GMO-free feed sufficiently available despite Ukraine war

- The war in Ukraine is bringing material flows and supply chains to a stumble or even to a standstill. GMO-free feed ingredients are also imported from Ukraine and Russia, but sufficient quantities of rapeseed and soybean meal are currently available. The "Ohne Gentechnik" [Non-GMO] sector is in close internal communication and is preparing for possible future shortages.

The actual extent of conceivable future shortages or temporary non-availabilities and their duration is estimated rather differently in media reports. However, research and inquiries clearly show that protein feed such as rapeseed and soybean meal continue to be available in sufficient quantities and that dependence on Ukrainian imports remains within reasonable limits.

Keep a clear head in difficult times

"We should keep a clear head even in difficult times. In the current debate, uncertainties, expectations and the actual current situation sometimes get confused. It is important to distinguish between short-, medium- and long-term availability, but also between availability and prices. Availability is currently given, but there is actually a significant price hike, which is a major problem for farms. Farmers must not be left alone to bear the additional costs. Here we rely on solidarity along the value chain, the costs must be passed on," says VLOG Managing Director Alexander Hissting.

"It is good that German Agriculture Minister Özdemir does not allow himself to be driven crazy by demands instrumentalizing the war in Ukraine in order to question a more sustainable food production. Self-sufficiency, environmental protection and the absence of genetic engineering are not opposites, they belong together."

Nine percent soy from Ukraine

The share of GMO-free soybean meal imported from Ukraine and Russia recently accounted for about 9 percent of the total amount of soybean meal fed to animals in Germany, according to the Danube Soya Association. Despite the war, shipments from Ukraine continue to arrive. The Danube Soya office in Kiev is continues to be active and expects the Ukrainian soybean harvest in 2022 to be 70 percent of the previous year's volume.

GMO-free soybean meal currently available

According to market research conducted by VLOG, non-GMO soybean meal is currently available on the markets. At Germany's main soybean meal discharge port of Brake, goods ordered from European ports and the current crop from Brazil arrive on schedule. According to Danube Soya, there are larger stocks in northern Italy. The main German crushing plant for non-GMO soy, ADM Straubing, is delivering and considers supplies largely secure until the new harvest in Europe.

Ten percent rapeseed from Ukraine

In the case of rapeseed, a total of about 10 percent of the total volume has so far come from Ukraine, according to the Association of the Oilseed Processing Industry in Germany (OVID). The portion of the 2021 crop destined for export has already been fully exported. Possible lower Ukrainian rapeseed exports in 2022 could be compensated from other regions, according to market experts.

Situation better than expected, but still provision for all scenarios

"Currently, then, the supply situation looks better than it initially appeared to some observers. Nevertheless, it is important to prepare for negative scenarios. I am very pleased that the entire 'Ohne Gentechnik' sector is engaged in an intensive, close exchange on this topic. Together, we are taking precautions for all conceivable scenarios and are also preparing solutions in the event that, in individual cases, GMO-free feed is not available temporarily in the future," says Alexander Hissting.

Ensuring animal supply and consumer information

To this end, VLOG is in close contact with companies, associations, authorities and politicians. The aim is to ensure the nourishment for animals at all times and simultaneously to ensure that companies can remain in the VLOG system as far as possible. If GMO-free feeding should not be possible throughout, transparent consumer information must be guaranteed throughout.

"The current feedstuff availability enables VLOG to collaborate with all stakeholders with care and well-coordinated, but also with high priority on the finalization of the rules," says Alexander Hissting.

Danube Soya: GMO-free feed available despite Ukraine war (in German)

OVID: Ukraine war tightens supply of edible oils and protein feed (in German)