GFFA 2018

The global feed production sustains millions of people by providing food, work and income. Major developments in recent decades have made breeding, feeding and farming far more productive than ever before, thus pushing the growth of the animal sector and intensifying the output of individual animal life-cycles. As a result 'modern' animals, including fish, produce more meat, eggs, milk or wool than ever before.

Yet this rapid increase comes at a price: already one third of the global agricultural land is being used to grow feed crop, and large proportions of the worldwide fish catch end up in various animal feed products. The actual kind of production leads in many cases to manifold environmental issues which should be reduced. Furthermore animals fed with food fit for human consumption 'waste' valuable nutrients due to conversion losses from 'grain to meat', nutrients that otherwise could sustain people suffering from hunger.

All these complex issues in mind, we invite you to the podium of the Leibniz Research Alliance 'Sustainable Food Production and Healthy Nutrition' (LRA FN) promoting the joint project 'Protein Paradoxes'. Together with external experts* our scientists will discuss alternatives to conventional feeding methods.

  • We propose a new approach to animal feed, making stronger use of alternative protein sources like insects, algae and legumes.
  • We will dispute whether it makes sense to use concentrated feed, when free-range animals like grazing ruminants could turn grass into valuable protein, whilst pigs, chickens and fish are predestined to upgrade rest streams.
  • We also approach systems like Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (for seafood and fish) or Aquaponics (for freshwater fish), both attempting to apply circular principles found in nature to farming.
  • Finally we will consider whether alternative feed production is able to still humanity's growing hunger for animal-based food and to which extend a sustainable production of animal products can be given.

The panelists bring their unique experiences and expertise to the podium, willingly accepting the challenge of debating the topic with an informed and interested audience.

The Leibniz Research Alliance 'Sustainable Food Production and Healthy Nutrition' (LRA FN) pools the competence of 13 Leibniz research institutes from several disciplines in the field of food production and nutrition. It serves as a joint platform for decentralised and independent research of the Alliance partners.

Moderation - Prof. Dr. Thomas Herzfeld

Prof. Dr. Thomas Herzfeld is Director of Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) and Head of Department Agricultural Policy joined IAMO. He joined IAMO in October 2011 as Head of the Department Agricultural Policy. He studied agricultural economics at the universities Halle and Kiel, Germany, and Rennes, France. Prof. Dr. Herzfeld obtained his PhD degree in 2004 from the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel and finalized his Habilitation (venia legend) in 2008 at the same university. From 2007 to 2011, he was employed as an assistant professor at the Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Based on a joint appointment, he teaches at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.

Prof. Dr. Harry Aiking

Prof. Dr. Harry Aiking is an Associate Professor for Sustainability & Food at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM). His research areas are "Sustainable Food Production, and Global Food Security", "Protein Foods, Environment, Technology, And Society" (PROFETAS) and "Environmental Toxicology and Environmental Resource Management". In 1978-79 he was a research Associate at Indiana University in Bloomington, USA. Subsequently he became a KWF (Dutch Cancer Fund) Fellow at the Central Blood Bank Laboratory, Amsterdam (1979) and worked at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam in 1980. Since 1987 he is the advisor to the Dutch Attorney General in cases of industrial soil pollution and an European Registered Toxicologist (ERT) since 1997. In the years 1999-2005 he was the Leader of the NWO programme PROFETAS (Protein Foods, Environment, Technology, And Society). he was also the Leader of interdisciplinary projects at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM-VU), (Environmental Toxicology and Environmental Resource Management) from 1980-2014. He is Supervisor for PhD students at the Institute for Environmental Studies from VU University (IVM-VU) and re-affiliated in 2017 as an Associate Professor for "Sustainability & Food" with the research areas "Food Security" and "Food Sustainability" at the Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University, Amsterdam. 

Bullet Point: "Feed should not compete with food for increasingly scarce land, water and fuel - grass and residues unfit for human consumption will have to do".

Prof. Dr. Werner Kloas

Prof. Dr. Werner Kloas is Head of Department since 1999 and Research Group Leader in Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Department Ecophysiology and Aquaculture (IGB). His research Areas are "Molecular mechanisms of development and differentiation in fishes and amphibians" and "Endocrine disruption of reproduction and thyroid system in amphibians and fishes". Since 2002 he is a professor for Endocrinology at Humboldt University and Head of the Full professor for Endocrinology at Humboldt University. In 1999 he was Head of the Department of Zoology II, University of Karlsruhe, Germany. From 1996-1999 he was an associated professor and lecturer in the Department of Zoology II, University of Karlsruhe, Germany an an Assistant professor, Department of Zoology II, University of Karlsruhe, Germany (since 11/1992 granted by DFG (Kl 745/2-2)) from 1992-1999. His Habilitation in Zoology at the Faculty of Biological and Geological Sciences he obtained in 1995at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. In the years 1991–1992he was a postdoctoral fellow at the European Institute for Peptide Research in France; granted by German Research Foundation (DFG) (Kl 745/1-1). In 1990 he obtained his promotion at Department of Zoology II at the University of Karlsruhe and Department of Reproductive Biology at the German Primate Centre, Göttingen, Germany.

Dr. Holger Kühnhold

Dr. Holger Kühnhold is a researcher at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Department Ecology. His research areas are "Decrease of the ecological footprint by bioremediation", "Tropical marine aquaculture", "Ecosystem-based systems, concept: integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA)" and "Efficiency increase of energy balance by multiple use of animal feed (integrated systems) and alternative use of fishmeal and fish oil (such as micro algae)". Since 2013 he is an PhD researcher at Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Department Ecology, Working. He obtained his promotion at the Faculty Biology/ Chemistry (FB2) at the University of Bremen with a research cooperation between ZMT, Centre for Marine and Environmental Science (MARE) in Peniche, Portugal and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) at Lombok, Indonesia from 2014-2017. Dr. Kühnhold succeeded his Master of Science at the Wageningen University (WUR), The Netherlands (2013) and a Bachelor of Science at the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven; study path: Maritime Technologies (2010).

Bullet Point: "Marine Aquaculture can be sustainably maintained in integrated multitrophic systems, hereby less feed is used through increased culture of algae and herbivores as well as through the recycling of waste products, such polycultures have the potential to significantly contribute to global protein provisioning."  

Dr.-Ing. Oliver Schlüter

Dr. Oliver Schlüter received his Ph.D. in food technology at the Berlin University of Technology. Since 2003, he is a senior scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB). The ATB is a European centre of agricultural engineering research at the nexus between biological and technical systems. The research targets a knowledge-based bioeconomy by developing highly innovative and efficient technologies for the use of natural resources in agricultural production systems - from basic research to application. He is the coordinator of the research program on "Quality and safety of food and feed" and is also head of the ATB working group on food safety and vice-head of the Department of Horticultural Engineering. His research work focuses on emerging technologies in primary food production (fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, edible insects) and fresh food processing (high pressure, ozone, plasma etc.), optimisation and innovation of processing steps along the food chain of perishables including quality and safety monitoring. He has supervised PhD students, Master students and Bachelor students as a lecturer at the Berlin University of Technology (Fruit and Vegetable Processing), Leibniz University of Hannover, Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover (Innovative Food Processing), and at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. Dr Schlüter is author of about 150 publications and presented more than 350 papers at conferences.

Dr. Henning Steinfeld

Henning Steinfeld is a leading agricultural economist and sustainability expert with specialized expertise in livestock policies, climate change and agricultural development. He currently is Chief of the Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch, working on poverty issues, human and animal health threats, and environmental sustainability issues. He obtained an M.SC and Ph.D in agricultural economics from the Technical University of Berlin. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University in 2005 and 2010 (Centre for Environmental Science and Policy, Institute for Foreign Studies) and was awarded an Honorary doctorate in veterinary medicine, Uppsala Agricultural University, in 2012. His professional career started with research and development assignments in Ghana, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.  In 1990 he joined FAO and has been working on livestock sector issues, in various positions, since 1992.

Bullet Point: "The protein puzzle needs innovation."