Resource Efficiency Champions: Co-Products, an Essential Part of Animal Nutrition

Food-producing farm animals, especially ruminants such as cattle and sheep, have the unique capacity of being able to keep the co-products of arable product processing that are not consumed by people as food or drink, or used to produce biofuels or other industrial products, in the food chain.

As a result, the livestock sector makes a vital contribution to the circular economy. This benefit is generally overlooked and these elements of agricultural production are often unknown. The resulting feed materials are typically derived from a process where the main activity is the creation of a different consumer product, such as beverages, food, biofuels or other industrial applications. They are called co-products as their existence is an unavoidable consequence of the lead process, but they are nonetheless extremely valuable. Harnessing co-products supports the sustainability and profitability of the entire food production system, and they are associated with the manufacture of all types of food, whether meat-, dairy- or vegetable-based.