Just Agriculture, Alimentation Sovereignty and Forest Use

Import ban for animal feed

What's the problem?

About one third of the agricultural products fed to animals in Germany are imported (BMEL). Legume imports play a major role: according to GLEAM, the destruction of the rainforest due to imported soy alone leads to emissions of almost 16 million tonnes of CO2/Eq, which is almost 20% of German emissions from animal production.

In addition, German imports of feed of edible fruits (such as barley, maize, palm kernels, rapeseed) and fishery products drive up the global market prices, at the expense of the poorer part of the world population and with the consequence of hunger and malnutrition.

What's the measure?

The termination of feed imports must be the first step in the process of reducing livestock production (see the measure: Voluntary commitment to reduce livestock production) and must take place as soon as possible within a period of a few years.

How can this be implemented?

Any free trade agreements affected must be terminated, renegotiated by consensus or temporarily ignored. The import ban can be decreed by law. Small farms affected by the measure should receive the necessary funds for conversion, see also: Climate and nature protection as part of the job description for farmers*.

How does this work against climate change?

Even if animal feed were replaced by domestic products, the 16 million tonnes of CO2/Eq mentioned above could be saved directly. If, as is to be expected, the import ban is accompanied by a decline in animal production, the savings are derived from the key data for animal production (see: Voluntary commitment to reduce animal production).

Which other positive effects does the measure have?

Reduction of the expansion of areas for soy monocultures, thus protecting the tropical rainforests and preserving the habitats of the indigenous population, saving fossil raw materials for the transport of animal feed across continental borders.

How long does it take for the measure to become effective?

The savings could be seen immediatly 

Continuative literature and sources

GLEAM/FAO: Model evaluation for Germany with standard parameters from 25.10.2019.

BMEL. Statistical Yearbook on Food, Agriculture and Forestry of the Federal Republic of Germany. Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, 2015.