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FAO’s sustainable development goals: Will these goals transform the livestock sector or not?

You probably know the Sustainable Development Goals. They address global challenges are currently facing: Poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. In the climate change and environmental goals, the FAO also urges the food and feed industry to act. What are current initiatives?

“All United Nations Member States provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.“

The planet’s boundaries

Already in 2009, Johan Rockström and his team described an earth system scenario. They were answering the question, how a safe operating for humanity looks to have a stable earth system.

The team also claimed that different earth system processes on the planet have certain boundaries. And these boundaries in turn should not be crossed, as they are essential for our survival.



Food initiatives to serve Sustainable Development Goals

The Planetary Healthy Diets…

…provide guidelines for different food groups that together constitute an optimal diet for human health and environmental sustainability. It emphasizes a plant-forward diet. However, the concept includes also meat and dairy. Both are important parts of a balanced diet, but in significantly smaller proportions.

Requiring substantial dietary shifts by 2050

  • Doubling the consumption of plant-based foods: fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts
  • 50% reduction in global consumption of added sugars and red meat.

“The Planetary Healthy Diets will ensure food that is good for people and the planet and in line with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Feed industry is trying to behave in the sense of the Sustainable Development Goals

Lifecycle assessment tools…

…aim to support a meaningful environment assessment of animal nutrition products. One of the institutes, that is currently working on such assessments, is The Global Feed LCA institute. They develop a freely available feed lifecycle analysis database and tool. The database should support continuous improvement of the environmental performance in the animal nutrition sector.

Delacon is also part of lifecycle assessment measurements. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact my colleague Antje Holthausen, Senior Manager Regulatory Intelligence & Public Policy.

To sum it up, methods and guidelines for the environmental performance assessment are already established in the feed and food industry. SDGs are promising to transform the livestock sector. Still, there is one question remaining:

Will all these initiatives bring the change we want to see?

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Katharina Mayrhuber

Katharina Mayrhuber

Katharina loves to learn, discover and tell feed and food stories globally - using Social Media, visual communications and media relations. She is currently not working actively at Delacon.

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