By giving former foodstuffs a secondary destination in feed for food producing animals, former foodstuff processors manage to retain food losses in the food chain.
As can be seen in the “food and drink material hierarchy” developed by WRAP, the forwarding of food to animal feed, once it can no longer be redistributed to people, is part of food waste reduction. Another point that comes forward from the hierarchy is the fact that valorising former foodstuffs into animal feed is by no means a form of waste treatment, as is the case for bioenergy and compost applications.
By offering food producers a consistent and sustainable outlet for their food losses as well as a non-land using alternative to grains for compound feed manufacturers, former foodstuff processors are an exceptional example of resource efficiency in the EU circular economy. If all estimated 5 million tonnes of former foodstuffs processed into animal feed in the EU would have to be replaced by for example wheat production, an approximate 350.000 hectares would be needed. Effectively, the use of former foodstuffs in animal feed enables the release of those hectares of grain production into primary food production.