The International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) announced Nov. 3 that it is working with its members from around the world as well as international organizations, agri-food chain partners and other key stakeholders on a number of strategic initiatives to measure, benchmark and reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions impact of livestock production globally.
As world leaders seek agreement at the U.N. conference on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11) in Paris, France, IFIF said it continues to collaborate with stakeholders on the agri-food chain to strengthen sustainable food production to help contribute to dietary quality and nutrient adequacy around the world through the provision of safe, affordable, nutritious and sustainable feed and food.
Livestock raising and the consumption of animal products make a crucial contribution to the economic and nutritional well-being of millions of people around the world — particularly in developing countries, IFIF said. Yet the need to improve the environmental performance of the livestock sector will continue as the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that demand for livestock products will further intensify over the decades to come.
The global feed industry has a longstanding commitment to improve feed efficiency by reducing the feed conversion rates for all major livestock and farmed fish species. IFIF explained that the industry continues to develop better animal nutrition to avoid carbon or nitrogen losses into the atmosphere or water, through better use of forages, feed additives and diversifying protein sources such as canola meal and sunflower meal in feed rations, or legumes in pastures for ruminants.
Crucially, the feed industry also gives value to the rising volume of food industry coproducts, further increasing the sustainability of livestock production.
To support sustainability efforts at international level, IFIF is a founding member of the Global Feed LCA Institute (GFLI), which will use the FAO-supported LEAP methodology to develop a golden global standard for assessing and benchmarking feed industry impact and improvement in LCA calculation at regional level, in order to support the reduction of the environmental footprint of livestock products.
Moreover, IFIF provides expert input to multi-stakeholder FAO-led sustainability initiatives, including the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock and the Partnership on Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP).
IFIF executive director Alexandra de Athayde explained that "through innovation and efficiency, animal feed has proven to be an essential part of the solution to make the livestock production chain more sustainable and reduce GHG emissions.
"Given the diversity of livestock production systems around the world, it is important to find solutions that work locally, while ensuring food safety and quality from farm to fork. IFIF will continue to champion science-based decisions, the need for continued innovation and better technologies, as well as regulatory convergence and free and fair trade as a basis for sustainable production in the future," de Athayde added.
IFIF is made up of national and regional feed associations, feed related organizations, and corporate members from around the globe, representing more than 80% of the feed production worldwide.