JBS, DSM partner to reduce methane emissions in beef

JBS introduces new nutritional solution which reduces enteric methane emissions from cattle.

November 8, 2021

3 Min Read
JBS DSM signing net zero.jpg

JBS has partnered with Royal DSM to implement a development program with the goal of reducing the enteric methane emissions from cattle on a global scale. To achieve this goal, JBS will use Bovaer, a nutritional supplement developed by DSM to significantly improve the greenhouse gas footprint in the beef production value chain. The agreement was signed at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

According to DSM, the development of Bovaer took place over 10 years, with 45 on-farm trials in 13 countries across four continents, which resulted in more than 48 peer-reviewed studies published in independent scientific journals. Early September 2021, Brazil was the first market to grant full regulatory approval for Bovaer.

Bovaer is added to animal feed, with the potential to reduce up to 90% of enteric methane emissions, as proven recently in an Australian beef feedlot study. A quarter of a teaspoon of the additive a day, per animal, inhibits the enzyme that activates the production of methane gas in the stomach of the ruminant. According DSM, the effect is immediate and, if use is interrupted, the emission of gases is fully resumed

DSM and JBS will jointly develop the implementation of Bovaer in the production chain. The objective is to promote a transition of the global beef industry, led by JBS, to obtain, through nutrition, a safe path to reduce methane emissions.

“Sustainability is at the core of our business strategy. We are developing a major action plan to reduce the Company's entire carbon footprint, and this partnership with DSM will contribute not only to our plans but for the whole sector in this complex issue of methane emissions”, said Gilberto Tomazoni, global chief executive officer of JBS.

Dimitri de Vreeze, co-CEO and member of the managing board at Royal DSM added: “DSM is very pleased to work with JBS on Bovaer. We can now truly start to create an impact in Brazil, which is exciting news, particularly within the context of COP26, where the importance of fast climate action through reduction of methane emissions is emphasized again. We are looking forward to offering a scientifically proven effective solution to the challenge of methane emissions by farming. As food systems and climate crisis are intrinsically linked, addressing the challenge of sustainable animal farming for a healthy planet is pivotal.”

To achieve this goal on a global level, JBS and DSM defined an end-to-end program to develop, build and test the supplement in JBS' operations. Initially, the nutritional solution will be provided to cattle feedlots. After six months, the tests will be expanded to a second market, which could be Australia or the United States, two of the JBS’s biggest operation worldwide.

The plan includes the development of methodologies to create assessment tools throughout the entire cycle of the JBS chain, with the technical participation of academic and research institutions.

Net Zero 2040 commitment

This partnership with DSM to reduce methane in the value chain is part of a bigger plan. In March of this year, JBS made a commitment to become Net Zero, which means to zero the net balance of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

Among the actions to achieve Net Zero, JBS will invest $1 billion by 2030 to decarbonize all direct and indirect operations and another $100 million in research to develop solutions that make agriculture increasingly sustainable. The Company will also link executive bonuses to climate goals.

To reduce methane in the livestock chain, JBS also works on other solutions in partnership with the Institute of Animal Science and Pastures of Sao Paolo’s State Department of Agriculture and Food Supply.

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