ROME, ITALY — The first of its kind guidelines on feed lifecycle assessment are now available for public review, the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) announced on March 18. 

The guidelines were developed by the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership (LEAP), which is led by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization. 

IFIF together with the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) is a founding member of LEAP, which aims to improve how the environmental impacts of the livestock industry are measured and assessed, an important step to reduce the impact of livestock products on the environment.

FEFAC and AFIA jointly developed the Global Feed Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) guidelines as part of their LEAP contributions, and these form a significant part of the LEAP draft guidelines. In less than two years, the LEAP partners were thus able develop a methodology that will introduce a harmonized, science-based, practical and international approach to the assessment of the environmental performance of feed supply chains, while taking into account the specificity of the diverse production systems that exist globally.

“The sustainable development of global livestock production is one of the key priorities for IFIF,” said Mario Cutait, IFIF’s chairman. “The LEAP guidelines are the first feed-specific LCA guidelines that reflect a consensus among partners in the multi-stakeholder process, including the FAO, national governments, private sector organizations as well as NGOs. IFIF welcomes these efforts, which represent an important step towards a globally harmonized industry standard for Feed LCA.”

“With global supply chains, it is important to rely on globally harmonized metrics,” added AFIA’s President and Chief Executive Officer Joel G. Newman. “The LEAP guidelines are a significant step forward to help feed companies to develop consistent and credible environmental assessments and therefore to reduce the environmental footprint of livestock products.”

“Common methodology for environmental footprinting is a pre-competitive issue and is part of our customer’s expectations,” said FEFAC President Ruud Tijssens. “The main recommendations of the Product Environmental Footprint Guide developed by the European Commission were taken into account in the LEAP process. From a European perspective, this means the LEAP guidelines are the logical and relevant starting point to develop a standard aligned with the recommendations of the European Commission.” 

The public review of the feed guidelines began on March 18 and comments are welcome from interested parties until July 31. The draft guidelines can be accessed on the LEAP website.