World Climate Foundation
Interview: Sustainable Solutions for Animal Nutrition with ADM’s Pierre-Joseph Paoli
Pierre-Joseph Paoli, President Additives, Ingredients & Amino-Acids at ADM Animal Nutrition
What role can stakeholders in the global food system play in advancing the ambitions of the Global Methane Pledge?
The global food system is fundamental to the health of our planet. Though activities in the agriculture sector can prove emissions-intensive, there are extensive opportunities to decarbonize at every step of the value chain. ADM is committed to this goal as a major global player, developing innovative solutions for human nutrition, animal feed, biofuels, and other bio-based materials. While ADM does not own farms or raise livestock, we play a vital role in encouraging best practices both upstream and downstream to help build a more sustainable food system.
Ruminants prove the dominant source of the greater system’s methane emissions, due to its production and enteric fermentations. The livestock sector is working to integrate impactful processes across farmer, producer, and retail value chains. In order to meet the objectives of the Global Methane Pledge, the system’s stakeholders will need to take a holistic approach to improvement. Research and investments will be needed in addition to the development of innovative technologies, reliable data quantification, supply chain transparency, and cross-collaboration. Recently, stakeholders in the livestock feed sector have made improvements to animal nutrition by adopting more resource-efficient feed products and ruminant productivity solutions.
At ADM, we’re starting to see an amplified effort across our customer base, and we are partnering with them and others to conduct research on methane reduction. This area is important for our customers because these emissions come into their respective Scope 3 inventories and therefore must be reduced to meet the aspirations of the Paris Agreement. Ultimately, a comprehensive approach and collective market effort will help accelerate success in the industry and this will serve to promote more sustainable agriculture and food security across the globe.
What unique capabilities does ADM bring to this challenge?
ADM is unique in that we span nearly the entire value chain for animal feed and feed additives. We work closely with farmers who grow the ingredients that go into the products in our portfolio, as well as the producers that cultivate livestock. Drawing up on our scientific expertise and consumer insights, we are also well positioned to offer our animal nutrition customers data to inform their decision-making processes. A current example of this capability includes our offering of MyRumiDiag, a mobile app built for farmers, vets, and technical experts that estimates the risk of ruminant metabolic disease by using AI to analyze photos of cattle excrement. This tool proves a free, reliable resource for our customers that improves production quality and the well-being of their dairy herds.
On methane specifically, it is important to first understand that the gas is produced by ruminants during the fermentation process of fibers in the digestive tract. As such, we are examining the potential for feed additives to improve digestion by modifying the physiological responses that generate enteric methane. Also, as part of our innovation efforts, we are soon finalizing an analysis that will help quantify methane emissions across customer value chains. As a result of this project, we will be able to enable our customers to reduce enteric fermentation through new technologies and increase the level of transparency in the footprint of their operations.
ADM’s supply chain helps leverage our ability to provide specific and science-backed data, not averages or estimates. We believe that this knowledge is a necessary foundation from which we can work together to minimize the environmental impact of food production.
What solutions are emerging that have the greatest potential for positive impact, and how can this impact be measured?
While reducing methane with single-focus feed additives presents an opportunity for the food industry to make a positive impact, it is not a singular solution. There are two reasons for this.
- The first is that there is a huge diversity of livestock production methods around the world. The genetic characteristics of the animals, weather conditions, and farm management methods (including feed) all play a major role in determining the environmental impact, and in turn of the actual efficacy of the additives.
- The other issue is that from a commercial perspective, the additional cost of methane-reducing additives needs to be absorbed somewhere in the value chain and current end consumers’ willingness to pay for lower carbon products remains limited. This means that new efficiencies need to be found by the industry. We expect that over time and with enhanced research and technological innovation, the market viability of these additives will grow.
ADM is therefore continuing to invest resources in this area, including running trials to advance the development of environmentally friendly feed additive solutions and position them within the food industry. For companies in the sector to meet their sustainability goals, complementary efforts, such as regenerative agricultural practices, will be needed in addition to a variety of animal nutrition solutions. ADM is working in collaboration with trade organizations, consulting bodies, and universities across the industry to develop these solutions and ensure they are backed up with robust environmental impact data.
How is ADM collaborating with stakeholders across the value chain to encourage innovation and development of new solutions?
Our strategy focuses on developing industry-advancing solutions and we do this by leveraging our global network of research and development centers, broad portfolio of raw materials and nutrition solutions, and investments in technology. ADM is conducting extensive research to develop nutritional strategies and solutions for mitigating ruminant emissions. We draw on a network of innovation partners to help us optimize nutrition and maximize animal performance, which leads to improved outcomes for ruminants and minimizes environmental impact. Our work is conducted collaboratively with peers and academic research partners from top global universities, research centers, and labs.
Further, we are collaborating with other food industry stakeholders across the value chain through our participation in multi-stakeholder forums such as the Responsible Meet Initiative, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and Greener Cattle Now. These initiatives are aimed at finding innovative solutions to the collective challenges facing the sector. As a leader in human and animal nutrition, we are committed to improving industry processes and working alongside other stakeholders to achieve a more sustainable future for the global food system.
About Pierre-Joseph Paoli
President: Additives, Ingredients & Amino-Acids at ADM Animal Nutrition
Pierre-Joseph brings to the table over 20 years of deep knowledge in the energy and animal nutrition sectors. In his current role as the president for additives, ingredients & amino-acids, he manages the operational and financial performance of ADM’s animal nutrition business across the globe. He’s also a key contributor to ADM’s sustainability goals, and is passionate about launching new feed solutions that optimize animal efficiency while minimizing environmental impact.
Pierre-Joseph holds a MSc of Mathematics from Ecole Centrale Paris and Oxford University as well as an MBA from INSEAD.
At ADM, we unlock the power of nature to provide access to nutrition worldwide. With industry-advancing innovations, a complete portfolio of ingredients and solutions to meet any taste, and a commitment to sustainability, we give customers an edge in solving the nutritional challenges of today and tomorrow. We’re a global leader in human and animal nutrition and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company. Our breadth, depth, insights, facilities and logistical expertise give us unparalleled capabilities to meet needs for food, beverages, health and wellness, and more. From the seed of the idea to the outcome of the solution, we enrich the quality of life the world over. Learn more at www.adm.com.