EU legislation on deforestation sparks concerns in feed sector

08 May 20242 min reading

The new EU legislation aimed at curbing deforestation is causing apprehension within the animal feed industry, with potential implications for prices and supply chains. Concerns center around the stringent requirements for sourcing products like soybeans, cocoa, and palm oil, amid fears of bureaucratic hurdles and insufficient oversight capacity in member states.

The European Union's efforts to combat deforestation have taken a regulatory turn, but the animal feed sector is bracing for impact. The legislation, set to take effect next year, aims to ensure deforestation-free supply chains for products such as soybeans, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, and beef. However, industry insiders are voicing concerns over the practical implications and potential consequences of the new rules.

Jaime Piçarra
Secretary-General of the IACA

"The European Union, rightly so, is concerned about deforestation and combating it, but what seems to us is that this might not be the best way to do it," remarked Jaime Piçarra, Secretary-General of the IACA (Portuguese Feed Industry Association), highlighting uncertainties surrounding the legislation's implementation.

With member states facing challenges in verifying the origins of soybeans, a key ingredient in animal feed, worries abound regarding potential disruptions to supply chains and price hikes. The situation has prompted about 20 member states to petition European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski to reconsider the legislation, citing concerns over its feasibility and impact on market dynamics.

Despite the EU's noble intentions, industry stakeholders are urging policymakers to consider alternative strategies for combating deforestation while ensuring the stability of essential supply chains. Portugal, a significant importer of soybeans for animal feed, finds itself grappling with the prospect of reduced autonomy in sourcing, highlighting the broader implications of the legislation for member states' agricultural sectors.

As industry representatives convene for the General Industry Meeting, the debate over the EU's deforestation legislation is set to take center stage, underscoring the importance of striking a balance between environmental conservation and economic sustainability in the global food supply chain.

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