Improving circularity by using residues and co-product as feed material

Publication date: 02-04-2019

Thirteen companies and research institutes have started a public private partnership to increase the use of co-products and residues as feed materials.

Feed industry has a key position in the circular economy

Improving resource use efficiency and closing nutrient cycles are key elements in a  circular bio-economy. It is a challenge to use every component of a raw material in the most sustainable way, and to generate the highest added value. Usually, high-value components can be extracted from the raw materials in rather small volumes, whereas large volumes of low-grade biomass should be utilised as well. Livestock production sectors are able to convert large volumes of co-products and residues from the food and biobased industry into valuable and high quality human food. The feed industry plays a crucial role in this process of conversion and upgrading. The expertise and equipment are available to re-use large volumes of co-products, in a safe and sustainable way. Moreover, feed applications have a rather favorable position in the so-called “value pyramid”.

Local sourcing

The consortium is especially interested to develop new local sourcing strategies and to improve the European self-sufficiency of feed resources.

One of the first activities in the collaboration is a study on the application and nutritional value of co-products from poultry slaughterhouses (“processed animal proteins”) in the diets of pigs. Results of this study will be available later this year.

Furthermore, research was started to extract phosphorus from plant-based co-products and to unlock proteins from grass and green leaves. The latter is an appealing example to improve the availability of local protein sources.

The consortium will frequently publish new results and findings, among other things via It is expected that the collaboration will contribute to a more circular and sustainable food and feed production.


ABZ Diervoeding, AgruniekRijnvallei Voer BV, Bonda’s veevoederbureau BV, Coppens Diervoeding, Darling Ingredients International Rendering and Specialties BV, EFPRA, Feed Design Lab, Noblesse Proteins, Nijsen/Granico BV, SARIA International GmbH, Schothorst Feed Research, Vitelia Voeders BV and Wageningen Livestock Research started the 4-year programme “Circular Bio-economy”. This collaboration is embedded within the Dutch Topsector Agri&Food (TKI-AF-17027).

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