Valio will discontinue the use of soy in feed for cattle as it aims to stop feeding animals food that is suitable for human consumption.
The company said it is responding to an increased demand from consumers for dairy producers to reduce the environmental impact of their products.
Soy has already been replaced with other protein sources in Valio’s supplementary feed for dairy cows. The company’s goal is that also the feed for young cattle is soy-free by March 2019.
In practice, soy will be discontinued on dairy farms as of March 2018. The company said that having a one-year transition period ensures that dairy farm entrepreneurs can use up any of the soy-containing feed that they already have in stock or that has already been ordered.
Valio director of farm services Juha Nousiainen said: “Soy is the most important protein feed for animals globally. At the same time, it is also the most important source of plant protein for people. Part of Valio’s responsibility approach includes that we don’t feed animals food that is suitable for human consumption.”
The soy-free feed chain requirement applies to the dairy stock calves, heifers and dairy cattle of the Valio Group’s dairy farms. Likewise, animals that are part of the company’s milk production chain but raised outside the dairy farms will be fed soy-free feed.
The soy-free requirement doesn’t apply to other production animals at Valio dairy farms, animals like suckler cows, beef cattle or feeder calves. Prior soy feeding doesn’t prevent the buying or selling of the animals as long as feed containing soy is no longer given to animals in the milk production chain on Valio Group dairy farms.
Earlier this year, Valio announced it will pay a responsibility bonus to its farmers in Finland who commit to various measures to promote animal wellbeing.
The bonus is one cent per litre of milk. At present, about 80% of Valio dairy farms are covered by the reforms, and the goal is to have all farms involved by 2020.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018