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Research Type: Report

How the Norwegian salmon industry extracts nutrition and undermines livelihoods in West Africa

31st Jan 24 by Vera Hoveling

Feedbacks latest report shows how the Norwegian salmon industry’s voracious appetite for wild fish is driving loss of livelihoods and malnutrition in Africa. Farming carnivorous fish in Europe harms fishing communities in West Africa by depriving them of a resource fundamental to their nutrition and their livelihoods. Salmon are carnivorous, and farmed salmon depend on the nutrients provided through fish oil in particular, gained through grinding up smaller, wild fish. At Feedback, we have evidence that in feeding these smaller fish (sardines, sardinella, ethmalosa, etc.) to Scottish farmed salmon, major micro-nutrient losses occur.

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setting a target that is fit for food and the climate

22nd Nov 23 by Vera Hoveling

New report by Feedback Europe finds that high eu biomethane target is unrealistic and unsustainable: as European reform of gas markets is underway, our analysis debunks the assumptions behind the high EU biomethane target and calls for a much lower target that is fit for food and the climate.

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Our annual report!

20th Jun 23 by Bobby Allen

Are you curious to read about what’ve done in 2022? Find out in our annual report!

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Klimaat en Vlees Supermarkt Scorecard

11th Oct 22 by Bobby Allen

De zes grootste supermarkten in Nederland hebben samen bijna 90% van het marktaandeel voor levensmiddelen in handen en voor veel mensen is naar de supermarkt gaan de enige optie om voedsel te kopen. Met deze scorecard wil Feedback EU de top 6 Nederlandse supermarkten beoordelen op hun transparantie, ambities en acties: nemen zij de verantwoordelijkheid om de klimaatcrisis aan te pakken en minder vlees en zuivel te verkopen? Bekijk hoe goed jouw supermarkt scoort.

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NO TIME TO WASTE

21st Sep 22 by Bobby Allen

We urge the European Commission to set a legally binding target of a 50%, farm-to-fork reduction in food waste by 2030 and recommend that policymakers, organisations, and individuals join us in calling for these targets to be adopted.

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A New Front in Divestment Campaigning

19th Jan 22 by Christina O'Sullivan

The UK’s local councils are pouring £238 million in pension fund money into industrial livestock investments, fuelling a destructive industry which causes climate change, deforestation, human rights abuses and industrial-scale animal cruelty.

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Dutch Supermarkets are avoiding responsibility for one third of their emissions

3rd Nov 21 by Christina O'Sullivan

This report explores the role of Dutch supermarkets in addressing the country’s climate footprint by taking responsibility for the environmental impact of their high meat and dairy sales.

The report is in Dutch, a summary in English is available here.

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Blindspot – How lack of action on livestock methane undermines climate targets

31st Oct 21 by Christina O'Sullivan

We contributed to Changing Markets report on methane. Climate scientists have confirmed that a focus on methane emissions – in addition to measures designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – will be crucial in determining whether global heating can be kept below 1.5°C.  Although the livestock sector is by far the largest contributor of human-induced methane emissions, the report reveals that both the biggest meat and dairy-producing countries – with some of the highest methane emissions – and the largest meat and dairy corporations are oblivious to the problem.

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FEEDBACK ANNUAL REPORT 2019/20

2nd Jul 21 by Christina O'Sullivan

Feedback’s annual report 2019-2020 covers Feedback’s work in an unprecedent year, the pandemic brought to the fore many vulnerabilities of the food system, including reliance on global supply chains, the concentration of the groceries market, persistent food insecurity and health inequalities due to nutrition. This created a public space for many of our issues, and our advocacy, media and programmatic work to make food and justice central to the food economy became prominent this year.

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Meat and Climate Scorecard

17th Jun 21 by

UK supermarkets control over 90% of the UK groceries market share and for many people, going to the supermarket is the only option for buying food. Supermarkets therefore have a responsibilty to ensure the food they sell isn’t hurting the planet, including meat and dairy. With this scorecard, Feedback set out to assess the top 10 UK supermarkets on their work to address the climate crisis by reducing the environmental impact of the meat and dairy they sell. See how well your supermarket scored.

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why parliamentary pensions investments in Big Livestock companies matter

26th May 21 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

The UK prides itself on being a world leader on climate action, and in particular deforestation. New legislative proposals from the UK government plan to introduce a due diligence obligation on companies trading in forest risk commodities – but exempts the financial sector which finances this trade. This report analyses sample investments held by the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF) and reveals that Members of Parliament hold pensions investments in a fund holding US$67m in stock from companies among the top 35 largest global meat and dairy companies. The fund includes shares of JBS, one of the biggest meat producers in the world whose business practices have been repeatedly linked to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado region. These investments demonstrate why regulation is needed: MPs who strongly support an end to U.K. complicity in global deforestation will go on the record while, unknowingly, paying their own money into a fund that backs some of the worst offenders in forest destruction. Domestic legislation on deforestation which fails to address one of the most integral parts of the supply chain, finance, leaves gaping loopholes. Incorporating a due diligence obligation on finance sector organisations would close many of these gaps.

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Green Gas Without the Hot Air

7th Sep 20 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

As countries and companies commit to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) targets of varying ambition, anaerobic digestion (AD) has been framed as an environmental silver bullet, a form of renewable energy to rival wind and solar in its desirability and environmental credentials. AD is the process of taking organic materials, known as ‘feedstocks’, both purpose-grown, like maize and other crops, and waste streams, like food waste and manure, and breaking them down using micro-organisms in the absence of air. To date, the AD industry’s claims have largely gone unchallenged. However, by comparing the AD industry’s ideal scenario – one that maximises growth and draws the greatest subsidies – with a scenario in which policy decisions maximise proven climate change mitigation policies, this report shows that the benefits of AD have been overstated. Worse, the industry’s ambitions may be crowding out better environmental alternatives. This report uses the results of a life cycle assessment (LCA) conducted in collaboration with researchers at Bangor University to shed some much-needed light on the limitations of AD, and show what role there is (and is not) for AD in a sustainable future.

See also: Executive Summary, Appendices and Life Cycle Assessment study

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the big-name financiers bankrolling livestock corporations and climate change

8th Jul 20 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

Meat and dairy are a climate issue. But from the scale of investments made by the biggest global financial institutions, all with high-level and public commitments to sustainability, you wouldn’t know it. Between 2015 and 2020, global meat and dairy companies received over $478 billion in backing by over 2,500 investment firms, banks, and pension funds headquartered around the globe. In this report, Feedback exposes the sheer scale of the global financial fodder behind meat and dairy corporations and reveals how high street banks, global investors and pension funds are bankrolling destructive livestock corporations.

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the Scottish salmon industry’s failure to deliver sustainable nutrition

25th Jun 20 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

The NHS recommends that we eat two portions of fish a week: seafood is a good source of vital micronutrients like omega 3. But with wild fish populations are under severe stress, the Scottish salmon industry frames itself as part of the solution – a source of healthy, omega 3-rich fish, without increasing demand for wild fish. The reality is not so simple: Scottish farmed salmon’s high levels of omega 3 are the result of feeding salmon with fish oil made from hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wild fish each year. This report, taking the Scottish farmed salmon industry as a case study, explores how we could meet our micronutrient needs from fish, while posing a minimal burden on our oceans. Using nutritional modelling, we show that by directly consuming a wide variety of small, oily fish, commonly used for salmon feed, we could access the same level of micronutrients as through current levels of farmed salmon consumption, while avoiding the capture of 59% of fish currently used in Scottish salmon feed. This report reframes the debate on fish consumption to show that flexible, diverse fish diets are possible while protecting the long-term health of our oceans.

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Certification’s failure to protect wild fish from the appetite of the Scottish salmon industry

25th Jun 20 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

Every year, the Scottish farmed salmon industry uses around 460,000 tonnes of wild fish to feed its salmon. But where does this wild fish come from, and are the measures in place to try to minimise the environmental and social risk of catching fish to feed farmed fish working? In this report, Feeback takes a deep dive into the sourcing practices of the Scottish farmed salmon industry, to explore the role of ‘reduction fisheries’ in feeding our global appetite for farmed salmon. We look closely at the role of certification schemes in protecting our seas from over-fishing to feed growing demand for salmon feed ingredients, and conclude these schemes do not protect wild fish populations, or communities around the world who depend on them, from the appetite of the salmon aquaculture industry.

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It’s Big Livestock versus The Planet

21st Apr 20 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

Building on a wealth of research about the role of industrial livestock production in climate breakdown, this report draws an analogy with another high impact industry: fossil fuel production. The report uncovers the ways in which the current business practices of meat and dairy corporations – such as Tyson, JBS, Cargill and Fonterra – are incompatible with a sustainable and just future. Using the example of emissions, the report questions whether these companies are capable of the sort of transformation needed to be compatible with a zero-carbon future. We outline the strategies for dealing with the industry, arguing that for change to occur at the pace required, there needs to be an increased campaigner and investor focus on the financing and investment that sustains this industry: Big Livestock’s financial fodder.

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

4th Mar 20 by Christina O'Sullivan

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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the use and misuse of UK soil and land to grow sugar

6th Dec 19 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

Adults in the UK currently consume twice their daily recommended allowance of sugar, with severe consequences for our health and to the NHS. Spending on the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes alone comes to £8.8 billion a year. Feedback calculates that at the current pace of reduction, which excludes any impact from the relatively recent Sugar Levy, it will take around 422 years for the UK population to reduce their sugar consumption to World Health Organisation recommended levels. Yet we use 115,000 acres of land to grow sugar beet, which is manufactured into refined sugar by one UK company: British Sugar. In the process, in this report we calculate that harvesting sugar beet creates around 489,000 tonnes of soil loss per year. In addition to the sugar in our tea, is it time to rethink the sugar beet in our fields?

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a call for policy for sustainable diets

15th Aug 19 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

This policy brief outlines what the research says about changing diets and explores consumption-focused measures that could help reduce animal-based products in diets. The recommendations in the brief focus on higher-income countries that consume more than their equitable share of global meat and dairy, and where the excessive intake of red and processed meat is thought to lead to adverse health outcomes.

The brief presents an overview of the environmental impacts of meat and dairy, and provides a brief review of the research on changing diets, before reviewing three high-impact, practical policy ideas which are ripe for implementation. The goal of this policy brief is to move the conversation beyond controversy over the idea of intervening to shape public diets, and towards practical policy discussions on how, given the extreme urgency, this can be done.

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A scorecard assessing how UK supermarkets are supporting a shift to healthy, low-meat diets

12th Aug 19 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

There is widespread scientific agreement that eating less meat in developed countries, in particular industrially-produced meat, is good for public health and a vital step to reducing the burden our food system places on our planet. As an increasing number of individuals aim to reduce their meat consumption, eating more local, high quality meat, adopting flexitarian diets, or even going vegetarian or vegan, an important question arises: are supermarkets, our closest partners in feeding ourselves and
our families, doing enough to help?

This scorecard assesses UK retailers against a set of criteria designed to explore their efforts to reduce the impact of meat production in their supply chains, and their in-store offer to shoppers to support them in eating better quality meat and reducing their meat consumption overall.

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Fishy business – the Scottish salmon industry’s hidden appetite for wild fish and land

1st Jul 19 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

Farming salmon draws on a key resource: wild fish, sourced from oceans all over the world. This report looks in detail at the Scottish farmed salmon industry, their plans to double in size, and the feed inputs they will need to fuel that expansion. Can that growth be achieved sustainably? We ask three questions of the industry: first, can the Scottish salmon industry meet its growth ambitions while decreasing its reliance on wild fish stocks? Second, can it meet its growth ambitions while reducing its land footprint? And finally – is Scottish farmed salmon an environmentally sustainable way to meet our protein needs?

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No use crying over spilled milk? How inaccurate date labels are driving milk waste and harming the environment

13th Feb 19 by Christina O'Sullivan

How much of this discarded milk was still safe to drink? Anecdotally we all know that milk kept in a fridge generally remains good to drink for several days after its ‘Use By’ date. But we at Feedback wanted to know if anecdote was backed by science. We commissioned laboratory testing at the University of Chester NOW Food Lab to see how long milk really keeps. The food scientists found that milk from the four UK supermarkets with the largest market share (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons), kept at the recommended temperature for a household fridge (4° Celsius – the WRAP recommendation is below 5° Celsius) and unopened until tested, remained safe to drink seven days after their ‘Use By’ dates.

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Delivering Net Zero Emissions

22nd Jan 19 by Christina O'Sullivan

Reaching net-zero emissions in the agriculture is as challenging for the sector as it is for society as a whole. Yet the opportunities and benefits of doing so are equally large, from the protection of natural resources, improving the health and livelihoods of populations, to enabling new diversified markets and rural development. Our report reflects on discussions from COP24.

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A WIN-WIN FOR FARMERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

8th Aug 18 by Harry Hurd

Our new report reveals that a change of law could liberate up to 2.5 million tonnes of currently wasted food from the UK’s manufacturing, retail and catering sectors to be fed to pigs – 20% of the UK’s estimated food waste.

 

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