DEFRA will grant derogations on a mill-by-mill basis to feed businesses affected by a “short-term” lack of availability of organically certified soya expeller.

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The majority of organic soya expeller used in animal feed is sourced from China, and its import has been disrupted by the decision to avoid the Suez canal.

Many international shipping lines have decided to re-route vessels around Africa because of the risk of attack from Houthi rebels when using the Suez Canal.

The diversion is adding two-to-three weeks of delay to journeys, and the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) said UK importers expected the delays to last about the same amount of time.

Collaboration

Feed companies will be required to supply detailed information to Defra via their certification bodies to secure derogations to use, for a limited period, non-GM soya expeller in their feeds.

The AIC’s head of animal feed, James McCulloch, said: “AIC is pleased to confirm that Defra has granted derogations on a mill-by-mill basis to feed businesses affected by the short-term lack of availability of organically certified soya expeller.

“This result has been achieved following AIC’s collaboration with organic certification bodies, namely Soil Association, Organic Farmers and Growers and Irish Organic Association.”