The Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), along with The Context Network, officially launched a project this month to develop a sustainability road map for the animal food industry. The road map will support the advancement of both corporate sustainability programs and climate-smart initiatives with key stakeholders. Through industry and stakeholder assessment, IFEEDER will evaluate risks and opportunities within each animal food industry segment to determine the extent of support to be mapped and further developed.
“Our recent conversations with member companies about their sustainability programs have illuminated the fact that everyone in our industry – no matter where they are at in their sustainability journeys – wants to do more to help their customers achieve their climate pledges and meet changing consumer expectations,” said Lara Moody, IFEEDER’s executive director. “By leveraging the expertise of The Context Network, our goal is to use research and analysis to identify and advance strategies and tools our members can use to improve their sustainability programs and meet the needs of their stakeholders.”
The road map development will be conducted in three phases, with the first phase focusing on developing a gap analysis to understand the barriers preventing companies from launching or measuring progress on sustainability programs and mapping the stakeholders impacted by industry initiatives. The second phase will be to conduct qualitative and quantitative research by working with select scientific advisors focused on environmental sustainability in the feed industry along with AFIA members and key supply chain advisors. The last phase will be developing key findings, tools and strategies the industry can use to advance their sustainability programs and communicate their vision to key influencers.
“A good sustainability road map will enable all members of the U.S. feed and pet food industry to collaboratively make progress on issues that are important to them, their customers and the communities they operate in,” said Matt Sutton-Vermeulen, principal of The Context Network. “That means companies that have yet to begin their sustainability journeys will have an ‘on-ramp’ to get up to speed, while other companies with mature sustainability programs will be able to stay on track to make continuous improvements.”
IFEEDER continues to seek partners willing to join in the sustainability road map project, which is one part of its multifaceted strategies to advance understanding and trust in a sustainable animal food industry. To date, Arm and Hammer Animal and Food Production, Animix, LLC, Anipro/Xtraformance Feeds, Belstra Milling, Berg+Schmidt America, LLC, Bill Barr & Company, Inc., CJ Bio America, Inc., ED&F Man Liquid Products LLC, Elanco Animal Health, Kemin, The Mosaic Company, United Animal Health, Inc., Westway Feed Products and Zinpro Corporation have joined the effort.
More about IFEEDER’s sustainability road map project, including recent webinars with The Context Network, can be found at ifeeder.org/sustainability/.
Founded in 2009 by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), the Institute for Feed Education and Research is a 501 (c)(3) public charity and is a critical link in the ever-evolving food supply chain. Serving as a champion for the animal food industry, IFEEDER supports critical education and research initiatives that ensure consumers have access to a safe, healthy and sustainable food supply. IFEEDER focuses its work in two primary areas: funding critical animal feed and pet food research to support AFIA’s legislative and regulatory positions, and developing appropriate messaging for policymakers, consumer influencers and stakeholders which highlights the industry’s positive contributions to the availability of safe, wholesome and affordable food, and the preservation of our natural resources.
The Context Network is the premier global agribusiness business management and strategy consulting firm, providing services to the world’s leading agriculture, biotechnology and food companies. Through its broad-ranging set of associates and dynamic network of experts, Context assembles best in class project teams dedicated to delivering customer value across both global and local markets in food, fuel and fiber.