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ADAS Secures Grant to Assess Global Sustainable Impact of Feeding Poultry

19 April 2013

UK - ADAS received a substantial grant from Sainsbury’s Innovation Fund to examine the extent to which higher levels of UK produced rapeseed meal (RSM) can be substituted for soybean meal (SBM) in broiler chicken diets, without compromising productivity or welfare, whilst reducing the environmental impact and improving sustainability of poultry meat production, writes Stephen Edge.

It is hoped that this work could act as a springboard to further replacement of soybean meal (SBM) by other UK sourced, non-GM materials such as peas, beans, and distillers dried grains and solubles (DDGS).

This project addresses concerns in the industry about the continuing use of imported SBM due to the potential negative environmental impact of production in 3rd countries as well as the scarcity of supply of non-GM SBM. Replacing SBM with RSM and other UK sourced feed products will contribute to a more sustainable poultry feed supply for Sainsbury’s and for the overall industry.

ADAS will work closely with a number of commercial partners within Sainsbury’s supplier network covering broiler production and processing, diet formulation and feed production and ancillary services including taste panel and nutritional analysis. The results of this work could have far reaching implications for the sustainable feeding of broilers in the UK and beyond, providing real and long term benefits of all stakeholders across the supply chain. The project addresses the important issue of avoiding GM raw materials as well as tackling the wider global environmental issues associated with “slash and burn” deforestation associated with soya production.

A logical follow on from this research would be to consider ways to substitute the remaining SBM in broiler rations with other home-grown (and non-GM) sources of protein such as peas and beans DDGS etc. The project fits well with Sainsbury’s 20x20 Sustainability Plan which includes a commitment to source all key raw materials sustainably and to help reduce global deforestation. Whilst the UK is a relatively minor player in the global production of broilers, the results from this research could prove that alternative feed rations which reduce reliance on non-sustainable SBM are possible.

For more information contact Stephen Edge, Head of Sustainable Livestock Production on 01626 779541 (07836 270743) or via email Stephen.edge@adas.co.uk.

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