ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, US — The Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) announced on Feb. 28 that it was moving forward with the second phase of its Sustainability Road Map Project, which has played a pivotal role in helping dozens of US animal food companies start or advance their sustainability journeys. In this second phase, IFEEDER is seeking partners to strategically implement many objectives identified in the first project phase around data and information management, sustainability research, life cycle assessments (LCA) and educational resources and training.
“When IFEEDER initially launched the Sustainability Road Map project, we knew full well that our understanding of the industry’s sustainability efforts might change and we could uncover more questions than we had answers for,” said Lara Moody, executive director of IFEEDER. “While it is certain that many knowledge gaps remain, we have the resolve and support of many industry partners who are now looking to deliver measurable, continuous improvements on the impacts related to people, planet and governance that are most important to them and their stakeholders.”
During the project’s first phase, IFEEDER and the Sustainability Roadmap Advisory Committee worked with The Context Network to conduct industry research and develop several new industry resources, including a definition for “sustainability” for IFEEDER and a toolkit of insights and resources to help companies establish their internal sustainability programs, respond to stakeholders’ requests and communicate their sustainability stories. The insights from the toolkit led to the identification of several knowledge and data gaps that stymie the industry’s ability to collectively make meaningful progress reducing its environmental footprint and being responsive to the needs of its shareholders, customers and other stakeholders.
In the second phase, IFEEDER and The Context Network will work with committed animal food industry partners to:
- Pursue alignment and industrywide consistency in how data is measured, reported and verified across key indicators and metrics important to the industry and its customers.
- Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the use of LCAs so the industry and its customers can make strides in meeting their sustainability goals.
- Quantify and communicate the environmental benefits of innovations (e.g., in animal food ration development, ingredients and additives) that will support stakeholders in meeting their corporate sustainability pledges.
- Develop a 2.0 version of its Animal Food Industry Sustainability Toolkit, with resources and value propositions clearly identified for each segment within the US animal food value chain.
Founded in 2009 by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), IFEEDER supports critical education and research initiatives that ensure consumers have access to a safe, healthy and sustainable food supply. IFEEDER focuses its work in two primary areas: funding critical animal feed and pet food research to support AFIA’s legislative and regulatory positions, and developing appropriate messaging for policymakers, consumer influencers and stakeholders, which highlights the industry’s positive contributions to the availability of safe, wholesome and affordable food, and the preservation of natural resources.