policy issues

Producing Animal Food Sustainably

You’ve probably heard or seen the stat: the world population is expected to explode to 9.8 billion people in 2050, up from the current population of 7.6 billion. The pressure to produce more crops and animals on the same amount of land to sustain the food supply is a growing challenge.

The animal food industry cares about what the future holds as it must help the agricultural community produce 70 percent more food over the next 30 years. We know we have a responsibility to do our part in helping conserve natural resources and bring new technologies that help farmers and ranchers become more efficient in growing the animals that meet our meat, milk, egg and aquaculture needs.

At the American Feed Industry Association, we define “sustainability” as:

providing a continuous, safe and nutritious food supply for poultry, livestock, fish and pets in a manner that optimizes environmental quality and the use of natural resources, while positively affecting the social and economic wellbeing of customers, their communities and their industry.

AFIA has embarked on a four-part sustainability initiative. We recognize the role our industry plays not only in continuously reducing animal agriculture’s carbon footprint here in the United States, but also in developing tools and resources that help our industry improve its practices globally. We also know that we need to be committed partners with the communities where we operate and do more to ensure that consumers have reliable information to make informed decisions about the foods they buy for their families. As an animal food industry, we are actively working on four focal points aimed at:

AFIA’s Sustainability Oversight Committee provides the overall strategic direction and leadership for this work within AFIA. Several of AFIA’s committees contribute to fulfilling the objectives under the focal points. The association also partners with others within the agricultural community, including the Animal Agriculture Alliance, farmers and ranchers groups, and AFIA’s public charity, the Institute for Feed Education and Research, to support research efforts. This work provides the data the animal food industry needs to achieve its sustainability initiatives and offer policymakers and the public accurate context on industry advances and consumer interests.