Feed Bites

Animal Food Can Help Us Aim for Climate

Written by: Mallory Gaines   |   May 25, 2023

Environmental footprint, Trade

On both the domestic and international fronts, we are being asked how feed additives and ingredients can mitigate offsets, such as methane, and support sustainable and nutrient-dense animal protein diets. The American Feed Industry Association prides itself on its commitment to being the voice for the animal food industry at the international level and has invested more time and energy into the sustainability and climate change space over the past few years. This is also one reason why the AFIA is engaged in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C), and participated in the meeting held in Washington, D.C., a few weeks ago.

AIM4C is a joint U.S.-United Arab Emirates initiative that seeks to address climate change and global hunger by uniting participants to significantly increase investment in, and other support for, climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation over five years (2021– 25). The AFIA is a “knowledge partner” within the AIM4C framework, meaning the association provides insights into best practices, educates on industry innovations and contributes on collaborative platforms.

The AIM4C meeting featured many high-level speakers, including USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, UAE Minister of Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Mariam Almheiri, former Vice President Al Gore and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. Secretary Vilsack and Minister Almheiri kept reiterating the positive story agriculture has to tell, the innovations the sector continues to implement, the funding the countries are providing to the sector and the importance of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28).

Gore supports agriculture’s efforts on climate change and Kerry specifically mentioned feed additives as one of the solutions.

The AFIA used the opportunity to reconnect with industry partners and government personnel and was pleased to see the positive rhetoric around agriculture. More work needs to be done in this space as animal protein remains a controversial topic despite commitments made, research being developed and the nutritional value of the products. The AFIA strongly supports our animal protein partners both domestically and abroad. Now, we will focus on working together to formulate goals for the upcoming COP28 being hosted by the UAE this winter.

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