Consumer consciousness around the origins and sustainability of raw materials used to manufacture compound feed for aquaculture and livestock is growing.

In response, GLOBALG.A.P. c/o FoodPLUS GmbH published its revised Compound Feed Manufacturing (CFM) standard, version 3, on 15 October 2021. To continue operating within the GLOBALG.A.P. system, feed mills must fulfill this new version’s additional sustainability criteria in the areas of environmental protection, social responsibility, and economic viability.

Stricter criteria for fish meal, fish oil, and soy

For example, version 3 defines fixed percentages of fish meal, fish oil, and soy that must be sourced from sustainable production. Currently, at least 60% of these products must conform to a GSSI-recognized standard, be Marine Trust certified, or originate from fishery improvement projects (FIPs). By 2025, this proportion will rise to 75%. There is thus a strong focus on rules and prohibitions against the use of fish meal or fish oil of uncertain origins, from illegal fishing, or from over-fished regions.

Defining the amounts of sustainably produced soy in compound feed

The use of soy produced in areas with land conversion and/or deforestation of protected forest areas is significantly curtailed.

Evidence will be based on the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) guidelines on sourcing sustainably produced soy (2021 version). In order to fulfill the requirements of the CFM v3.0 standard, producers must demonstrate that they follow the requirements for responsible and conversion-free soy procurement as laid down in the rules of a soy standard recognized by the ITC Soy Benchmarking Tool.

At least 50% of the soy used in compound feed for livestock must meet this requirement. In aquaculture, this applies to 75% of the soy, and for salmonids to 100% of the soy.

The new version 3 of the GLOBALG.A.P. CFM standard

The new standard version was developed through the collective work of the CFM Focus Group, made up of GLOBALG.A.P. members, standard users, and compound feed suppliers. The standard is divided into four sections: Part A defines requirements for feed safety, traceability, and responsible sourcing of raw materials. Part B contains social criteria concerning workers’ qualifications, health and safety, and social welfare. Additional ecological and social criteria are covered in part C. Part D contains compound feed manufacturing guidelines, in particular a new guideline on bio-security risk assessments for compound feeds.

“It has gotten increasingly complicated for aquaculture compound feed manufacturers like BioMar to source raw materials responsibly. We hope that the GLOBALG.A.P. CFM standard will address the majority of the detailed questions we receive from our market participants. In these questions, the environmental impacts of soy and marine feed ingredients are a particularly pressing issue,” explains Ellinor Helland, Food Safety Officer at BioMar.

Significant developments concern part C of the standard. It will require manufacturers to track and reduce the energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, as well as wastewater and other waste products created in connection with compound feed manufacturing. Furthermore, audits will monitor humane working conditions and adherence to worker rights.

According to Dr. Paul Morris, director of nutrition and formulation at the feed manufacturer Mowi, version 3 of the standard proactively addresses environmental and social requirements and their monitoring. Using this strong platform, companies can commit not only to feed safety and traceability, but to sustainability and fairness in compound feed manufacturing, as well.

Fish feed sustainability

GLOBALG.A.P. aquaculture certification requires producers to use compound feed from certified production processes exclusively. Currently, compound feed manufacturers with GLOBALG.A.P. certified production processes produce a global output of 23 million tons of compound feed each year.

The feed used is therefore a key element in improving the sustainability of aquaculture. In recent years, debates over the need for greater sustainability in feed production have intensified significantly. The new, stricter criteria of the GLOBALG.A.P. CFM standard, version 3, offer producers, retailers, and consumers a higher degree of sustainability.

“Not just in the public eye, but for us at ALDI SÜD too, the low-impact production of feed for farmed fish is an important sustainability topic. That is why the new CFM standard from GLOBALG.A.P. makes a major contribution on the road to more sustainable aquaculture supply chains,” says Nina Kurth, Corporate Responsibility Manager at ALDI SÜD.

No genetically modified organisms

Certifying the NON-GM production of aquaculture fish has also become more important in recent years. To that end, the GLOBALG.A.P. system offers an add-on for auditing NON-GM production according to Germany’s “OhneGenTechnik” standard [NL1]  [AS2]  for the farmed fish supply chain. The respective add-on module for feed mills continues to apply unchanged in version 3, as well.

Applicability and outlook

Version 3 is effective immediately and must be used for all audits of compound feed manufacturers by 1 November 2022.

All relevant documents can be accessed through the document center on the GLOBALG.A.P. website

The publication of version 3 of the CFM standard is only the first in a number of developments in the aquaculture certification system, with the publication of version 6 of the aquaculture standard planned for April 2022 and version 2 of the GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice (GRASP) due to follow by the end of the year.

By Dr. Roland Aumüller and Remko Oosterveld, GLOBALG.A.P. c/o FoodPLUS GmbH

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