Around a third of all food produced globally for human consumption is lost or wasted. As part of Sainsbury’s commitment to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030, we’re working to reduce or put as much of our waste as possible to good use.
Playing Our Part
The Gamechanger supply chain can, and will, play a sizable role in this. Gamechanger cattle:
- Grow faster and require less feed across their lifetime to produce the same amount of beef
- Deliver more consistent, desirable carcasses, meaning less waste at processing – both in product and time
However, our farmers are also exploring and showcasing how we can put waste to good use on the farm…..
Chris Andrews, a beef finisher based in Cheltenham, won a gold award at the world steak challenge for an Aberdeen Angus steer from the exclusive Gamechanger programme.
The diet of Chris’s animals is unique. Although predominantly forage based, all other ingredients in his ration are either home grown fodder beet or by-products of the food supply chain. These products are fresh ingredients such as salad, bread, noodles, and pasta waste which do not make the standard for human consumption.
These ingredients provide the energy requirements the cattle need in their diet but also provide a sustainable answer to the food waste in our supply chain. Another waste ingredient which is readily available is cooked potato chips, which have a very high energy content alongside a high starch content, and the bonus of them being cooked makes them highly digestible for cattle.
Chris has also made considerable steps towards making his farm plastic free. Rather than sealing his silage and maize clamps with plastic sheets and tyres Chris has been using citrus pulp.
The citrus pulp comes from the oranges used to make orange juice and is a very cost-effective alternative fibre and energy source for cattle. The moist citrus pulp is put on top of the silage and maize clamps a few inches thick. This then creates an outer skin protecting the forage underneath and so reduces plastic usage, but also aids in the deterring vermin and adds feed value to the silage. Moist citrus pulp is a high energy fibre source containing good levels of pectin.
Once calves have been on a transition diet for 10 days they are introduced to Chris’s ration, and this is the ration they will stay on till they leave the farm to go to the abattoir. It is very much ‘one ration fits all’.