Keeping the Lid on the Costs of Non-GMO Certification

A 60 second interview with Andy Green, sustainability expert at FoodChain ID Certification Europe reveals some key insights into the food and feed sustainability market, including comments on keeping a lid on the costs of Non-­GMO verification and certification audits.

How has the global feed supply chain changed in recent years?

Increasing concern over the impacts on both animal welfare the environment and human health from CAFO’s often spearheaded by campaign groups has led to some public concern over how animals are reared and what they are fed upon. All of this is set against a backdrop of rapidly increasing human population, large increases in the middle classes, the most consumptive and wasteful class, and the ever­growing threat of climate change. Over a quarter of our GHG emissions come from the food and drink sector and the agricultural sector is the first to be impacted by changes in global weather. This puts a massive amount of pressure on the industry to provide high protein feed while minimizing the environmental impacts and eliminating deforestation, which is strongly linked to the soy, palm and beef industries.

What is the biggest challenge for the feed industry today in terms of sustainability?

Without a doubt, the biggest challenge facing us all is climate change and the feed industry is no different. With major brand owners having committed to zero net deforestation within their supply chains, the main commodities driving this are under huge pressure to deal with this. Organizations such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) have made some progress in their industry and ProTerra and the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) are also working hard, but soy is still seen as a significant driver of deforestation despite the impacts of initiatives like the Brazilian Soy Moratorium. On top of this, additional drivers, such as the Modern Slavery Act in the UK, put pressure on ensuring negative humanitarian impacts are avoided, meaning that the feed industry needs to be able to understand what impact its inputs are having on these important areas. However, [these concerns] needs to be balanced against the demands for more and cheaper animal proteins. “Hence, my belief that we need to find alternative models to simply asking the feed industry to pay for multiple audits.” 

How to make your business more sustainable:

We need to source and use responsibly produced raw materials, in a cost effective way and be able to demonstrate we have done so without making the business untenable ­ a challenge I am very much up for. What can policymakers do to encourage more responsible feed raw material sourcing? Firstly, be clear about what they require. The closer aligned various national or private initiatives are, the easier it is for the industry to respond. Secondly, understand that these changes will take some time to achieve, there is no quick fix to this problem but by working together and focusing on the aim of responsible, deforestation free supply chains we can achieve these aims. Finally, be prepared to help fund some of these initiatives.

See full article at: Feed Navigator