How do we feed 10 billion people in 2050? How can we give a push to the sustainability transition as a sector? These were the big questions at the Global Feed Safety Summit in Berlin. Fortunately, we had a programme packed with smart, creative and above all ambitious speakers who challenged us to take the next step together.
Roland van der Post
Managing Director, GMP+ International
After over two years of preparations – the summit was postponed due to the pandemic – on 6 April the moment finally arrived: motivated leaders from the entire feed sector came together in Berlin to listen, to speak, to discuss, to enjoy themselves and to network.
I speak for the entire organisation when I say that we can look back on a fantastic event, which even had a royal flavour. We received equally enthusiastic responses from visitors. John Kirkpatrick of TESCO went so far as to call it “the most forward-looking conference” he had attended in the past ten years. That is a huge compliment, not least to the speakers.
It was also very nice to be able to meet each other in the flesh again after two years of COVID restrictions. That not only made for a better atmosphere, it also benefited the interaction and contributed to progress on the details. Which is just what we were hoping for. The summit was designed to provide a podium for a wide range of visions, from speakers and members of the audience alike, based on which we can determine an agenda for the future as a sector. The exchange of plans and ideas came to life not only during the plenary sessions but equally during the breaks and lunches in between.
After three days, we had thrashed out eight main points for a future-proof feed sector. These are, in no particular order:
Are these objectives, wishes and visions all directly within reach? Definitely not. But they are ambitions that provide a guide for the future and make the tasks facing our sector clear. At GMP+ International, we will play a facilitating role in this wherever necessary and possible.
For instance, during the summit we agreed concrete steps towards three objectives from the above list. Together with Covantis, we are going to explore options for using blockchain for elements of feed safety. We are going to look into ways in which we can verify sustainability claims with the GFLI. And in the area of AMR we want to extend our scheme standards to vulnerable regions.
Feed safety is and will remain our core business. With over 19,000 certified companies, 35 Certification Bodies and dozens of consultants and industry organisations, we have a network and a platform to facilitate discussions on sustainability. Which is what we are going to do.
Because the most important takeaway from the summit is that we need to tackle this together as a sector. Every speaker in Berlin re-emphasised the importance of cooperation and dedication in order to be able to meet the challenges. Let's hold onto that spirit. If we work together, we can achieve great things. That is something our sector has proved many times throughout its history. In that knowledge, we can also face the future with confidence.