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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
on March 11, 2008

Beyond sustainability: Paving the road green

WATT kicked off the new year with the launch of EcoAgri.Biz, a new vehicle to offer sustainable yet profitable solutions for animal agribusiness and suddenly green takes on a whole new meaning.

No longer a watchdog on the sidelines of big agribusiness, the Green Movement has moved from the fringe to the frontline as businesses in the animal feed industry and the rest of agriculture grapple with the need to be environmentally responsible.

Some would say agriculture's interest in proactively addressing environmental concerns is long overdue. It's estimated that globally, ruminant livestock produce about 80 million metric tons of methane annually, accounting for about 28 percent of all global methane emission from human-related activities. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), livestock are responsible for 18 percent of green house gas emission as measured in carbon dioxide equivalent. This includes 9 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions, 37 percent of methane and 65 percent of nitrous oxide. Methane has 23 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide and is expected to cause between 15 to 17 percent of the global warming over the next 50 years.

Meeting the information need

At WATT, we recognized the need for resources in the form of information on sound, sustainable solutions as the animal agriculture sector reinvents itself into a more environmentally friendly version. Enter EcoAgri.Biz, the digital magazine, website and webinar series developed to help animal agribusiness managers increase profitability through effective environmental stewardship.

This new multi-faceted approach draws on WATT's worldwide expertise across the animal agribusiness markets. The editors of WATT Poultry USA, Industria Avicola, Poultry International, Egg Industry, Feed Management, Feed International and Pig International are pooling their reporting skills to bring you the latest news, features and information on how the growing interest in going green' will impact your markets.

While some may feel that publicity over the Green Movement smacks of a well-orchestrated but superficial cause nearing fad status, such people would be ill-advised to ignore the writing on the solar panel. Consumer preference has changed and consumers are having a stronger and louder voice throughout the food chain, all the way back to the farm. That consumer demand and thirst for knowledge is sure to take a close look at all steps of the animal agriculture process, including animal feed.

Recognising the significance of the sustainable movement and the advantages of taking a proactive stance, WATT launched EcoAgri.Biz under the premise that the animal agribusiness sector can not only become more environmentally sensitive, but can make the changes necessary to go green while keeping the greenin the form of profitsin its pocket. And this is not a pipe dreambuilding a more sustainable future for animal agriculture is already being done by many of you.

There are companies in the animal agriculture business that have made natural' product lines, environmentally responsible operations and facilities, and only the faintest of carbon footprints a part of their strategic plan for years. And they are doing so at a profit. Others in the industry have had their attention elsewhere and are just now looking for the resources necessary to address sustainable needs of their businesses. Many companies lie in between and both ends of the spectrum have something to gain from the sharing and networking and exchange of ideas available through EcoAgri.Biz.

Multi-faceted solutions

In addition to informative articles, the website also offers discussion boards, videos, archived webinars, and a products spotlight with the focus on environmental innovations. With the project just off the ground, you can look for the offering to expand as we bring you more examples of good environmental management. But even as the project grows, we will not leave sight of the need to ensure solutions are profitable. We hope you will be a part of EcoAgri.Biz.

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