April 13, 2015

13/04/2015: The Interview: Joel Newman, AFIA

http://issuu.com/gfmt/docs/mag1502_w1/80First published in Milling and Grain, February 2015
Joel Newman is the American Feed Industry Association’s president, CEO and corporate treasurer. Newman has more than three decades of diverse executive experience in agribusiness, with United Cooperative Farmers, Maple Leaf Foods and Agway. He brought an exciting new vision to the association when he joined in 2004 and has effectively led the membership and staff through a landmark era of change. Newman represents AFIA on international issues and is a director of the International Feed Industry Federation, headquartered in Germany. He holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from West Virginia University and a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from Syracuse University.


Can you tell us about your background and view of feed milling?
I just celebrated my tenth anniversary with AFIA, but was involved with the organisation as a member and served on its Board of Directors before that. I have been involved with the food and feed industry for 43 years, working on the business side of United Cooperative Farmers, Maple Leaf Foods and Agway, and that business experience has been very instrumental in my present position with AFIA.

The feed industry provides animals with the necessary balanced nutrients for proper growth, development and maintenance. It also helps give nutrients and supplements that may be missing from an animal’s natural diet.

What are the main values of AFIA and both its long-term and short-term goals?

AFIA is committed to representing the total feed industry, as a key segment of the food chain, and member companies’ interests with one industry leadership voice. Our focus is on matters involving federal and state legislation and regulation, as well as global standards and issues; keeping members informed of developments important to them; creating opportunities to network and address common issues and interacting with key stakeholders essential to the success of the feed and animal agriculture industries.

AFIA’s primary founding purposes were to promote and assure feed safety and to promote harmonisation of all state feed laws with uniform labeling and regulations, which is still very true today.

Our staff are currently working on issues such as the Food Safety Modernisation Act, which we consider both a short-term and long-term project, the Veterinary Feed Directive, continual improvement of our third-party feed safety certification programs and more.

What recent legislative developments have taken place with regards to the feed industry?

We are currently experiencing the largest rule change to happen to the animal food industry since the 1950s. AFIA and its members have worked closely with other industry groups to submit comments that best represent the feed industry’s praises, objections and suggestions. Currently FDA is reviewing those comments and have until August to do so. We have faith they will take our suggestions seriously, especially when it comes to the high cost of the rule if implemented as it was first posted as the proposed rule.

With a growing population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050, what pressures and demands has this placed upon the feed industry and what challenges does the feed industry face? 

The growing demand to meet the demand is something that agriculture faces in the U.S. and globally. We will have to produce more with less; less land, less resources, less water, while protecting our natural resources and ensuring the economic well-being of customers, their communities and the industry. This is the definition of sustainability. Agriculture is a very sustainable industry, and has made continuous and significant improvements over the last 40 years. The feed industry’s ability to be sustainable also factors into that. AFIA and our members follow four focal points as we work to ensure a sustainable future for the industry:

1.    Optimise the use of energy and natural resources for feed production.
2.    Enhance production efficiency and productivity.
3.    Promote understanding and appreciation of U.S. food production.
4.    Support our local communities.

In fact, we recently released our annual Community Involvement and Charitable Giving Survey, which correlates with focal point number four. To learn more about sustainability in the feed industry, watch our recently released video here: http://bit.ly/1An5ysN

Which countries do you predict will be at the forefront of global feed production in the future? 

While all countries desire to be as self-sufficient in food production as possible, globally we will need to identify where feed and animal production can be most sustainable and intensify production in those regions. We also must share the education and technology to assist individual countries to continually improve their food production and sustainability.

What were the main focal points for AFIA at this year’s IPPE? 

AFIA is one of three organisations that hosts the International Production & Processing Expo. AFIA along with the North American Meat Institute and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association joined forces, co-locating their trade shows on feed, meat and poultry.

AFIA hosted the following events on some of our main areas of focus: FSMA, trade and pet food. 

1.    AFIA’s eighth annual Pet Food Conference.
2.    Exporting Feed and Feed Ingredients to the U.S
3.    Food Safety Modernisation Act – Building a Foundation for Compliance.


Read the magazine HERE.

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which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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