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Ukraine war: produce less animal feed for meat products to ensure global food security, says NGO

18 March 2022

 

Food awareness organisation ProVeg International is calling upon EU ministers meeting on Monday 21 March not to water down Europe’s Farm-to-Fork sustainability strategy in response to food security concerns raised by the war in Ukraine.

Instead, ministers should look towards speeding up the shift to plant-based diets and reducing the amount of grains poured into animal feed. Researchers have found that growing food exclusively for direct human consumption rather than as animal feed and biofuel production could potentially increase available food calories by as much as 70%, which could feed an additional 4 billion people.

Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg International, said: “It is important to continue in the direction guided by the EU’s Farm-to-Fork strategy of reducing the amount of grains that are fed to animals. The grains that the world is so dependent upon are more efficiently used for feeding people directly rather than going into the more wasteful and polluting animal agriculture industry.”

The ProVeg stance echoes the call by 180 scientific experts in a paper published today that proposes a three-pronged approach to ensuring food security in light of the disruption to the supply chain caused by the war in Ukraine.

The scientists recommend Europe’s policymakers to:

  • Accelerate the shift towards healthier diets with less animal products in Europe and other high-income countries, which would reduce the amount of grains needed for animal feed;
  • Increase production of legumes and further greening EU agricultural policies, also to reduce the dependency on nitrogen fertilisers or natural gas from Russia; and
  • Reduce the amount of food waste, since for instance the amount of wheat wasted in the EU alone is roughly equivalent to half the amount of Ukraine’s wheat exports.

The recommendations are a response to agricultural bodies pushing the European Commission to steer from the Farm-to-Fork strategy by making more land available for agriculture to compensate for supply restrictions from Russia and Ukraine. 

Any such move would prove to be disastrous for biodiversity as fallow land would be ploughed up to increase animal feed production. With biodiversity decreasing at an alarming rate, particularly farmland birds and insects, any further reduction in fallow land threatens serious consequences for nature.

 

Notes to Editors

To interview ProVeg on this issue, contact Jasmijn de Boo at [email protected]

 

About ProVeg International

ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.

ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.

ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.

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