“Zambeef takes a ‘triple bottom line’ approach to sustainability and is committed to ensuring a positive social, environmental and economic impact”
We believe that sustainable development is a fundamental aspect of sound business management. Our environmental and social policy is aimed at demonstrating our commitment to excellence and leadership in promoting environmentally and socially sound and sustainable development. We are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace, protecting the environment, and being a responsible corporate citizen in the communities where we operate.
The policy provides the foundations for achieving the following corporate policy objectives:
- To provide a safe and healthy workplace and to ensure that personnel are properly trained and have appropriate safety and emergency equipment;
- To be an environmentally and socially responsible neighbour in the communities where we operate and to act promptly and responsibly to correct incidents or conditions that endanger community or worker health and safety, or the environment;
- To conduct our business in compliance with applicable environmental, social, and health and safety laws and regulations;
- To be a responsible citizen and to be a useful and effective member of the communities within which we operate;
- To aim to reduce poverty by establishing strong partnerships with local communities, and supporting community initiatives, especially in the health and education areas, that deliver sustainable long-term results and real benefits to the communities within which we operate;
- To regularly review our strategies, objectives and targets and to monitor environmental and social programmes to ensure continuous improvement of our environmental and social performance; and
- To conduct ongoing audits to ensure compliance with environmental, social and health and safety legislation and to report periodically to the Board of Directors.
As part of the conditions associated with some of the Group’s term loans, as well as the 2016 CDC Group PLC equity investment, Zambeef has signed up to an Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP). The ESAP requires the Group to meet both Zambian and international standards relating to the environment and social management.
The key deliverables of this plan relate to:
- Social and environmental assessment and management system;
- Labour and working conditions;
- Pollution prevention and abatement;
- Community health, safety and security;
- Land acquisition and involuntary settlement; and
- Biodiversity conservation and sustainable natural resource management.
Zambeef must also report certain qualitative and quantitative project performance data annually to some of its lenders under the following key headings:
- Environmental and social management;
- Occupational health and safety performance;
- Significant environmental and social events;
- Sustainability of project and associated operations;
- Compliance with World Bank Group, IFC, EU and local environmental and social requirements;
- Progress on implementing the ESAP; and
- General information and feedback.
As part of the conditions of the CDC Group PLC equity investment, Zambeef has set up a sub-committee of the board, the Environmental and Social Committee, to monitor compliance with the ESAP.
Zambeef has a dedicated unit of staff to deal with environmental compliance and improvements to the operations. In addition, Zambeef regularly contracts other global and international consultants and experts for advice and guidance. The dedication has resulted in no penalty by the authorities for any form of environmental violations in the preceding three years on Zambeef’s part.
Some of our lenders have kindly assisted Zambeef with Technical Assistance (TA) funding, which has been utilised to employ local and international consultants to assist the Group in successfully delivering the ESAP. Some of the TA funded projects have included the following:
- The implementation of a Food Safety Management System based on Food Safety Systems Certification 22000 for its beef, pork and dairy products which it has targeted for completion by December 2017;
- To improve the Group’s community engagement and stakeholder management; biodiversity conservation and sustainable living natural resource management, with a focus on the Company’s five farming operations.
“Novatek is the only stock feed operation in Zambia which is ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 compliant, and Zamleather has received ISO 20345/ISO 2000 certification for some of its boots for the mining sector”
The environmental stewardship of Zambeef’s five farms is a responsibility we take very seriously. The company actively manages the natural environment in which it operates, ensuring that habitat is preserved for wildlife and indigenous trees and plants across the farms.
In 2015 the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) awarded Zambeef its award for consistency in complying with Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. The award recognises Zambeef’s consistency in ensuring that projects or developments undertaken were preceded by the execution of an Environmental Impact Assessment in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Management Act, which addresses issues regarding environmental protection, pollution control and challenges arising from climate change, pollution from persistent organic pollutants and electronic waste.
Zambeef introduced a ‘windrow cropping’ system in 2015 that allows for the production of organic fertiliser from organic waste on the farm to be used in its cropping operations. The organic fertiliser will replace 50% of the synthetic fertilisers used on its Huntley farm in Chisamba, cutting costs but also preserving the integrity of the soil and improving fertility.
Zambeef introduced treatment ponds at Huntley in 2013, protecting the environment by breaking down effluent for at least three months before discharge. The move was commended by ZEMA in recognition of the positive improvements towards sound environment management practices at the farm.
At the Zampalm plantation in Mpika waste material from used fruit bunches is either further processed into other raw material for finished products or recycled for organic compost.
The animal migration corridor maintained at the Zambeef Chiawa Farm in Mpongwe provides safe passage for animals and has resulted in flora and fauna flourishing in the corridor and surrounding areas.
Zambeef is also mindful of the impact of climate change and the need for sustainable agricultural practices in this context. In 2015 it hosted a delegation as part of a seminar programme on Food Security in a Climate Perspective headed by the Norwegian Development Corporation.
All company projects go through an impact assessment in order to identify positive and negative impacts and potential mitigation factors in accordance with local and international standards. During the year, two Environmental Project Briefs were submitted and approved by ZEMA.
Zambeef also maintains some of the highest international biosecurity standards in the country which are strictly observed on all its farms and across its different operations and processes.
At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, the UN adopted its document “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Zambeef is in the process of strengthening its commitment to social investment by bringing its approach into line with these revised SDG goals. Zambeef continues to support worthy causes, organisations and charities aimed at poverty alleviation through both cash donations as well as providing free Zambeef products on a regular basis. Zambeef continues to give support in the following areas:
- Construction of schools and health centres.
- Provision of electricity and clean water facilities.
- Funding of educational and healthcare materials.
- Donation of food to the vulnerable.
- Support to promotion of sport.
- Support to traditional ceremonies.
Zambeef works very closely with small and medium scale farmers in every sphere of its operations. These farmers make up the majority of the company’s suppliers of beef, pork, and maize for its stock feed operations, among others.
The Group has a cattle improvement programme in Western Province (with two NGOs). This scheme aims to improve cattle population numbers, quality of cattle and reproduction rates within the national herd. The programme is specifically targeted at small-scale farmers, and includes an educational programme in animal husbandry, cattle dipping for the reduction of tick-borne diseases and provision of treatment for liver fluke. Under the scheme, Zambeef will pay a premium price for all cattle that successfully undergo the prescribed treatments. Zambeef will also provide 30 bulls for breeding from its own herd in order to improve the genetics of the current traditional herd in the project area.
Zambeef’s programme of supporting the growth of small-scale dairy farmers in Mongu (Western Province), with an NGO called Musika is ongoing and progress has been recorded, with the Mongu milk processing plant now fully operational. Under the scheme, Zambeef undertook to:
- Construct a milk processing plant in Mongu;
- Provide technical assistance, training and guidance to small-scale dairy farmers to improve yields and good animal husbandry; and
- Provide an assured market for smallholder milk farmers.