Innovation to tackle climate change. Generating facts about feed additives and livestock production

On 21 September 2020 at 15:00 CEST, the FAO Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (FAO LEAP) Partnership will be hosting the webinar Innovation to tackle climate change. Generating facts about feed additives and livestock production.

The general objective of the event is to raise awareness about the FAO LEAP guidelines to assess the environmental impacts of feed additives, from their production to their use in diverse livestock systems and regions.

More specifically, the event will provide an opportunity to learn about feed additives and animal feeding, how they relate to food safety and food quality, and to what extent they can represent a bold action for the climate and the environment. The event will, finally, discuss strategies to make innovation and associated environmental benefits visible through knowledge transfer mechanisms.

The event will kick off with the opening remarks by FAO, governments and the LEAP chair 2020. Prof. Ermias Kebreab and Chaouki Benchaar, leaders of the LEAP Feed Additives Technical Advisory Group (TAG) leaders, will introduce the topic and present the guidelines. Following a panel discussion with LEAP and FAO partners, participants will have the opportunity to comment and ask questions.

The 90-minute webinar welcomes everyone interested in environmental assessment of feed and livestock production, including representatives from governments private sector, non-governmental organizations, civil society, investment organizations, standardization bodies, academia, research and foundations.

Watch the video recording


15:00 - 15:08 | Welcome address

  • Ms. Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, FAO
  • Mr. Pablo Frere, LEAP chair 2020, World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP)

15:08 - 15:20 | Opening remarks

  • H.E. Carlos María Uriarte, Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries of Uruguay  
  • H.E. Charlie McConalogue, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of Ireland

15:20 - 15:25 | Feed additives: an introduction

  • Mr. Chaouki Benchaar, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, FAO LEAP Feed Additives Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Co-chair

15:25 - 15:35 | Environmental performance of feed additives in livestock supply chains. Guidelines for assessment

  • Mr. Ermias Kebreab, University of California, Davis, USA, FAO LEAP Feed Additives Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Chair

15:35 - 15:40 | Q&A

15:40 - 16:10 | Panel discussion

  • Ms. Gracia Brisco, Codex Alimentarius
  • Mr. Daniel Bercovici, International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF)
  • Mr. Miguel Resina, Resina Farm, Argentina
  • Mr. Pablo Manzano, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • Mr. Rob Kinley, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia

Moderator: Mr. Timothy Robinson, Senior Livestock Policy Officer, Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch, FAO

16:10 - 16:25 | Q&A

Moderator: Ms. Cliodhnagh Conlon, Associate Director, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)

16:25 - 16:30 | Closing remark

  • Mr. Henning Steinfeld, Chief, Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch, FAO

Master of Ceremonies: Mr. Thomas Pesek, Liaison Office for North America (LOW), FAO


A central role of animal-sourced proteins in sustainable diets can only be secured in the next decades through innovation in animal feeding and better environmental management of livestock production. Only by drastically reducing emission intensities and the draw on natural resources the sector will be able to cope with growing demand for livestock products, the exacerbated competition for resources with other sectors, and with ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

The Code of Practice on Good Animal Feeding produced by Codex Alimentarius defines feed additives as “Any intentionally added ingredient not normally consumed as feed by itself, whether or not it has nutritional value, which affects the characteristics of feed or animal products.”

Feed additives nowadays have many functions, including: increasing nutrient absorption; reducing methane emissions from enteric fermentation; and reducing nutrients emissions from management and deposition of manure.

Given the proliferation of environmental assessment methodologies and the need to provide evidence in support of policies on sustainable livestock production, the FAO LEAP Partnership has worked on the harmonization of methods to assess the environmental footprint of feed additives.

The guidelines are complementary to risk assessments and enable synergies and tradeoffs to be sought among SDGs, whilst also being relevant to substantive climate action in the context of the Paris Agreement.