The European Commissioner of Health & Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis recently gained firsthand experience of how former human foodstuffs can be sustainably converted to animal feed within the circular economy.

The Commissioner visited an Agrifirm facility at Veghel in the Netherlands, organised by the European Former Foodstuff Processors Association (EFFPA). Agrifirm, which acquired the James & Son moist co-products business in 2012 before selling it to Duynie three years later, has a substantial former foods operation in Holland.  Mr Andriukaitis commented: “’I am very satisfied with the visit – it is always useful to see how things are done on the ground. The notion of ‘circular economy’ becomes very tangible. Indeed, thanks to the top technology you have in action, a broken biscuit is transformed into safe feed for animals. This is one way of how the circular economy works and how food waste is prevented.”

EFFPA president Paul Featherstone, who leads the UK-based business SugaRich, adds: “The possibility to showcase the role of former foodstuff processing in the circular economy to EU Commissioner Andriukaitis further establishes EFFPA as part of safe and sustainable feed production. At the same time, we have clearly demonstrated that former foodstuff processing is not in competition with food banks.”

Mr Featherstone notes that the visit was another milestone in EFFPA’s existence as a sector-representing organisation, illustrating that former foodstuff processing is an intrinsic part of the food-to-feed chain.

The Association awaits the outcome of the ‘trialogue’ negotiations in Europe on the Circular Economy Package which is expected to confirm that former foodstuffs placed on the market as feed are clearly exempted from the EU Waste Framework Directive.