There is a significant challenge to feed the world’s increasing population in a sustainable way that does not deplete the earth of its resources for the future. Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals; environmental conservation, social benefits for workers and local communities, and economic profitability.
Black Earth Farming shares the view that current needs must be met without compromising the ability to meet the requirements of future generations. The Company’s ability to generate long-term and sustainable shareholder returns is dependent on this balance. This includes the consideration of social responsibilities such as working conditions of employees and support to local rural communities as well as employee health and safety. It entails maintaining and enhancing land as a natural resource for the long term by optimal management of inputs, minimum tillage and employing a crop rotation system that minimizes erosion and conserves soil and water resources. All this requires good and efficient overall management with sound financial planning and efficient risk management practices.
Black Earth Farming’s Social Responsibility
Since inception, Black Earth Farming has brought an estimated 260 thousand hectares of fallow land into production. The Company effectively taps unused resources for food production, which is a necessity to meet the demand from the world’s increasing population. Social responsibility entails caring for external stakeholders as well as internal. Black Earth Farming strives to conduct business in a way that not only safeguards employees, customers and community neighbourhoods but that also helps them develop together with the Company. The focus on development of fallow land creates new job opportunities with stable and relatively high means of income. Employee safety is of high concern and training sessions are conducted regularly. The Company contributes to local communities both through its economic development, which helps bring commerce and tax revenues to the local administrations, but also by financial support to many local activities and social projects. In 2015, the Company raised its compensation to workers, made further improvements in health and safety and intensified training programs. Employee turnover continued to drop in the reporting period. In 2015, Black Earth Farming engaged in local communities by giving musical equipment to a cultural center, helping to repair cultural monuments and supporting World War II veterans and their families in all our regions. The Company also invested in playgrounds, sports equipment and school supplies for children. It provided Christmas gifts for local village children, food to homeless and supported the local Charity “The World of Childhood”.
Black Earth Farming’s Environmental Responsibility
Preserving the planet’s limited resources is a vital concern and is the responsibility of all people. As a Company, Black Earth Farming seeks to take extra responsibility to motivate and stimulate environmental thinking in respect to our activities.
The world’s forests and other natural ecosystems must be conserved but at the same time feed an increasing population. To achieve this, the productivity of current arable land resources needs to increase. This will reduce the pressure to clear forestland in other places and help to preserve the planet’s green lungs. Measured use of mineral fertilizers and chemicals will help to increase crop yields sustainably and use existing agricultural land more efficiently without exerting stress on the soil. Without the addition of nutrients and minerals, the soil would be depleted of its natural content of such substances over time.
Black Earth Farming is committed to cultivating its land in an environmentally responsible way that ensures the long term health of the soil and minimizes the impact on surrounding ecosystems. To a large extent this comes from minimizing unnecessary cultivation and optimizing application of fertilizer and other necessary agrochemicals.
A multi-year crop rotation mix is chosen for long term sustainability of the soil as well as for maximum productivity over time. The Company puts great emphasis and makes every effort to ensure the correct handling and storage of pesticides, fertilizer and other chemical compounds. The company has developed environmentally sustainable irrigation licences with respect to all its water resources.
Black Earth Farming’s Economic Responsibility
Through its operations and business activities, Black Earth Farming support several stakeholders economically. The Company provides offtake to suppliers, salaries to employees, goods to customers, tax revenues to local districts and federal authorities, while also striving to create value for its shareholders. To a large extent, the economic sustainability of the business is only possible through mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders that grow and prosper together with the Company. Black Earth Farming aims to build long term relationships with counterparties and employees through a high level of professionalism, integrity and business ethics at all levels of the Company. Through high standards of corporate governance and transparent communication, the Company seeks to increase understanding and build trust from shareholders and counterparties alike.