There is a current need to increase global livestock production in line with consumers’ preferences for more sustainable and ‘natural’ products. Organic farming is considered among the potential production systems and market strategies that could be employed to cope with this change. Animal nutrition is key, as it greatly influences feed efficiency, animal health, and sustainability. Under situations where animal health care is technically more challenging, due to limitations in the use of veterinary drugs (such as in organic farming), the importance of feed is even higher. However, the there is a lack of commercially available permitted feed ingredients and the range of feed additives on the market is limited. This is partially due to the fact that organic regulations are mainly followed to ensure that pure organic methods are used, instead of trying attain the core goal of complying with organic principles and contributing to the sustainability of the sector. For example, improved animal health and animal welfare through the use of non-organically certified feed additives is needed. This lack of availability, along with difficulties for the feed industry to become organic, affects the development of sustainability in the livestock sector (which should be the final objective of organic farming) in both already organic livestock/feed companies and those still producing under the conventional system. In this context, the presented work may be interesting to producers and policymakers, as it is aimed at providing a critical view of the relationship between the market and the needs of the livestock sector, the sustainability challenge, and organic farming regulations as applied to animal nutrition.
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