March 2020

REFRESH report: Avoiding food waste through feeding surplus food to omnivorous non-ruminant livestock

Building on advice from microbiologists, epidemiologists, veterinarians and pig nutritionists, the REFRESH technical guidelines on animal feed set out the key principles for producing safe feed from surplus food. To ensure safety, only omnivorous non-ruminant livestock should be allowed feed made from surplus food that may contain meat. Such feed should be sourced exclusively from specialist licensed treatment plants located off-farm and subject to stringent controls regarding heat treatment, acidification, and biosecurity to ensure the feed is free from disease. Surplus food feeds could reduce farmer feed costs, land use for European livestock farming, carbon emissions, and deforestation from soy imports. From a food security perspective, surplus food feeds provide an opportunity to decouple some of Europe’s feed supply from global agricultural commodity prices.

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