A key challenge in improving the sustainability of organic monogastric production is meeting the required levels of nutrients from locally sourced organic feeds. Organic pig and poultry systems have been allowed a derogation from the EU Organic Regulatory Board to include up to 5% non-organic feed within their rations. After an extension of 3 years, this derogation will finish at the end of December 2014. From then on all producers will be required to feed monogastric animals a 100% organic diet. The derogation has been extended until the end of 2014 but it is inevitable that producers will be required to shift to a 100% organic diet. There is however, very little experience and limited information on the implications of a shift in feeding strategy to 100% organic for monogastric production, animal health and welfare and sustainability.
The Improved Contribution of local feed to support 100% Organic feed supply to Pigs and Poultry (ICOPP) project is a collaboration of 15 partners across 10 European countries, financed through CORE Organic 2. It will bring together an extended knowledge of different local feeds and their wider impact on growth, health and welfare and the environment to identify feeding strategies which comply with organic principles.
The aim is to produce economically profitable feeding strategies based on 100% organic feed across Europe, which will supply poultry and pigs the required level of nutrients in different phases of production and support high animal health and welfare through the following activities:
- Improved knowledge of availability and nutritional value of underutilized or new organic feed ingredients with a focus on local feed resources
- Impact of different types of local concentrates on productivity, health, behaviour and welfare of pigs and poultry in different production phases
- Improved understanding of the possible benefits of roughage inclusion in relation to nutritional and behavioural needs as well as its impact on health and welfare
- Understanding how direct foraging in the outdoor area can contribute to meeting the animals nutritional needs
- Assessing the economic and environmental consequences of increased reliance on local organically produced feed