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Food ingredient firms unite to drive sustainable farming practices in Belgium
Siân Yates

Siân Yates

26 June 2024

Food ingredient firms unite to drive sustainable farming practices in Belgium



Sugar beet farming

Three leading players in the food ingredients industry – Raffinerie Tirlemontoise, Beneo and Puratos –have joined forces to launch the 'Climate Farming Project,' supporting Belgian farmers to adopt more sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices.


The initiative, which will run until 2025, involves 15 pilot farms across Belgium cultivating sugar beet, wheat and chicory in an area equivalent to over 1,100 football fields.


The farmers will implement a range of regenerative techniques, including reducing mineral nitrogen fertilisation and pesticide use, enhancing biodiversity by planting flower strips and hedges, and improving soil health by increasing the biomass of cover and catch crops.


"Addressing climate change and ensuring resilient farming practices is crucial to meet the demands of future generations," said a spokesperson for the project partners. "This requires collaboration between the agricultural sector and the food industry, and the Climate Farming Project provides a platform to exchange know-how and experience between farmers and the companies that process their crops."


The project's launch follows a comprehensive diagnostic phase using a farm assessment tool called Greencard, which was crucial in setting measurable objectives and selecting appropriate regenerative agriculture practices for implementation.


Fabrice Flamend, a farmer from Eghezée, Belgium, and a member of the Climate Farming Project, emphasized the importance of involving farmers in these discussions. "While there are many ideas on how to achieve a more regenerative approach, uncovering feasible techniques that consider factors such as soil condition, crops, equipment, and profitability is vital," he said.


Through this partnership, Raffinerie Tirlemontoise, Beneo and Puratos aim to underscore their shared commitment to sustainable farming practices and the pursuit of innovative solutions that respect the needs of farmers and future generations.


The Climate Farming Project's success could pave the way for expanding these regenerative agriculture practices to other farmers working with the project partners, further driving the industry's transition towards more environmentally friendly and resilient farming methods.


#regenerativeagriculture #Beneo #Puratos #sustainability #farming #Belgium

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