A draft bill allowing Russian feed companies to use expired food products has been recently registered by State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament.
Every year around a third of all food produced for human consumption in Russia is wasted, Vladimir Burmatov, chairman of the State Duma’s ecological committee, said. This makes around 17 million tonnes of waste per year, he added.
There is no guarantee of feed safety when food waste is used. Photo: Dreamstime
Technically, feed companies are allowed to use food waste proved to be safe, but the problem is that the expertise might be very timely and expensive. Because of that, almost all food waste in Russia end up at landfills across the country, reported Russian Gazette, the official publication of the Russian government. According to the explanatory note to the bill, not only feed companies, but also zoos and pet food manufacturers may take advantage of the new bill. It is called not only to help business but also to improve the ecological situation, preventing large volumes of organic waste to rot under the open sky.
Food waste is responsible for 2.4 million tonnes of methane emissions per year, said Eugenia Serova, senior analyst of the Russian Higher School of Economy. Most countries in the world embark on strategies to properly manage food waste, but so far, no such programmes have been adopted in Russia, she added. Basically, the idea is good, but there is no confidence that food waste processors would always stick to safety rules and regulations. Lyubov Savkina, commercial director of the Russian consulting agency Feedlot told All About Feed. In the end, farmed animals could be getting feed containing poor-quality and dangerous components, while consumers will be eating products from these animals, Savkina added.
The proposal could support profitability in the Russian retail and agricultural industries, but feed companies would likely be reluctant to mix the processed food waste into feed, a source in the Russian feed industry who wished not to be named told All About Feed. Food waste is very different, and it is hard to imagine how processors would be able to maintain some constant protein content and nutritional value, which is essential for all companies, he added. The processed food waste could be popular among Russian pig farmers, but the companies producing animal feed are unlikely to support the idea of using the processed food waste, Vladimir Manaenkov, general director of the Eurasia Union’s feed producers association told Russian magazine Agroinvestor. He said it must be a matter of choice for feed companies, so they should not be forced to use processed food waste. Basically, giving the current safety concerns, it is fair to say that food waste has a long and thorny road ahead to become a component of animal feed in Russia someday, Manaenkov said.