Lift off for US feed sustainability project

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Hype Photography
© GettyImages/Hype Photography

Related tags: IFEEDER, Sustainability, GFLI, Life cycle assessment

The US Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), along with agribusiness consultants, the Context Network, launched a project this month to develop a sustainability roadmap for the US feed and pet food industries.

The organizations said the initiative is aimed at supporting the advancement of both corporate sustainability programs and climate-smart initiatives with key stakeholders.

Feed ingredients and additives remain one of the least measured and documented sustainability components within the US food supply chain, according to IFEEDER.

“The [US] feed industry supported the development of the Global Feed LCA Institute (GFLI) database, to advance the understanding of feed ingredient environmental impacts. However, there is still a need to incorporate data points into a comprehensive, harmonized strategy for information exchange within animal food supply chains.”

This project is looking to develop supporting resources for such information exchange, including standardization and methodologies, and to provide life cycle data up and down the production chain, reported the institute.

Beyond life cycle assessment, the effort will explore the scope of sustainability guidance and resources needed by the US feed and pet food sectors for continuous improvement.

Regardless of where they are at in terms of their sustainability journey, feed manufacturers want to be able to do more to help their customers achieve their climate pledges and meet changing consumer expectations, said IFEEDER executive director, Lara Moody.

The tools that result from the project should allow companies that have yet to begin their sustainability journeys to get up to speed, and producers with more mature sustainability programs to further advance, added Matt Sutton-Vermeulen, principal of the Context Network.

Phased work cycles 

The sustainability roadmap project comprises three phases, with the first of those focused on developing a gap analysis to understand the barriers preventing companies from launching or measuring progress on sustainability programs.

Qualitative and quantitative research work will be undertaken during the second phase, involving select scientific advisors focused on environmental sustainability in the feed industry along with American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) members and key supply chain advisors.

The last phase will be developing key findings, tools and strategies the industry can use to advance their sustainability programs and communicate their vision to key influencers.

IFEEDER has two primary focuses:

  • Funding of critical animal feed and pet food research to support AFIA’s legislative and regulatory positions
  • Developing appropriate messaging to policymakers, consumer influencers and stakeholders about the feed and pet food industries  

IFEEDER is calling on more companies to participate in the initiative. 

To date, Arm and Hammer Animal and Food Production, Animix, Anipro/Xtraformance Feeds, Belstra Milling, Berg+Schmidt America, Bill Barr & Company, CJ Bio America, ED&F Man Liquid Products, Elanco Animal Health, Kemin, The Mosaic Company, United Animal Health, Westway Feed Products and Zinpro Corporation have joined the effort. 

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