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Feed maker ForFarmers to utilise food waste amid rising calls for sustainable farming

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Dutch animal feed maker ForFarmers on Thursday said it planned to use food waste and alternative raw materials to develop new feeds to meet consumer demand for more sustainable agricultural practices.

The group, which produces feed for the ruminant, swine and poultry sectors, cited faster than expected shift in market trends as it revised its 2025 strategy first unveiled in 2020.

To sharpen its focus and address societal concerns over climate change and animal welfare among others, ForFarmers will set up a new organisation, including its organic feed division Reudink, to develop and market new feed concepts.

"We will start with this in the Netherlands. Examples include concepts which use alternative raw materials or incorporate more moist co-products and residual flows from the food industry," ForFarmers said in a statement.

The group said the European Union's plan to decarbonise its economy by 2050, higher raw material and energy costs, farm consolidation and faster herd reduction, and tightening labour market had led to overcapacity in feed production, putting pressure on its results.

The Netherlands, one of the world's largest agricultural exporters with its intensive cattle and pig farming, aims to halve its nitrogen emissions by 2030, prompting protests from farmers angry at plans that may force them to use less fertiliser and reduce livestock.

ForFarmers, which operates in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Poland and Britain, targets consolidated return on average capital employed of at least 10% based on underlying operating profit by 2025.

It refrained from giving a guidance for the current year, citing changing markets and geopolitical and economic uncertainties.

The group earlier this month reported a 17% drop in third-quarter core profit hit by the hot summer, outbreaks of animal diseases, and rising energy costs it could not fully pass on in the supply chain. (Reporting by Diana Mandiá in Gdansk; Editing by Milla Nissi)

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