Focus on local sourcing of feed ingredients

16-08-2017 | |
Focus on local sourcing of feed ingredients. Photo: Tom Kastermans
Focus on local sourcing of feed ingredients. Photo: Tom Kastermans

Dutch feed producer Agrifirm believes that raw materials should be produced where this can be done most efficiently from a geological and climatological point of view. The company therefore introduces the ‘Livestock Feed of European Origin 1.0’ Code.

Raw materials originate in various regions throughout the world; cereals from Europe, Ukraine, Belarus and Australia, and protein rich raw materials from South America, North America and Asia. Global markets have emerged for various reasons. A key driver is the difference in harvest times in the northern and southern hemispheres. Storing raw materials is expensive. This is why there is a global trade in which raw materials originating from the 2 hemispheres are used to supplement each other. At the same time, there are concerns about the impact of the global trade in raw materials. Therefore, the Market demand for regional raw materials is growing and needs professional support.

Lack of proper guidance

Agrifirm is familiar with the debates concerning the regional supply of raw materials. But the demand for regional raw materials needs proper guidance. Because improper implementation will lead to uncontrollable processes, the unavailability of raw materials, and unwanted and unnecessary cost price increases. An example is European soy. European soy is available. The challenge does not lie in its availability. The challenge lies in the fact that European soy is significantly more expensive than world market soy. Given the way in which livestock feeds are currently composed, this automatically means that other sources of protein are used.

Introduction of code

Agrifirm wants to generate measurable, relevant and sustainable value for the farmer and the farm. With the ‘Livestock Feed of European Origin’ Code, Agrifirm wants to contribute to the development of new supply chains, as they emerge. This is a first step. Different lists of requirements may also be developed. Agrifirm is prepared to assist in the thinking process, but believes that working with a well-thought-out cohesive list of requirements is essential. The undesirable effects in different situations can be major. The code introduces several requirements for primary raw materials and co-products. For example, Suppliers must demonstrate that more than 80% of the raw materials from the production sites from which the animal feed producer acquires raw materials comes from Europe.

Open to work together

With the introduction of this code, Agrifirm makes a contribution to the development of new supply chains. Other companies may develop their own set of requirements. Agrifirm is open to think along and work towards a coherent package that works for the whole supply chain. Read more about the code here.

Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor