Former food: processing into feed is the key to the future
Valentina Massa, president of the European Former Foodstuff Processors Association, explains
Feed more people with high quality and sustainable food, maintaining all best practices to reduce waste and increase efficiency while respecting the environment. This is the main challenge that food & feed value chains will have to face in the coming decades. To optimize the use of our resources, while reducing emissions and the environmental impact of food, we need to consider circular production systems.
Valentina Massa, president of Effpa (European Former Foodstuff Processors Association), spoke on the subject by speaking to Feed Planet Magazine. "The transformation of food products into animal feed is the most effective measure to keep nutrients within the food chain. Their function in animal nutrition, as an alternative to cereals such as wheat and corn and other traditional ingredients such as oils and fats and sugars, it allows to preserve a significant surface of arable land, water and fertilizers as well as a great reduction of CO2 emissions. The 5 million tons per year of former food products currently processed in Europe is equivalent to about 570,000 hectares processing of ex-food products into feed is also an effective way to prevent and reduce unavoidable food waste and losses. As an active member of the EU platform on food waste and losses, Effpa is committed to 'application of the food waste hierarchy', which indicates the priorities with which to act in order to guarantee the choice more sustainable in order to prevent waste as much as possible and reduce food waste as much as possible".
Furthermore, Effpa supports the need to maintain a clear legal and economically fair distinction between materials dedicated and permitted for food use and those for energy production.
In this way, we ensure that the use as feed of safe ex-food products for animal feed and the production of bioenergy from products prohibited in feed remain complementary in respect of the environment and consumers.
The transformation of former foods into feed is a solution to produce more sustainable foods of animal origin and at the same time allows to reduce food waste, but this solution is not yet sufficiently applied as a way of exploitation by potential suppliers.
"Therefore, the sector needs to raise awareness among food suppliers (industry and gdo) about the potential of this process; this activity will be part of a working project within the platform against food waste at DG SANTE in 2023. EFFPA's work has allowed its members continued growth not only on a technical level but also in terms of food safety and feed sustainability, topics that are central to the future of the livestock food system to support sustainable development of animal food supply chains that can provide healthy and sustainable food", Massa concludes.
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