Smithfield Foods Inc. and Anuvia Plant Nutrients announced April 5 a new partnership to create sustainable fertilizer from renewable biological materials collected from manure treatment systems at Smithfield's hog farms. The project is part of Smithfield Renewables, the company's new platform dedicated to unifying and accelerating its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts.
The project reuses organic matter found in hog manure to create a commercial-grade fertilizer that is higher in nutrient concentration than the original organic materials, according to the announcement. Farmers are able to better manage nutrient ratios while using less fertilizer by applying precisely the amount they need for optimal plant growth. Because Anuvia's products contain organic matter, the companies said nutrient release is more controlled, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller environmental footprint.
Anuvia will utilize remnant solids from Smithfield that accumulate over time at the bottom of the anaerobic lagoons -- basins designed and certified to treat and store the manure on hog farms. Anuvia, which specializes in the transformation of organic materials into enhanced-efficiency fertilizer products, will manufacture and sell these commercial-grade fertilizer products to farmers nationwide.
"Through Smithfield Renewables, we are aggressively pursuing opportunities to reduce our environmental footprint while creating value," Smithfield Renewables senior director Kraig Westerbeek said. "Along with projects that transform biogas into renewable natural gas, this is another example of how we are tackling this goal on our hog farms."
Anuvia Plant Nutrients chief executive officer Amy Yoder said the partnership is based on a shared vision that will positively affect livestock and crop production.
“Our proprietary manufacturing process, which converts organic waste into novel, bio-based plant nutrients, is both environmentally friendly and sustainable," Yoder said. "Our products reduce leaching and put organic matter back in the soil. Our process is a prototype for a circular economy, as we reclaim organic waste, convert it and reuse it on cropland. This relationship provides a new, sustainable way for Smithfield to return its remnant solids back to the land for use on the crops grown to feed the hogs. The impact of this is extremely significant for hog production and the livestock industry. We look forward to helping achieve both Smithfield's and Anuvia's environmental goals."
Company-owned and contract hog farms in North Carolina will participate in this project. Smithfield will begin the process by collecting and de-watering the waste solids before providing the remnants to Anuvia. Once acquired, Anuvia will pick up and transport the material to its processing plant to create the fertilizer.