13th and 14th November Cargill’s Provimi business hosted in Barcelona the Animal Nutrition Seminar 2013 targeting solutions to meet food production challenges.
250 international delegates were present to hear the following messages:
• ‘Technology always prevails over culture’ from Dr. Marty Matlock from the Arkansas University, and a director of the Office of Sustainability.
• Mr. Hall Cargill Corporate Vice President encouraged the audience of animal nutrition and health specialists:
- To develop and apply new technologies to meet the growing population - a message echoed by speakers throughout the two-day programme and especially in specific species seminars that focused on improving feed efficiency and productivity.
- He highlighted Provimi’s solutions that have been designed to improve the accuracy in meeting the nutritional demands of livestock and the importance of new developments that target more efficient and sustainable animal production.
- He emphasized the need to achieve this through sustainable methods and with greater consideration to environmental impact. The growing demand for meat and milk, particularly from less developed countries, must be met with finite resources.
• By 2050, Dr. Martin Scholten, managing director of the animal sciences group at Wageningen University, unfolded the challenge to produce doubling the amount of demand for meat and milk compared to today, while halving our ecological footprint.
He presented delegates with four key challenges:
- nutrition security, scientific support for the livestock sector,
- adaptation to new ideas in feed, gut health,
- manure management and grass,
- and how animals can perform more efficiently.
These are inter-related and the demand for more and better food but with fewer inputs will call for greater efficiency in livestock production.
Meeting the challenges will require best practice, better farm management and the development and adoption of new innovations.
And although there are alternatives, Dr. Scholten reassured delegates of the value of livestock as very efficient producers of livestock protein.
This view was shared by Dr. Marty Matlock from the University of Arkansas and a director of the Office of Sustainability. Despite data comparing the water requirements to produce bread compared with chicken or beef, he reminded the industry of the value of livestock in making use of proteins not available for human consumption. The notion that vegetarianism is the only way to eat to be sustainable is wrong!
However, sustainability is a key issue and delegates from all sectors were encouraged to reflect on the part they will play in contributing factors such as improved feed efficiency and reduced greenhouse gases.
Dr. Hink Perdok – Cargill Sustainability Projects Director has summarized the seminar as follows:
• Animal Nutrition 2.0 means that we have to do more with less
• Sustainable intensification is the most effective way of lowering the carbon footprint of meat, milk and eggs. Respect the 3Ps.
• Raising efficiency by applying best in class and novel technologies will be most effective in emerging regions, including Africa
• Water security is an integral part of sustainability
• Reducing food waste is a concrete way in which we can all contribute to sustainability and we can do it now.