According to the United Nations, the current global population of nearly 7.7 billion is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. Shifts in population growth coupled with changing diets are also set to boost the global demand for milk and meat by 57% and 48% by 2050 (taking 2005 as a baseline). Unless we bring about some fundamental changes to the food chain, meeting such demands will prove to be an impossible task.
There are simply not enough resources to fulfill the future demands of animals and humans alike. In light of such pressing concerns, researchers are focusing more on feed ingredients to address the issue of sustainability. From converting methane-eating bacteria into a protein-rich feed to plumping up fly larvae by feeding them waste, the race is on to discover viable solutions.
In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the leading influencers within the feed industry in the coming decades.
Increased Scrutiny on Animal Feed
For a decade or two, there is a noticeable increase in concern over the ethics and treatment of the poultry and livestock industries. A growing number of consumers are asking farms questions pertaining to animal treatment, slaughtering methodologies, feed nutrition, and how the meat is packed and transported.
This is in part due to instances of poor treatment or abuse of animals at the hands of farm management as well as growing health concerns. Compared to the past, consumers are more educated and aware of how nutrition affects the animals they eat and how that, in turn, affects humans.
Growing scrutiny over animal feed led to governments keeping a closer eye on industry practices, passing laws that directly affect the feed industry, and increased media attention. The primary reason behind the growing scrutiny and concerns is nutrition that is inadequate in terms of both quality and quantity—a fact highlighted by a study published on intechopen.
There continues to crop up instances of feeds containing hazards such as PCB’s, myotoxins, high dioxin levels, and heavy metals—toxins with the potential to impact food quality and consumer health. It is hoped that the increased scrutiny coupled with advancements in technology will positively impact feed safety standards.
Accelerating Global Population
As mentioned previously, the global population is expected to spike in the coming decades. With such a large number of hungry people to feed, the demand for feed is expected to skyrocket.
According to a report published by PwC, the world economy is projected to increase at a rate of 3% per annum and is set to double and then triple by 2037 and 2050 respectively. The consequence of this growth is the availability of more livestock and by extension, a global rise in meat consumption.
Climate change has never been more noticeable than it is today. A fact that has led to an increase in both political and public awareness regarding the agriculture industry. High rates of industrialization in developing nations coupled with methane gas emissions from animal waste are having a direct impact on the ozone layer.
To create a positive public image, industries are expected to adopt sustainability efforts. Feed businesses will become more customer-oriented by growing their environmental footprint. As greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of animal production receive more attention, feed farms and mills will inevitably adopt efficient processes.
Technological Impact on Feed Production
High-tech feed production is expected to take center stage as feed additive supply and food production will become increasingly complex and feed mixtures more scientific. The entire feed mill is expected to become smarter, especially now that NIR or near-infrared spectroscopy is growing in commercial applications.
Such technology enables real-time analysis of incoming raw materials as well as the reformulation of diets to ensure consistency in each batch.
Aside from growing demand, feed companies must also deal with rising prices of feed commodities and loss of fertile farmland. In an attempt to reduce production costs while seeking ways to increase efficiency, food processing equipment and plants must also evolve. An example is the advancements in extrusion technology and that has led to safer food production processes.
Research and development have also given way to biological remodeling that explores the dynamics of nutrient digestion as opposed to traditional feeding practices. While it is somewhat impossible to predict future governmental regulations, these are a few trends expected to impact the feed industry.
To best address these needs, feed companies will need to look towards industrial equipment suppliers offering aqua feed and pet food extrusion equipment. CFAM is one such business that has been leading the way for research and development related to feed and food processing technologies.
Contact them today to view their products and services.