The feed sector is keen to become more sustainable. But there is a big gap between dream and reality. Understandably so, because there are no simple answers.
Roland van der Post
Managing Director, GMP+ International
Safe production of feed is crucial to the continuity of our businesses and our sector. It is becoming ever clearer that the same is true of sustainable business operations.
In recent decades, the business community has become increasingly conscious of its place within society. One result of this increased sense of responsibility is that sustainability has found a fixed place on the boardroom agenda.
Awareness is not a problem in our sector. Yet many firms still wrestle with the question of how they can actually deliver sustainability. Of course everyone wants to prevent deforestation, but the market for rainforest-friendly soya is simply still in its infancy. When raw materials are being carried from one side of the world to the other, clearly there is room for improvement. But which concrete steps are needed? And what exactly counts as ‘regional’ sourcing?
GMP+ International stands for Feed Safety Worldwide. Feed Safety is our core business, and it will remain so. Alongside that, we have always responded to market needs that align closely with our core activities. For instance, the introduction of the Feed Responsibility Assurance (GMP+ FRA) standard, which also covers the production of responsible soya and non-GMO feed. Or the GMP+ Academy, in which – besides our scheme – we also share feed safety knowledge.
A guiding principle has always been that we link in with broad international developments in the market. We don't push anything, we facilitate, in order to optimally support our community. That also goes for trends in the market around sustainability. We are keen to be part of market initiatives that enjoy international support, and to use our expertise to give them added impetus.
The fact that our sector has work to do in terms of sustainability is evident. It is about jointly deciding what steps are needed. In our sector we are fortunate to have people with a lot of knowledge who are keen to share their perspectives on this subject. Two of them, Nick Major of the Global Feed LCA Institute (GFLI) and Bas Geerts (Head of Sustainability, Cefetra Group), will be speaking at the summit in Berlin (6 to 8 April, tickets here).
So I hope that at the summit, we will be able to achieve a breakthrough on this important issue together and set a course for the future. If we return home with a clear perspective on the challenges and possible solutions, we will have succeeded in our aim.