Working Group 3 Feed Supply will carry out an analysis of problems pertaining to the farm animal feed supply. There is a need for this for several reasons. Rising prices for feed worldwide require the development of new and more economic sources of energy and protein in animal diets. The entire European feed supply chain, from plant breeding, feed crop production and feed formulation, to the production of meat, dairy products, eggs, and aquaculture products, is experiencing difficulties because of competition from low production cost countries, and restrictions imposed national and EU regulations on environmental impact, animal welfare and traceability. The basic premise is that all aspects of food production must be considered to ensure the safety of human food, including all steps of the feed supply chain. Products from developing countries present particular difficulties: the feed supply chains have different structures, the climate amplifies risks of fungal contamination and renders monitoring costly, also because adequate monitoring infrastructures are not in place. It follows that priorities for Action in these countries will differ from those within the EU. Ensuring that feed traded in the EU conforms to quality and traceability standards is a major undertaking. Better knowledge of the main routes of feed into Europe, identification of the major feed suppliers, and monitoring of final livestock destinations is important not only for enduring feed quality but also to provide information for the consumer to make informed buying choices. It will also be necessary to develop and validate of analytical methods (including rapid methods) to identify disparate ingredients in processed feeds in order to ensure correct labelling and conformity to quality standards.
Working Group 3 Feed Supply objectives:
1. Comprehensively examine problems of the feed supply chain as they affect Europe
2. Examine possible changes in feed formulations including examination of possibilities for diversifying the materials used to produce compound feeds (e.g. use of by-products, substituting vegetable protein for fish meal etc),
3. Review feed technology in terms of comparative aspects of different feed production systems and technology. For instance between species (e.g. ruminant vs. non-ruminants, land animals vs. fish), and in different countries, (e.g. within and out side Europe, etc.); Examine feed production technologies with a view to identifying production systems which can influence health (e.g. pellet quality) and may be useful in different areas of feed production;
4. Evaluate existing analytical methods, to facilitate the development and validation of new analytical approaches (including rapid methods) for identifying ingredients in processed feeds.
5. Identify and promote situations where collaboration between participating laboratories can generate added value.