New GFLI pilot focuses on validation of LCA data for commercial feed ingredients

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/fotojog
© GettyImages/fotojog

Related tags: GFLI, LCA, Feed additives, co-products

The GFLI has noted significant demand by companies for the inclusion of lifecycle assessment (LCA) of commercial feed ingredients into its database.

And the organization is currently running a branded LCA data pilot in relation to that.

Inclusion of a feed ingredient in the GFLI database means it could be verified in terms of its carbon footprint and other emissions related to its production, which would allow for product distinction, argues feed ingredient producers.

“More companies want to have insight on their own value chain emissions and then be able to use that information in their marketing campaigns, as the demand for sustainable farming and agrifood products continues to grow,”​ agrees Laura Nobel, GFLI project coordinator.

Branded LCA data, which is defined as lifecycle impact assessment data for a feed ingredient marketed under a certain brand and owned by a company or other entity, differentiates from the data currently available in the GFLI database, which comprises more sectoral and regional data, based on averages and secondary data such as statistics.

The branded data needs to be based on primary data sourced directly under the control of the company, referencing data related to raw material cultivation, processing, and production.

This type of data is required for transparency and to ensure there is limited opportunity to calibrate the data to enable more favorable results by the use of (improved) secondary data, said Nobel.

This would reduce the chance of unfair marketing or ‘greenwashing’ claims.

The goal of the pilot is for the GFLI to validate the methodology that its experts have been working on: Its Technical Management Committee (TMC) has invested significant time in developing a rigorous methodology for collecting branded data in a standardized and transparent manner.

Among other aspects, the robustness of the methodology, whether it covers all the emission related parameters for each type of feed ingredient, will be evaluated during the pilot, said Nobel.

Permitted products 

The pilot is open to feed ingredients such as processed plant-based products, processed animal-based products, fish and fish-based feeds, co-products, and feed additives.

Companies can participate in the pilot phase free of charge, but the GFLI said there are evident costs attached to the data collection, external review, and data implementation.  

It recommends that producers of feed ingredients should have their own LCA expert or hired external consultancy to ensure data collection and alignment to the GFLI branded data methodology.

Companies have until March 6, 2022 to apply. And a selection process might be instigated if there are more than 15 applicants, said the organization.

Selected feed ingredient providers would then have until August 21, 2022, to submit their data to the GFLI Secretariat.

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