17.11.2014

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Nowadays it is hard to imagine European livestock production without soya-based feed. But this trend has had a massive impact on rural areas in the global South – the bulk of the soya fed to livestock in Europe is imported from Argentina and Brazil. That is not sustainable, says WWF’s Birgit Wilhelm, who advocates a change in mindset.

Tofu, soya milk and soya sauce – those are the products we tend to think of when we hear the word soya. But only about one fifth of the soya produced worldwide is used as food. Very few livestock producers grow all the feed for their animals on the farmland they manage; many of the purchased feed compounds contain soya beans as the principal protein component. In Germany, approximately 20 per cent of the imported soya is fed to cattle, 30 per cent to pigs and 50 per cent to poultry.

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