January 20, 2015

20/01/2015: Afia survey shows charitable giving key for sustainable future

According to an informal survey conducted by the American Feed Industry Association, the US feed industry finds there to be sizable value in the act of philanthropic giving and its correlation to a sustainable future. Results of the organization's ‘Community Involvement and Charitable Giving Survey’ showed the companies polled logged nearly 300,000 hours of community service and donated close to US$90 million to charitable organizations of their choosing last year alone.

The 2014 survey, which experienced a boost in respondents from 2013, showed a significant increase in giving--of both funds and volunteer hours.

"We could not be more impressed by our members' desire to give. Their support of local communities is not only motivational, but is helping to work toward a sustainable future by making the area where they work and live a better place," said AFIA President and CEO Joel G Newman.

The term "sustainability" is defined by the feed industry as: The ability to provide a continuous, safe and nutritious feed supply for poultry, livestock, fish and pets in a manner that optimizes environmental quality and the use of natural resources, while positively affecting the social and economic well-being of customers, their communities and the industry.

AFIA members identified agricultural and food-related charities as key causes to contribute both funds and volunteer time to, with 79 percent of respondents engaging in ways to better FFA and 4-H programs in their communities. 69 percent of respondents said both education-based and hunger relief efforts were equally important when it came to philanthropic involvement, while collegiate scholarships and county/state fairs and livestock exhibitions--67 percent respectively--rounded out the top five.

According to the survey, the largest charitable contribution from a sole AFIA member in 2014 was US$59.6 million. The data collected also reported the largest contribution of community service by an individual company was 250,000 hours.

"In 2013, the National Philanthropic Trust estimated the dollar value of volunteer time to be US$22.55 per hour. If their model was applied to our highest grossing company's volunteer hours that would equate to more than US$5.6 million," said Mr Newman.

AFIA established a Sustainability Task Force in 2009, which identified four key sustainable focal points, designed for communication and collaboration between organizations, companies and associations. "Support the Community" is one of the four focal points AFIA asks its members to participate in as part of its sustainability initiative. The remaining focal points are optimize the use of energy and natural resources for feed production; enhance production efficiency and productivity; and promote understanding and appreciation of US food production.

To learn more about sustainability in the feed industry, visit AFIA's website

The Global Miller
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