FEFAC -- the European Compound Feed Manufacturers' Federation, which represents 23 national associations in 23 European Union member states, the U.K., as well as associations in Switzerland, Turkey, Serbia, Russia and Norway with observer/associate member status -- released its "Feed Sustainability Charter 2030" during its XXIX Congress.
Announced Sept. 25, the charter contains concrete feed sector actions at the EU and national levels featuring animal nutrition solutions that can help increase the sustainability of livestock farming operations. Highlighted are five key ambitions as to how the European feed industry can contribute to the development of more sustainable livestock and aquaculture value chains. FEFAC president Asbjørn Børsting and BFA managing director Katrien D'hooghe highlighted those actions and commitments, which include:
- Climate change -- Reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by promoting the use of the PEFCR Feed and the GFLI Database;
- Circular economy -- Increased use of co-products and human-inedible feedstuffs;
- Biodiversity -- Upgrading the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines to facilitate the transition towards responsible and deforestation-free soy supply chains;
- Sustainable food systems -- Optimization of nutrient efficiency, and
- Antimicrobial resistance -- Animal nutrition solutions to support animal health and welfare.
"The feed sector holds an important 'pivotal' role in enhancing the sustainability of both animal and arable production, bringing solutions to issues related to reducing GHG emissions, nutrient leakage, antimicrobial resistance and deforestation. An essential contribution of compound feed manufacturing is the uptake of human inedible feed, including co-products from the food and biofuel industry," the groups said in announcing their plan forward.
For FEFAC and many of its members, the launch of the charter is considered a starting signal to set the path for continuous improvement and measure meaningful progress that will contribute to sustainable livestock production and aquaculture sectors. In the road toward 2030, FEFAC plans to publish annual progress reports for its "Feed Sustainability Charter" to follow up on how FEFAC and its members are advancing on the specific ambitions.
The digitally livestreamed FEFAC XXIX Congress featured a panel discussion between Michael Scannell of the European Commission, Pekka Pesonen of Copa-Cogeca, Philippe Weiler of Lidl Belgium, Preben Sunke of Danish Crown and Jean-François Timmers of World Wildlife Fund on the Green Deal and market expectations for the European livestock and feed industry. A key priority raised by all panelists was the need for the European feed industry and its chain partners to achieve deforestation-free soy supply chains. They also welcomed the ambitions set out in the FEFAC "Feed Sustainability Charter" and encouraged FEFAC and its members to take more targeted commitments.
“It's a proud today for the European feed industry to set its ambitions for more sustainable feed production for the 10 years to come. It was good to hear from important stakeholders what their concerns and priorities are and I can assure them that today is the beginning of a journey of measurable progress. We recognize that a deforestation-free soy supply chain is a key priority for our industry, and we're working hard on the upgrading of the 'Soy Sourcing Guidelines' to facilitate a mainstream market solution to achieve that goal,” Børsting said.
BFA president Dirk van Thielen said, “FEFAC and BFA are committed to step up the action on bringing down greenhouse gas emissions like methane, upscaling the use of co-products, tackling deforestation and reducing antimicrobial resistance.”