June 11, 2015

11/06/2015: Safe feed for safe food in the international market

Dik Wolters, Project Manager, GMP+ International

First published in Milling and Grain, April 2015

In an increasing number of countries, food safety is becoming a high priority for governments and food companies. Stakeholders are realising that the animal feed business is an important part of the food chain, and that feed safety contributes to the safety of animal products for human consumption. GMP+ International aims to support feed companies worldwide with its Feed Certification scheme to control feed product safety with the latest tools and knowledge. 
Food safety, and therefore feed safety, has been an international issue for over 15 years. The development of GMP+ Feed Safety Assurance (GMP+ FSA) certification started in the Netherlands in 1992. Today the scheme has over 13,500 participants in about 70 countries. Its standards are developed based on relevant practical experience. GMP+ International manages the GMP+ Feed Certification scheme, an independent organisation with well-balanced multi-stakeholder participation.
Image: liz west
In GMP+ International’s vision, the feed chain is part of the food chain. Hence its slogan, ‘Feed for Food’. The feed chain must provide safe feed so livestock farming and aquaculture can produce safe food products of animal origin. Safe feed can be best provided by a chain approach. Risk-control must be achieved as early as possible in the chain, where the risks occur, to avoid dispersion of contaminated feed materials. This is crucial from a financial as well as an image point of view. This means every company at each link in the feed chain should apply a proper feed safety control system in a demonstrable way. GMP+ FSA’s basic requirement is that, exceptions aside, all companies in the chain must be certified according to a proper feed safety assurance scheme. 

GMP+ International’s mission is to provide support to feed companies regarding feed safety control by means of internationally applicable standards for the whole feed chain. In this way, it aims to maximise uniformity in international feed safety control. However, it recognises that in certain countries and markets, specific demands and conditions may occur. These are dealt with by GMP+ Country Notes - add-ons to the international GMP+ FSA standards. Thus, GMP+ International strives for international uniformity as much as possible, and flexibility at the national level if necessary.

Multi-stakeholders’ participation
The GMP+ Feed Certification scheme is managed by GMP+ International. This management is based on well-balanced multi-stakeholder participation. Currently 34 trade associations and food companies support GMP+ International. They are national and international trade associations and international food companies, representing the whole feed chain as well as the animal production and food processing industries.

Reasons for certification
Certification is becoming more important in a globalising market. It reassures trade partners that suppliers comply with certain internationally accepted standards and procedures regarding feed safety control. The first trigger for certification is mainly market demand: food-processing companies want to provide safe food products to consumers. It can also inspire confidence towards competent authorities regarding compliance with legal obligations concerning feed safety strategies like HACCP, pre-requisite programs, traceability and so on. Thirdly, a company’s management will want to comply with international standards for reasons of image and as tools in the framework of risk management.

GMP+ Feed Safety Assurance standards
The GMP+ FSA module of the GMP+ Feed Certification scheme provides standards for feed safety control by different types of companies involved in the feed chain: grain collection, feed material production, transport, storage and transshipment, production of additives, pre-mixtures and mixed feeds.

Integrated control tools
Through practical experience of feed safety emergencies, various tools have been integrated into the GMP+ FSA module over the last 20 years. Fundamental are HACCP and the ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 requirements for feed safety management systems (FSMS). Additional prerequisite programs are also integrated for the various types of companies in the feed chain. Product standards (maximum permitted levels of undesirable substances) assure a certain level of feed safety. All these tools are used to prevent contamination. Corrective tools are traceability and the early warning system: in cases of contamination these prevent further distribution of contaminated feed products.

The number of participants in GMP+ FSA certification is growing rapidly. There are now over 13,500 in over 70 countries. The top 5 countries are Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic and Italy. Participation in Central Europe is increasing rapidly. There is a growing interest in Asia and Latin America.

Participation in the Middle East is still limited to a few companies in Israel and the UAE. We notice an increasing interest in feed safety assurance. 

Besides the GMP+ Feed Certification scheme, GMP+ International provides additional services like Feed Support Products. Quality managers can use these services to carry out risk assessments.

One service offers over 200 generic risk assessments of about 600 feed materials, which can be used in a company-specific risk assessment or suppliers’ assessments. A second service is the GMP+ Monitoring Database, which companies can use for data storage and analysis, and sharing results with other companies, like their customers. A third service is a set of science-based fact sheets of undesirable substances and processing aids, useful for determining the severity of a contaminant.


Read the magazine HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

For additional daily news from milling around the world: global-milling.com

No comments:

Post a Comment