Specialty Feed Ingredients Sustainability Project (SFIS)

The Specialty Feed Ingredients Sustainability (SFIS) project brings together a consortium of international companies and associations dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of livestock through innovative specialty feed ingredients.

The Specialty Feed Ingredients Sustainability (SFIS) project is led by IFIF and the EU Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures (FEFANA) and brings together a consortium of international companies and associations dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of livestock through innovative specialty feed ingredients.

The SFIS project phase 3 aimed to achieve a harmonized approach for the assessment of the use of SFIs in animal feeding on a cradle to farm gate approach. This included the production of the SFIs from cradle to factory gate as well as the use on the farm and the further recycling or application of manure. Based on this approach, future LCAs for animal products should become transparent, reliable and thus, comparable.

The SFIS Phase 3 looked at Australia, US and Europe pigs and poultry and results showed an improvement, mainly due to improved feed conversion rates. The SFIS Phase 3 is was completed in 2022.

In the SFIS project phase 1 and 2, the project partners joined together to measure and establish the role of specialty feed ingredients (SFIs), specifically amino acids and enzymes, on the environmental impact of livestock production and are united in their goal to contribute to the reduction of emissions in the food and feed chain.

The overall results of the study announced on 5 February 2014 show that the use of these SFIs in animal diets reduces the consumption of basic feed ingredients. Furthermore the study demonstrates that the use of SFIs, such as amino acids and phytase, results in clear reductions of the Global Warming Potential, as well as the Eutrophication and Acidification Potential during livestock production.

You can download the overview and results of the study from Europe, North America and South America below.


SFIS project – Europe – Project Summary


SFIS project – North America – Project Summary


SFIS project – South America – Project Summary


SFIS Project – Product Category Rules (PCRs)


2016 Kebreab et al. SFIS – Journal of Animal Science


SFIS project – South America Results – Graphic Overview


SFIS project – North America Results – Graphic Overview


SFIS project – Europe Results – Graphic Overview

The results have also been published in the peer reviewed Journal of Animal Science under the title ‘Environmental impact of using specialty feed ingredients in swine and poultry production: A life cycle assessment’ by Kebreab et al. 2016. You can download the paper here.

The rigorous SFIS analysis employed life cycle assessment (LCA) to examine the use of low protein diets (Nitrogen) and phytase (P) in pigs and poultry. In addition to the positive results, the study also points towards future developments, such as improved feed conversion driven by advancing technologies in animal feeding through using SFIs.

By setting up a standard approach to measure this role and delivering a manual of nutritional practice, the project will enable SFIs to be included in the evaluation of the mitigation measures to reduce the environmental impact of animal production on a global basis.

The results of the study were validated by an independent Scientific Council made up of global experts in the fields of LCA methodology and animal nutrition to ensure scientifically robust inputs in the analysis and were published in the Journal of Animal Science.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Finkbeiner, Chair of Sustainable Engineering at the Technical University Berlin and Chairman of the SFIS Scientific Council, welcomes the “involvement of globally renowned experts in such an important project, which aims to contribute to global activities in the area of the environmental effect of livestock production.” Prof. Finkbeiner added “the Members of the Council would provide expert review for results of the projects, which will be shared with international stakeholders and with feed chain operators in order to encourage more sustainable livestock production globally.”

SFIS Scientific Council Members

  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Finkbeiner (Chair), Technical University Berlin, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Kees de Lange, University of Guelph, Canada
  • Prof. Dr. Jean-Yves Dourmad, INRA Agrocampus Ouest, France
  • Prof. Dr. Ermias Kebreab, University of California, Davis, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Gustavo Julio Mello Monteiro de Lima, Centro Nacional de Pesquisa de Suínos e Aves, Brazil
  • Prof. Dr. John Pluske, Murdoch University, Australia