USA- On 28th February, the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) announced that it was starting the second phase of its Sustainability Road Map Project and is seeking partners to implement this phase.

According to the IFEEDER website, the institute’s mission is ‘to advance understanding and trust in a sustainable animal feed and pet food supply chain through timely research and education’.

Sustainability is, therefore, core to their mission and is one of the initiatives that the institute has had in place since its foundation by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) in 2009. 

So far, the Sustainability Road Map Project has been pivotal for dozens of US animal food companies starting or advancing their sustainability journeys.

The first phase of the project identified many objectives around data and information management, sustainability research, life cycle assessments (LCA), and educational resources and training; and the second phase will focus on implementing them.

During the project’s first phase, IFEEDER and the Sustainability Roadmap Advisory Committee worked with The Context Network to conduct industry research and develop several new industry resources.

These resources included a definition for “sustainability” for IFEEDER, and a toolkit of insights and resources to help companies establish their internal sustainability programs, respond to stakeholders’ requests, and communicate their sustainability stories.

Insights from the toolkit led to the identification of several knowledge and data gaps that curtail the industry’s ability to make meaningful progress toward reducing its environmental footprint.

According to Lara Moody, executive director of IFEEDER, the first phase has been a learning curve for the institute, which has been uncovering more sustainability questions as the industry’s sustainability efforts change.

While it is certain that many knowledge gaps remain, we have the resolve and support of many industry partners… looking to deliver measurable, continuous improvements on the impacts related to people, planet, and governance that are most important to them and their stakeholders,” Moody said.

Some of the industry partners include Cargill, Bayer, Western Milling, DSM, and Belstra among others.

Four objectives for IFEEDER’s sustainability project second phase

In this second phase, IFEEDER and The Context Network seek to partner with many more committed animal food industry players to achieve four key objectives towards enhancing sustainability.

The first goal is to pursue alignment and industrywide consistency in measuring, reporting, and verifying data across important indicators and important industry metrics.

The second objective is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of using LCAs to achieve sustainability goals.

The third objective of this phase is to quantify and communicate the environmental benefits of innovations that support stakeholders in meeting their corporate sustainability pledges. These innovations could involve animal food ration development, ingredients, and additives.

Lastly, IFEEDER and The Context Network will endeavor to develop a 2.0 version of its Animal Food Industry Sustainability Toolkit, with resources and value propositions identified for each segment within the US animal food value chain.

Sustainability continues to be important in many industries, and IFEEDER hopes many more industry players join their project.

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