Denmark-meat producer Danish Crown has announced plans to halve its climate footprint per kilogramme of pork by 2030 and become a completely climate-neutral value chain by 2050.

The meat cooperative also claimed that before the end of this year, 90% of the pigs supplied to its abattoirs in Denmark will be sourced from sustainability-certified farmers.

Danish Crown group CEO Jais Valeur said: “We believe that we’re going to see a huge market for sustainable meat in the future. We want to capture this market and create a brand as the most sustainable producer of meat-based food products. We have a strong starting point, as our Danish owners are already leading the way on many parameters, and this is something that we must now build on.”

According to climate scientists, the meat industry is considered to be a major challenge for the well-being of the planet.

“We believe that we’re going to see a huge market for sustainable meat in the future.”

The cooperative, which has commissioned researchers to calculate and document developments since 2005, found that Danish farmers have cut the climate impact of producing 1kg of pork by 25%, 18% of which represents agriculture.

Valeur added: “Pork has unjustifiably been in the firing line for the climate impact. We’re going to change this, because we now know that we could have been talking about sustainability from as early as the mid-2000s.

“We cannot turn back the clock, but the results are there for all to see, and what we’re going to do is launch a concept which we, as well as our customers, can communicate, and which is going to win the support of consumers, because at the end of the day, it’s the choices being made by consumers that will drive the transition.”

Currently, the Danish Crown is establishing several cross-organisational projects with focus on several aspects such as energy and water consumption, packaging and transport solutions.

The meat cooperative aims to set up several partnerships to enable it to identify new solutions in cooperation with both researchers and other companies.

Danish Crown is yet to finalise its climate goals for beef and veal. According to the firm, these goals will closely follow those set for Danish dairy production and Danish Crown’s sustainability certification for pork.