European feed industry body FEFAC used its first virtual annual Congress last month, held jointly with the Belgian Feed Association (BFA), to launch the FEFAC Feed sustainability Charter 2030. The series of actions is designed to raise the sustainability of the feed and livestock sector at national, European and global levels.

FEFAC says the Charter sets out five ambitions for the industry in response to growing market expectations and increased societal demands as expressed in the EU’s Green Deal objectives and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals.

The five ambitions are: to contribute to climate-neutral livestock and aquaculture production through feed, by reducing the sector’s environmental footprint with a programme of education and training; and secondly to foster sustainable food systems through increased resource and nutrient efficiency – reducing livestock feed conversion indexes and using more feed materials that are not suitable for human consumption such as co-products and former foodstuffs for animal feed.

The third goal is to promote responsible sourcing practices, for example by increasing the proportion of responsibly produced and deforestation-free materials such as soymeal used in feed manufacture. FEFAC will contribute to improving farm animal health and welfare, both to lift feed use efficiency and reduce the need for medicines such as antibiotics. Promoting biosecurity at all stages of the agri-food chain will be critical.

Lastly, FEFAC will enhance the socio-economic environment and the livestock and aquaculture sectors’ resilience, by collecting and reviewing data on actual emissions and identifying best available techniques, while championing communications to combat myths about livestock and feed production.

FEFAC will publish annual reports on its progress towards these goals. “It’s a proud day for the European feed industry to set its ambitions for more sustainable feed production for the ten years to come,” noted FEFAC president Asbjørn Børsting. “We recognise 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.”

BFA president Dirk van Thielen added: “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.”