EU feed industry is laboratory of the world, FEFAC president said

Reducing feed–related environmental burden of livestock production, while improving animal health and food safety top of European feed industry’s agenda
June 13, 2011

On the occasion of the 54th European compound feed manufacturers (FEFAC) Annual General Meeting in Bruges this week, President of FEFAC, Patrick Vanden Avenne, highlighted that "the European feed industry is fully committed to support the responsible development of livestock production in the EU and at global level, thus contributing to global food security, while safeguarding animal health and welfare".

“There is a future for the European feed and livestock sector, ” he told the meeting.  “Our industry is the laboratory of the world. We, in Europe, develop the sustainable technologies that will help feed the world in the future. The development model for the European feed and livestock sector is indeed about two things: technological innovation and sustainability. They are the two sides of one coin. One example he cited was the potential reintroduction of processed animal proteins (PAPs), which he said would make a contribution to a sustainable reduction of imported proteins and a more sustainable use of what is now often considered waste material.

With a view to the EU 2020 ‘greening the CAP’ agenda goal of improving ‘resource efficiency’  in European food production and the FAO global agenda of action to support the development of sustainable livestock production, Patrick Vanden Avenne stressed that “safe and balanced compound feed is an essential prerequisite for the health and welfare status of food-producing animals. Feed is the most important single factor for the sustainable development of EU and global livestock and aquaculture production”.

FEFAC is a founding member the EU SCP Food Chain Round Table where food chain and EU Commission LCA experts are developing the principles for harmonized framework methodology for environmental impact assessments,  which should be adopted in December 2012. FEFAC stresses the need for methodological choices in LCA analysis which serve the main goal of reducing feed related impacts in livestock, i.e. support the use of co-products from the food and biofuel industry.

Patrick Vanden Avenne stated that “In a situation of extremely volatile grain markets, which negatively affects the EU’s livestock sector competiveness, the compound feed industry plays a crucial role in fully exploiting the nutritional potential of co-products, provided they are safe for both animals and humans”.

He referred to the recent feed industry research project proposal submitted to FAO to set up a global feed ingredient database on Greenhouse Gas emissions. He stated “I’m proud about the feed industry’s leadership offer which accepted FAO’s invitation to a global cooperation in order to improve our mutual knowledge base on the contribution and possible mitigation of GHG emissions of livestock production in order to achieve our common goal of “shrinking” the livestock’s sector environmental footprint.” 

“I’m fully confident in our industry innovation capacity to achieve this goal given our long and proven history of increasing feed efficiency through improved knowledge of nutritional requirements and innovative technical solutions which help prevent and reduce nutrient losses”.

He also stressed the importance of developing global and regional standard for the production of responsible feed ingredients, referring to the successful adoption of the 1st global RTRS standard for responsible soy in 2010. Patrick Vanden Avenne highlighted the European feed industry commitment to a mainstream market solution and called on RTRS members to facilitate implementation of the new RTRS certification scheme in order reach step-by-step a sufficient market offer at the upcoming 5th General Assembly taking place on Buenos Aires on 15-16 June 2011.