Main Content

FEED CHAIN ENVIROMENTAL ISSUES (updated 04 01 2021)
Our members are committed to sourcing ingredients that originate from process's that are environmentally correct, socially adequate and economically viable. We are working with our suppliers and other European Feed Associations on initiatives to ensure that sustainable sourced feed ingredients become mainstream. As a first and important step, to mitigate the environmental impact of livestock products, the feed industry produces nutritionally balanced feed for animals to meet their requirements and reduce emissions to the environment.

* Resource efficiency is also key part of ecologically intensive livestock systems.
* Simple changes to diet composition and pattern can reduce emissions (lowering protein content, adding oils or herbs to diets)
* The use of inedible co-products derived from the food industry by animals also contributes to the overall resource efficiency of the food chain. Without a livestock industry these products would be lost from the nutrient cycle and wasted.
* The recycling of inedible nutrients is a valuable link in the nutrient cycle. In Ireland up to 50 % of our livestock diets may be composed of these products that are recycled by the animal back to edible food sources for humans.
* By working with both intensive and extensive producers the feed industry aims to further increase our resource efficiency while promoting best practice both social and environmental.
* Please log on to IGFA members only page to view recent climate change workshops
   
2020 Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Commission published its Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F) on 20 May 2020. This strategy aims to build a more sustainable food system in Europe and ensure it is fair, healthy and environmentally friendly. It details EU plans for the future on a huge range of food-related policies from feed additives to pesticide use to the future CAP. A summary of the strategy highlighting the most relevant details for IGFA members is outlined here.
2020 Nitrates Derogation
(Ref DAFM)
A maximum crude protein content of 15% is permissible in concentrate feedstuff fed to grazing livestock on the holding between 1 April and 15 September 2021 (Article 15.6). Records of crude protein content of concentrate feedstuff shall be kept in accordance with Article 23(1) (j)..  
Q. Is this requirement only for dairy cows on the holding?
A. No, this measure is focussed on dairy cows and cattle over two years and does not apply to livestock under two years.
Q. What will be the level of Crude Protein (CP) allowed in concentrate feeds for grazing livestock at grass?
A: Bovine livestock greater than two years old, including dairy cows, fed on a 100% grass forage diet during the main grazing season will be required to comply with a maximum of 15% CP (on a fresh weight basis) between 1st April and 15th September in 2021.
Note: If higher levels of crude protein are required, this needs to be justified and certified by the appropriate advisor.
Q. Who qualifies as an appropriate advisor for the purpose of this certification? A. An appropriate advisor is the compounder, supplier of
feed, nutritionist or agricultural advisor
DAFM  have updated their  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) see link
Click HERE to see view other frequently asked questions
Product Foot-printing
The Commission has embarked on an ambitious three year project to develop standard methods to measure and communicate a product’s environmental foot-print PEF Pilot: These pilots are aimed at establishing methods to measure environmental performance throughout the lifecycle process. The aim is to provide principles for communicating environmental performance, such as transparency, reliability, completeness, comparability and clarity for the consumer. The feed industry is involved with the second wave of these pilots. The final outcome will be a guidelines on how (feed) businesses may in the future label products so the consumer can make an informed choice.  Information on the feed pilot and stakeholder involvement is available here.

What about our supply chain
A cornerstone of a sustainable European feed industry is assuring that all feed ingredients are produced in a safe and responsible way. IGFA in conjunction with FEFAC has undertaken pre-competitive action in the field of responsible soy sourcing. In August 2015, FEFAC published the first version of the European feed industry Soy Sourcing Guidelines, setting 59 baseline criteria (37 essential and 22 desirable), accompanied by verification requirements. Through a customized self-assessment tool, based on the Standards Map infrastructure, responsible soy programme owners are able to self-assess their compliance with the Guidelines and apply for a formal benchmark performed independently by ITC (the International Trade Center). The FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines are a professional recommendation to operators in the European feed industry who wish to purchase soy that is considered to be responsibly produced. The Guidelines consist of a set of minimum requirements related to the good environmental, social and agricultural practices of soy production. The responsible soy programmes that successfully pass the benchmarking process against the baseline criteria are displayed on FEFAC’s customized page on Standards Map. The well known ones are ISCC, RTRS, Proterra, USSEC, FEMAS Sustain and Soja Plus. None of the schemes has reached a stage where they can access large enough volumes of soy meal to satisfy the (expected) retailer demand.

EU Protein Deficit
The feed industry engages with academics, nutritionists and plant breeders to help improve the EU protein balance sheet. Research is ongoing with plant breeders to develop EU protein crops that provide farmers with varieties that have improved yield and disease resistance characteristics. A vital part of our nutritional advice is aimed at best utilisation of protein diets. The correct level of protein to the correct animal to meet the projected output and reduce waste.  At an EU level the industry is engaged with the EU initiative EIP- AGRI where research and innovation are used to develop EU solutions.


STEPS WE ARE MAKING TOWARDS A COMPREHENSIVE & MEASURABLE VISION ON SUSTAINABILITY
Enviromental Foot-Printing
The LEAP partnership was set up in 2012 and promotes an exchange of data and information, technical expertise and research geared towards improving and harmonizing the way in which livestock food chains are assessed and monitored. The project partners can be found here.
The outcome of the partnership will be a Life Cycle Analysis Database LCA database available to everyone.  The emissions attributed to feed production are needed to compute any Life Cycle Analysis of livestock food chains. The LEAP partners are focused on the development of a global database of GHG life cycle inventory (LCI) data for major feed crop materials.


Product Foot-printing
The Commission has embarked on an ambitious three year project to develop standard methods to measure and communicate a product’s environmental foot-print PEF Pilot: These pilots are aimed at establishing methods to measure environmental performance throughout the lifecycle process. The aim is to provide principles for communicating environmental performance, such as transparency, reliability, completeness, comparability and clarity for the consumer. The feed industry is involved with the second wave of these pilots. The final outcome will be a guidelines on how (feed) businesses may in the future label products so the consumer can make an informed choice.  Information on the feed pilot and stakeholder involvement is available here.

What about our supply chain
A cornerstone of a sustainable European feed industry is assuring that all feed ingredients are produced in a safe and responsible way. IGFA in conjunction with FEFAC has undertaken pre-competitive action in the field of responsible soy sourcing. In August 2015, FEFAC published the first version of the European feed industry Soy Sourcing Guidelines, setting 59 baseline criteria (37 essential and 22 desirable), accompanied by verification requirements. Through a customized self-assessment tool, based on the Standards Map infrastructure, responsible soy programme owners are able to self-assess their compliance with the Guidelines and apply for a formal benchmark performed independently by ITC (the International Trade Center). The FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines are a professional recommendation to operators in the European feed industry who wish to purchase soy that is considered to be responsibly produced. The Guidelines consist of a set of minimum requirements related to the good environmental, social and agricultural practices of soy production. The responsible soy programmes that successfully pass the benchmarking process against the baseline criteria are displayed on FEFAC’s customized page on Standards Map. The well known ones are ISCC, RTRS, Proterra, USSEC, FEMAS Sustain and Soja Plus. None of the schemes has reached a stage where they can access large enough volumes of soy meal to satisfy the (expected) retailer demand.

EU Protein Deficit
The feed industry engages with academics, nutritionists and plant breeders to help improve the EU protein balance sheet. Research is ongoing with plant breeders to develop EU protein crops that provide farmers with varieties that have improved yield and disease resistance characteristics. A vital part of our nutritional advice is aimed at best utilisation of protein diets. The correct level of protein to the correct animal to meet the projected output and reduce waste.  At an EU level the industry is engaged with the EU initiative EIP- AGRI where research and innovation are used to develop EU solutions.