ROME, ITALY — World-wide feed associations announced on April 23 the official release of the first-of-its-kind globally recognized lifecycle assessment guidelines for feed.

The Global Feed Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) guidelines were developed by the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership (LEAP), which is led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The guidelines are an essential step to help reduce the impact of livestock products on the environment.

"The guidelines provide practical and science-based recommendations to assess the environmental performance of feed supply chains. They carry an international scientific consensus based on the input of 20 international experts in the drafting process and a thorough international public review which took place ahead of this official release," said Frank Mitloehner, from the University of California, Davis, and former chairman of LEAP.

Founding members of LEAP included the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF), American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and European Compound Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC).

"These guidelines represent a significant milestone for the global feed industry," said Mario Cutait, IFIF's chairman. "Sustainability is one of the key priorities for IFIF and these global guidelines will enable consistent and credible environmental assessments with a view to reduce the environmental footprint of livestock products. We can now work with our partners on the agri-feed chain to develop practical tools for feed and livestock producers to assist them in further reducing the environmental footprint of their activities.”

The LEAP/FAO Feed LCA Guidelines reflect a common vision among partners, including the FAO, national governments, private sector organizations as well as NGOs. This adds value to these globally harmonized metrics and will help meet customers' expectations, said AFIA President and Chief Executive Officer Joel G. Newman.

LCA developers took into account the main recommendations of the Product Environmental Footprint Guide published by the European Commission during the development of the FAO/LEAP Guidelines, said FEFAC President Ruud Tijssens.

"From a European perspective, the FAO/LEAP guidelines are therefore the logical and relevant starting point to develop a standard aligned with the recommendations of the European Commission," Tijssens said.

The guidelines can be accessed on the LEAP website.