The world is currently facing the challenge of feeding an ever-growing population within the limits of the earth. To achieve this, it is important to make optimum use of raw materials and to avoid wastage. We therefore see a rapidly growing interest in creating closed-loop cycles, also in the UK.
What is it?
Arable farmers grow crops like cereals, fruit and vegetables. Foodstuff producers process the crops into products for the end user/consumer, such as beer, chips and biofuels.
Another part of the crop is used as nutritious animal feed. These products are sometimes referred to as co-products. Farmers use these co-products to feed their livestock so that they can produce meat and milk for humans.
The manure produced by livestock is again used by the arable farmers to fertilise their land, to support the growth of their crops. The result is a closed-loop cycle that makes optimum use of the crops.
Creating a closed-loop cycle is not easy. All of the links in the chain have a responsibility to fulfil. Together the links ensure that the raw materials are used optimally and that sufficient crops continue to be produced to feed the growing world population.
Livestock and therefore farmers are indispensable!
Livestock is unique! Without it there can be no closed-loop cycle. Livestock converts the co-products, which are inedible for humans, into meat and milk. And their manure is essential to fertilising the land on which the arable farmers produce their crops.
Livestock farmers are therefore indispensable to creating closed-loop cycles. They compose the rations (or, the ‘menu’) for their livestock in a way that competes as little as possible with producing food for humans. That is why they feed their animals crops grown on land not suitable for human food production (for instance grass). The farmer supplements the menu with co-products.
Duynie Feed is the lynchpin in creating closed-loop cycles, by linking together the demand for and supply of co-products.
- As a service-oriented business, Duynie Feed provides for the smooth processing of co-products (for instance storage, transport and quality control). Producers can therefore concentrate fully on the production of foodstuffs and biofuels.
- Duynie Feed subsequently ensures that the co-products can serve as nutritious and sustainable animal feed. Duynie Feed’s parent company, Duynie Group, also uses co-products to produce pet food, for technical appliances, and as biomass.
The other links within the cycle also have a responsibility to fulfil.
- Producers of foodstuffs and biofuels attempt to make optimum use of raw materials to avoid any wastage. They are also actively engaged in finding ways to derive value from the side-products of their own production processes, to prevent wasting food.
- Arable farmers use their land to produce crops for human food. They also use livestock manure to fertilise their land.
- The public authority plays an important facilitating role. It needs to enable all links in the chain to make optimum use of the opportunities to create closed-loop cycles.
Consumers choose to adopt sustainable food consumption habits, for instance by minimising food wastage.
From food for humans to co-products
Producers of foodstuffs and biofuels process crops into foodstuffs and biofuels. Co-products are a side-product of this process. So there is a connection between what the consumer eats and the co-products that are fed to livestock. To give an example: potatoes are used to produce chips and crisps. Potato peels are produced as a part of this process. This co-product is nutritious for a pig.
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