, we take care to ensure that plants are grown in healthy soil, organic and organomineral fertilizers are used to improve the soil structure, and that agricultural practices are carried out without harming the soil and causing erosion. Since we are aware of the fact that pesticide residues on or in plants may be ingested by animals and contaminate milk, we pay attention to using only permitted pesticides when necessary and adjust the harvesting time accordingly. We pay attention to performing irrigation at the right time and use drip irrigation systems in order to achieve efficient utilization of limited water resources. We also take measures to ensure that machinery and equipment are operated in an energy-efficient way to reduce the greenhouse emissions caused by agricultural operations.
We believe that sustainable agricultural practices should not be limited to our internal efforts or be only from an environmental perspective. Therefore, as an integral part of our business processes, we share the experience and know-how that we obtain at our own farms with the farmers who work with us in order to contribute to their environmental, social and economic sustainability. As we see all the natural resources that we use as a gift of nature that is entrusted to us, we work intensively to achieve our goals in sustainable husbandry and agricultural practices as well, just as we do in every step of the value chain, and will continue to do so.