EC backs new approach to food waste use in animal feeds

The potential to use food waste in animal feed production, provided such a process does present risks to either human or animal health, is being backed by the European Commission (EC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Speaking at a major food waste conference, linked to EXPO Milano, the European Commissioner for health and food safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, stressed the importance of the need for find better uses for Europe’s food waste, including its role in relation to feeding animals.

“We are seeking to clarify and, wherever possible, lift any barriers which prevent the safe use and re-use of food in the food and feed chains,” he said. “Together with regulatory authorities in member states we must support food and feed business operators who seek to optimise the safe use of resources in the food and feed chain.

“I refer here, for instance, to the use of former foodstuffs which are safe to eat but can no longer be marketed for human consumption, as a possible resource for animal feed. We need to ensure that such valorisation is not considered as “waste” and also ensure proper traceability of such food resources, so they can be safely redirected to those in need, distributed to charities and food banks and when not possible re-utilised in feed production.

“Of course we cannot and will not compromise on safety. Any developments in this area can only be considered viable if they do not present risks either for human or animal health.”

The Commissioner’s comments were welcomed by the European Former Foodstuff Processors Association (EFFPA) as a “very clear public statement” of intent by the EC. EFFPA called, however, for “more clarification on the non-waste legal status of former foodstuffs”.

Key points arising from the Milan discussions are to be “taken forward” in a report to be prepared by FAO under its “SAVE FOOD 2015 Series”.

Access Commissioner Andriukaitis’s full speech

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Freelance journalist Colin Ley is Pig World's website news reporter