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Pig and Poultry feed derogation extended…

Date Published: 24/11/2017

In response to industry calls for legal certainty for the organic poultry and pig sector, the European Union Commission has taken the necessary steps to adopt an implementing regulation that extends a referred derogation until 31 December 2018.

As we reported in September the organic feed derogation for organic pigs and poultry was due to expire at the end of this year. However due to continued restriction on supplies of organic protein we joined a call for the existing rules to be extended while work continues across the industry on looking for viable solutions.

Organic farmers are currently allowed to feed their pig and poultry up to 5% non-organic protein, as laid down in Article 43 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008.

As there is insufficient protein of the necessary quality available to organic pig and poultry farmers there were genuine concerns that withdrawal of the ability to feed this 5% allowance would have had significant welfare implications, particularly in the case of poultry.

The organic regulation is currently undergoing reform and under this reform the new EU organic regulation would continue to allow for a derogation, under certain conditions, related to the use of non-organic protein feed in the nutrition of poultry and pigs. It envisaged that this would then be reviewed five years after the implementation of the new regulation in January 2021.

The new reform does, however, strengthen the previous requirements related to feed coming from the farm itself and other sources for livestock: “Feed for livestock shall be obtained primarily from the agricultural holding where the animals are kept or from organic or in-conversion production units of other holdings in the same region.”

The new regulation is also tighter in terms of the percentage of feed coming from the farm itself: for the nutrition of ruminants and equine animals, this inclusion would increase from 60% to 70% two years after January 2021; for poultry and pigs, it would increase from 20% to 30%.

We will keep you informed when there are any further updates on this issue.