Time: Friday, 19. January 2018, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: CityCube Berlin, Level 3, M8
On January 19, 2018, the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE), together with the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, organized an international panel discussion on “International perspectives for more sustainable protein feed”. Experts from Brazil, Hungary, Austria and Germany discussed i.a. the social and environmental impact of protein feed production in the countries of origin, the challenges for global trade and the positive approaches and trends for the future. Prof. Antonio Andrioli of the Federal University da Fronteira Sul (UFFS – Brazil) observed that the expansion of soybean production in Brazil is currently leading to human rights abuses and the destruction of livelihoods of small farmers and indigenous peoples, and welcomes a small-scale diversified agricultural production system including soybean cultivation. From the point of view of Matthias Krön of Danube Soy Association, Europe needs a protein transition, similar to the energy transition. He consider it appropriate to develop local protein strategies in Europe in addition to soy from overseas. The cultivation of domestic legumes promotes rural development, creates jobs, contributes to the protection and conservation of soil fertility and provides high-quality protein feed. For these reasons, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) launched the German protein crop strategy in 2012 in order to promote domestic legume cultivation in Germany. Clemens Neumann, head of department at the BMEL, made it clear that active steps are required at national and European level to make legumes economically competitive with imported soybeans and others local crops and to establish them in crop rotations, referring, among other to the Europe-Soya Declaration initiated by Hungary and Germany and signed by 14 EU Agriculture Ministers. Dr. Hanns-Christoph Eiden, president of the BLE, pointed it out, that valuable findings from the national measures of the German protein crop strategy such as the establishment of demonstration networks and the promotion of research projects at European and international level should be exchanged and disseminated. After all, other EU countries also want to promote the cultivation of legumes in Europe, such as soybeans, peas and broad beans, as part of the Europe-Soya Declaration, thereby supporting the achievement of UN sustainability goals. Prof. Gyricza from the National Research and Innovation Center for Agriculture from Hungary confirms this development and the great potential for the domestic cultivation of protein crops in Hungary. However, the feed protein demand for animal nutrition in Europe depends on protein feed from overseas and the establishment of cultivation guidelines could guarantee a sustainable soy production in countries of origin. According to Matthias Krön, interest in and awareness of protein feed from sustainable agriculture is growing in Europe and in China already, and for this reason, Danube Soy Association is working with Chinese and European players to develop a sustainability concept for protein feed, among others for import soy.
The panel has brought together perspectives and experiences from different countries, and discussed trends and challenges for more sustainable protein feeds in terms of responsible cultivation and worldwide trade. However, the answer to the challenge of more sustainable protein feed remains very complex.
Dr. Jürn Sanders
Research Associate; Thünen-Fachinstitut für Betriebswirtschaft
Directorate–General for “Bio-Based Economy, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry”; Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Dr. Hanns-Christoph Eiden
President; Federal Office for Agriculture and Food
Prof. Dr. Csaba Gyuricza
Director; National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre (NAIK)
Chairman; Association Danube Soya
Prof. Dr. Antonio Inâcio Andrioli
Professor, vice dean; Federal Univesity of Fronteira Sul (UFFS)