FEDIAF, Brussels, 7 September 2022 – There are more than 90 million European households benefiting from the love and companionship of over 300 million pets. They may soon face a big challenge: keeping them fed.
FEDIAF –The European Pet Food Industry, representing pet food manufacturers operating in Europe, is sounding the alarm over a significant threat to the continued supply of pet food, as a result of planned changes to EU rules on biofuel.
New proposals in the European Parliament and Council risk creating incentives for the use of safe animal fat by-products (called category 3) as biofuels, allowing the aviation and maritime industries to burn key pet food ingredients in plane and ship engines. These by-products are not waste but valuable and sustainable ingredients essential to our pets’ diets. Raw materials, primarily by-products of human food processing, are already in short supply, and key to providing companion animals with safe and nutritious food.
This proposed move in European legislation is underway despite reputable NGOs demonstrating that there are other ways of making transport more sustainable — and without negatively impacting the supply of pet food. Even the airline industry itself has expressed its opposition to the move. Animal fats with high food safety risk (called category 1 and 2), which cannot be used in pet food or animal feed due to safety reasons, are more suitable for use in biofuels for the transport sector.
Decarbonization of transport has become one of the key pillars of the European Green Deal, something that FEDIAF wholeheartedly supports. “However, we do not believe that valuable pet food ingredients belong in engines” says FEDIAF President, Rosa Carbonell. “Animal fats are essential to our pets’ diets. We do not think that essential pet food ingredients should be diverted to aviation and maritime engines.” Carbonell concluded.
Category 3 animal fats cannot be easily replaced and, even then, only by less-sustainable options in direct competition with human food. As a result, pet food manufactures are concerned that this move would drive up the carbon footprint of pet food, after decades of major progress, without making transport fuels more sustainable. It would also drive-up prices for pet food at a time when EU consumers are already under significant pressure from the rising cost of living.
If policymakers push through these incentives for aviation and marine fuel, it will make it very difficult to feed pets across the EU and heighten the risk of shortages. The food crisis may soon reach our pets, too. The EU’s pet food sector serves over 300 million companion animals in Europe each year and provides direct (and indirect) employment to more than 1 million European citizens.
Meanwhile, FEDIAF will continue to raise awareness of the beneficial role pets play in society. FEDIAF hopes policymakers will join its members and demonstrate that decarbonizing transport should not come at the expense of over 300 million family pets and their 90 million owners across Europe.
For more information:
Contact: Alice Tempel Costa, Technical Director
Rue de l’Industrie 11,
Box 10, B – 1000 Brussels
FEDIAF represents the interests of 15 European national pet food associations, together with five pet food manufacturers operating in Europe. FEDIAF members provide safe products that benefit pets and society. FEDIAF believes that pet ownership can enhance the lives of all Europeans. Today there are 90 million European households benefitting from the love and companionship of their 300+ million pets. In Europe, there are an estimated 110,000 people directly employed and 950,000 indirectly employed throughout the pet food industry. FEDIAF is the voice of the European pet food industry.