The European Fat Processors and Renderers Association (EFPRA) welcomes the relaxation of the ‘feed ban’ on the reuse of animal proteins. It signals a commitment to building a more sustainable circular economy in Europe.
Annex IV of Regulation (EC) No 999/2001, known as the feed ban, has been amended to allow Processed Animal Proteins (PAPs) in the diets of non-ruminant animals. Specifically, protein derived from pigs may be used in poultry diets while, protein derived from poultry is allowed in pig diets.
“Our members are pleased with the changes in the regulations which opens up new markets for their products,” says EFPRA General Secretary Dirk Dobbelaere. “It is testament to the hard work member companies have done to ensure the industry operates at a very high technical and scientific level. It means we can produce safe, healthy single species animal proteins which are highly valued as feed ingredients.”
According to Dobbelaere this is a first stage in the process. “The next step is for EFPRA members to work closely with other parts of the food supply chain to find beneficial ways to increase use of animal by-products in animal feed.”
The decision marks a Europe-wide move to more sustainable circular business practices. This includes initiatives such as the Green Deal, Farm-to-Fork Strategy and UN Sustainable Development Goals. Rendering, with its history of reprocessing by-products back into useful raw materials is a longstanding example of the circular economy in action.
“The member companies of EFPRA facilitate the operation of the whole animal-based food chain,” says EFPRA Technical Director, Dr Martin Alm. “Safety is always our first priority; we take the by-products from animal production and make them safe. This protects the health of humans and animals by preventing disease.”
Dr Alm acknowledges that livestock production can be a hotly debated issue in discussions around sustainability, but he is keen to stress EFPRA’s role in lowering the environmental impact of the whole animal-based food chain.
“By mass, approximately half of every animal produced for meat doesn’t become food. Renderers make sure that everything is used, and nothing is wasted. The materials such as PAPs and fertiliser that are the recycled back into food production have a low carbon footprint compared to virgin raw materials.”
EFPRA anticipates that inclusion rates of 2–10% will become commonplace to supply protein and other essential nutrients in the feed ration. “PAPs are one of nearly 2000 ingredients so we need to work in partnership with pig and poultry producers, and feed compounders to understand the optimum usage.”
Compounders and farmers are the immediate customer for PAPs, but EFPRA is also thinking about attitudes further along the value chain. “Retailers and consumers need to know that PAPs are a safe, healthy and sustainable feed ingredient,” says EFPRA President Sjors Beerendonk.
“Pigs and poultry are omnivorous so would naturally seek out protein rich food, that is why PAPs are such a valuable feed ingredient. Likewise carnivorous fish such as salmon as well as domestic cats and dogs can all benefit from diets which include PAPs.”
“Europe has the world’s most effective animal by-product regulation to ensure the safety and quality of the finished product. To make PAPs for pig or poultry feed, every stage of the process is strictly segregated by species, right down to the lorry which delivers compound feed to the farm.”
Following Brexit the changes in regulation do not apply to the UK which still prohibits animal proteins in pig and poultry diets. FABRA the UK rendering industry trade body and EFPRA member has published a position statement about whether a similar change in legislation will happen in the UK.
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