BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — At the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) 57th Annual General Meeting on June 5, Ruud Tijssens, FEFAC president, highlighted the need for E.U. policy makers to shift towards innovation in order to unlock the potential of the E.U. livestock sector. 

In his opening speech, he stated that, “the European Parliament elections and the new European Commission legislature provide key opportunities to change the political mindset towards recognizing the E.U. agri-food chain, including the livestock sector, as a key asset for generating economic growth and new job opportunities.” 

This view is shared by the E.U. agri-food chain coalition, jointly representing around 30 million jobs and 3.5% of gross added value in the E.U.-28, who recently published their manifesto including 18 practical policy proposals fostering an ambitious, innovation-based E.U. policy framework based on innovation and sustainability. Tijssens stated that FEFAC’s contribution to the new policy orientations is based on three key actions:

• Assuring a safe feed supply. FEFAC will strive to improve the regulatory coherence and cooperation at E.U. and global level, e.g. by implementing the new global Codex Alimentarius guidelines on feed safety risk assessment and feed hazard prioritization and by promoting a permanent E.U.-U.S. working group on the feed safety regulatory framework to the present T-TIP negotiations jointly with its U.S. sister organization AFIA. FEFAC will strongly promote the implementation of measures as close to the origin as possible in the feed supply chain in close cooperation with its upstream trade partners via its feed safety road map and encourage the application of an E.U. wide general feed safety contractual clause.

• Promoting a competitive and innovative feed and livestock industry. FEFAC will continue raising awareness at E.U. level to establish for the need to develop a policy framework safeguarding the strategic raw material supply to the E.U. feed and livestock sector. FEFAC, together with its key E.U. chain partners, will launch and contribute to the development of a comprehensive E.U. protein balance sheet which accounts for all E.U. protein sources including home grown cereals and, in a next step, forage production, in order to have a more meaningful, accurate monitoring tool to measure the CAP reform impacts on the E.U. supply of proteins.

• Investing in a resource-efficient, responsible feed industry. FEFAC will actively contribute to future research and development projects in order to increase E.U. protein supply in the framework of the DG AGRI EIP platform on Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability. FEFAC will launch a roadmap on the responsible soy to facilitate a stepwise mainstream market supply of soybean products to the E.U. feed market; FEFAC will develop a global harmonized Feed LCA calculation tool and a LCA feed database jointly with its U.S. sister organization AFIA to allow for comparable environmental foot print calculations.