What do we see?
In the graph below, we see the evolution of the proportion of residual materials used in Belgium for the production of animal feed. In 2018, 44% of the raw materials used came from residual materials, the largest share (48%) of which came from oilseeds such as soy. The use of grains for animal feed can be seen in the composition of the feed. In 2018, grains were the main raw material used for compound feed in Belgium. 25% of this was from residual streams.
What’s the aim?
Animal feed is essential for livestock and the amount and type of feed required is determined by the size and composition of the sector. Here, circularity is determined by the total use and origin of the raw materials. Traditionally, the residual flows from the production and processing of human food were able to keep up with the demand for animal feed. However, due to the increase in the consumption of animal products, this available residual stream can no longer meet the demand, either in quality or quantity. Today, the composition of animal feed is tailored to the specific needs of animals. As a result, the cultivation of crops specifically intended for animal feed has increased.
By 2030, the BFA (Belgian Feed Association) wants to increase the share of residual materials in animal feed to 50%. In addition, the total demand for feed can be reduced by optimising food conversion. This is the efficiency with which feed is converted into body mass. This figure fell for pigs from 2.8 in 2005 to 2.7 in 2018 and for poultry from 1.66 in 2013 to 1.63 in 2018. These improvements were achieved by, among other things, tailoring the feed to the lifecycle stage of the animal. Other food sources, like insects and algae, offer an alternative, as the input can be produced more efficiently. However, these sources also give us direct value for human consumption.
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator measures the proportion of residual materials used in Belgium during the production of compound feed. The data comes from the Belgian Feed Association (BFA) and OVAM.