Sustainable Animal Foods: The Future

Jun 28, 2022 | Blog

At Clear Executive Search Ltd, we are a global Animal Nutrition & Health sector recruitment consultancy that is based in the UK. Our key strengths are in Animal Health, Feed, and Feed Additives across Swine, Poultry, Ruminant, Equine, Aquaculture and Companion, and in our blogs, we want to keep you up to speed with developments within our sectors and recruitment in general.

In this blog, we take a look at the rapidly-growing world of sustainable animal feed…..

 

As the world has changed in recent years, so has many aspects of working practices too, and the animal nutrition and health sector is no different. The need for alternative sources of animal feed ingredients, especially protein, has become clearer through increasing concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, pesticides, deforestation, and biodiversity.

Poor nutrition, animal feed shortages, problems producing crops from poor quality soil, and impact on the environment are just some of the key reasons why there has been a serious rethink about the future of animal food, and this has resulted in the growing demand for sustainable animal feed ingredients.

There is now a sharpened awareness for sustainability in animal feed nutrition with feed producers and suppliers increasingly aware of and concerned about the environmental impact of their production, plus there are also economic and political considerations to take into account, too. Sustainable animal food also reduces feed and food wastes, whilst there are growing concerns about livestock production systems and the impact that they have on the environment.

In recent times there has been an increasing call to seriously consider sustainable feed ingredients such as algae, plant-based products, and seaweed in animal feed. This is especially true in an agricultural sector that is increasingly focused on the environment and looking beyond traditional animal proteins used in livestock feed. As an example, let’s look at the use of seaweed extract in cattle feed and its associated benefits…..

Seaweed is nutrient-rich and is seen as a veritable oasis of micro-minerals such as calcium, copper, sodium, iron, iodine, folate, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins K and C…..all having a real effect on the health of cattle. And then you factor in some major players when it comes to animal nutrition and health such as boosting immunity, helping digestion, and preventing ketosis. Seaweed also is environmentally friendly too, as it is proven to reduce methane emissions in cattle – methane being a greenhouse gas which extensively affects the ozone layer.

This increase in the introduction of marine plants in cattle feed has mainly come through the demand for protein sources in animal feed, hence the rapid increase in algae usage which many see as an animal nutrition game-changer. Algae grows all year round, and produces carbohydrates, oils, protein, vitamins, and organic materials, and they grow far faster than land plants too as they are aquatic and have no roots, leaves, trunks, or stems to sap their energy. According to some data, one acre of algae can produce the same amount of protein in a year as 21 acres of soybeans!

With nutritional, economic, and environmental benefits, using sustainable ingredients really gives (animal) food for thought, doesn’t it?

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