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CP Foods engages pig swine farmers to promote biogas as renewable energy

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Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CP Foods) is promoting its Greenfarm practice among its own pig farms and contracted swine farmers, to harness energy from biogas and solar power in the quest to make the business more environmentally-friendly. All pig farms of CP Foods have installed biogas systems, and solar farms have been erected at some farms to ensure energy security and optimise available renewable energy.

Somporn Jermpong, executive vice president of CP Foods, said that all 98 pig farms owned by CP Foods, and contracted farmers, have implemented the Greenfarm standard since 2009. Under the practice, waste is tackled by the biogas system, which benefits both the environment and community. Meanwhile, ventilation systems are installed at the end of barns to effectively take care of foul smell. The planting of trees in the vicinity, as well as space between barns, adds to the greenness, reduces the heat for barns, and helps reduce the energy needed to power the Evaporative Cooling System (EVAP).

Importantly, CP Foods emphasises the optimisation of energy efficiency under the Circular Economy concept. The focal point is on the biogas system, an integral part of green farms, that turns biogas to energy for internal use. The biogas helps cut energy expenses by 50-80 percent and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 370,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per annum. The system cuts down energy consumption whilst helping to mitigate the impacts on climate.

Solar cells have been installed to generate power for the farms, to further reduce energy consumption. These are being turned into solar farms, with pilot solar farms, which have already generated 1.3 megawatts of power, located on the Kanchanaburi, Vichienburi, Srithep, Phetchabun and Thacharung farms. Six more farms - Chanthaburi 1, Nongkhai, Khok Pee Khong, Khlong Udom, Silathip and Lopburi farms - are enlisted for the second phase, with a total capacity of 1.25 megawatts. More farms will be later included in the solar farm project.

Somporn said: "CP Foods aspires to make its farms environmentally-friendly for peaceful coexistence with the community. While CP Foods farms are the role models, successes are replicated at contracted farms highlighted by the Greenfarm standard, the biogas system and solar farms. These natural resources ably feed power to the farms. The internally generated clean energy helps reduce the energy cost. At some farms, it fully substitutes the power supply from the Provincial Electricity Authority. It also reduces carbon emissions generated by our production."

Meanwhile, all pig farms of CP Foods focus on sustainable water management throughout the supply chain through the 3Rs principle - Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. The principle reduces withdrawal from natural water sources. Treated water, so-called "fertiliser water", is used to water grass fields, trees, and organic vegetables grown for the farms' personnel. Re-treated water is used for barn cleaning. The "Fertiliser Water Sharing" project has been up and running for nearly 20 years, enabling farms to share fertiliser water with neighbouring farmers. The water improves growth and productiveness of plants, thus raising quality and quantity. It reduces farmers' fertiliser expenses and is in line with CP Foods aspiration to help reduce the consumption of energy and natural resources for the benefit of all communities.