World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

chickens eating food from someone's hands

Collaboration is Key to Meeting the Need for Feed

  • Date: 01 May 2023
  • Author: Sam Wildman, Sr. Program Officer – Sustainable Protein Systems, WWF

Over the past year, I’ve been lucky to collaborate with many American Feed Industry Association and Institute for Feed Education and Research staff and members, forging the first-ever partnership between our organizations. The goal was to elevate a vision that feed and animal nutrition can be a critical lever in providing sustainable solutions to food systems.

World Wildlife Fund’s mission is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. That includes making sure there is enough food for a growing population, while protecting our planet’s critical natural resources like water, forests, and clean air. The feed industry, with its global influence, has unique potential to help build that sustainable future.

It’s a vision that was validated during the joint Feed Systems Sustainability Summit last fall, where participants dug deeper into the realities of trying to scale solutions in the complex and interdependent feed system.

Collaboration proved to be the takeaway of the summit and it was evident that collaboration across the full value chain is key to scaling any solutions. Participants strongly called for an enabling environment—or soft infrastructure—that would allow all actors to collectively advance the science, measures, impacts and practices that lead to the most sustainable impacts.

This collaboration can also boost market signals, incentivizing the appropriate actors in the value chain.

The cover of the Need to Feed report

In response, the feed sustainability solutions paper was born. IFEEDER's contributions helped the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) bring it to life, and we launched it at the Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference this spring to shine a light on the opportunities available to the sector. We also wanted to raise awareness across the value chain on how these opportunities can help fulfill climate ambitions and ensure a healthy future for people and nature.

The paper serves as a tool for supporting organizations in their sustainability journeys. The hope is that it engages those in supply chains, communities, companies and beyond to advance the call to action that rang loudly and clearly during the feed systems summit.

Here are the paper’s key messages:

  • ELEVATE FEED’S FOOTPRINT to emphasize that feed underpins sustainability of all other livestock commodities. Advance better data, transparency and awareness of the role of feed sourcing and sustainability solutions.
  • STRENGTHEN SUPPLY CHAIN ACTIONS AND MARKET SIGNALS to promote sustainability, transparency, collaboration and collective efforts.
  • DRIVE INNOVATIONS, including new technologies, tools and frameworks that create meaningful outcomes for nature, animal health and productivity through economically sustainable models.
  • CREATE AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT built on sound policy that favors sustainable feed production, quality data management systems and aligned standards with a clear value proposition.
  • SHARE PRE-COMPETITIVE LEARNINGS AND BEST PRACTICES to accelerate implementation and scaling across the sector, while recognizing the realities of market signals.

Sustainability was never designed to be a “go it alone” strategy. Transforming our food systems requires immense levels of trust, collaboration and transparency. Collaboration is key to unlocking new ways of thinking, acting and being.

That’s why I’m looking forward to a wider collaboration across feed systems and value chains.


Sam Wildman comes from an eighth-generation farm family, with expertise in production agriculture, business consulting, stakeholder facilitation and project management. As senior program officer of livestock and feed systems for World Wildlife Fund, he combines his values with a passion for livestock, conservation, and rural communities to drive transformative impact across meat, milk and egg value chains.

This post originally appeared on AFIA Feed Bites.