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Imported animal feeds

Friends of the Earth and the Soil Association are both campaigning for more sustainable meat and dairy production in the UK.

The FoE's Food Chain campaign calls for reduced reliance on imported feeds which often have high environmental impacts. Now the matter has come to Parliament. On 12 November, MPs will vote on a Sustainable Livestock Bill which will commit the Government to action to limit the wildlife and rainforest destruction caused by animal feeds. See www.jointhemoovement.com.

Meanwhile the Soil Association's report Feeding the animals that feed us asks how we can reduce reliance on imported feeds and move towards more sustainable systems based on grazing and homegrown feeds. It considers topics such as: reducing reliance on grain and protein-based diets and encouraging the use of other UK crops such as lupins and vetch; reducing the use of soya in organic animal feed and ensuring that organic soya continues to be sourced sustainably; maximising the carbon stored in grassland soils; recycling waste food; and increasing the proportion of UK grown grains and pulses used by feed mills.

The Soil Association organised launch events and invited farmers, feed producers, the public and other stakeholders to give their views on the report and the way forward. Suggestions included: promoting breeds that need little or no purchased feed; increasing feed from the range for pigs and poultry; encouraging production of UK grown protein crops; increasing the proportion of forage in diet required by the organic standards; and helping farmers share best practice.

Download the report

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