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News Highlights
Agreement to Assist in EU Feed Trade

February 16, 2009

REPRESENTATIVES of the American Feed Industry Assn. (AFIA) and FEFANA, the Feed Additives & Premixtures Association of the European Union, recently signed an agreement that will permit auditors of AFIA’s third-party certifi cation program, Safe Feed/Safe Food (SF/SF), to inspect U.S. manufacturers for compliance with European feed hygiene and ingredient standards. The agreement will facilitate U.S. trade with European feed and ingredient customers. The agreement was signed Jan. 26 during the joint International Feed Expo-International Poultry Expo in Atlanta, Ga.

“Our members tell us Europe remains a top destination for U.S. feed and feed ingredients,” said Joel G. Newman, AFIA president and chief executive offi cer. “Since the EU arguably has the most stringent feed regulatory program with the implementation of HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points programs), we feel it is best to design a program for members that provides access to 27 member-states as a fi rst step in our international SF/SF Certifi cation Program efforts.”

Specifi cally, the agreement will allow the European Feed Additives & Premixtures- Quality System (FAMI-QS), which is FEFANA’s version of AFIA’s SF/SF program, to train Facility Certifi cation Institute (FCI) auditors per FAMI-QS requirements.

AFIA agreed to grant reciprocity for fi rms in FAMI-QS since the program has the same components of the SF/SF program. The key difference between the AFIA and FEFANA programs is FAMI-QS recognition of EU Regulation (EC) 183/2005, which requires HACCP principles be implemented in feed and feed ingredient facilities.

FEFANA submitted a guide to good practice in accordance with Regulation (EC) 183/2005, and the European Commission recognizes these good practices for the industry. The guide illustrates how the industry may comply with the feed hygiene regulation.

Importantly, AFIA’s agreement will enable FCI auditors to verify compliance with the EU regulation. This is important since neither the Food & Drug Administration nor the U.S. Department of Agriculture will certify compliance with a program those government bodies deem quality-based. In fact, no government body will inspect and verify a fi rm’s compliance with this regulation, leaving exporters to rely on valid thirdparty certifi cation systems.

“We want a strong alliance for our members, and we believe the best method to help validate compliance with EU regulations is to work with a partner organization that already has a guide to good practice that is recognized by the European Commission,” said Newman.

Additionally, this new agreement has the potential to affect both U.S. importers and exporters of feeds and feed ingredients in two ways: First, it offers a tool for validating EU regulatory compliance for exporters; second, under the U.S. government’s Food Protection Plan, fi rms importing under recognized third-party certifi cation systems will be prioritized for incoming inspections based on a risk-ranking approach.

AFIA has cooperated with FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine to further the process of obtaining formal recognition of SF/SF as a risk-ranking certifi cation program in the Animal Feed Safety System and under the Food Protection Plan that was assembled by President George Bush via executive order in the summer of 2007. Therefore, SF/SF reciprocity with FAMI-QS has the potential to benefit importers.

AFIA and FEFANA representatives currently are in the midst of planning the logistics of training FCI auditors to inspect U.S. fi rms based on FAMI-QS requirements. AFIA hopes to have the program accepting applications by late summer of 2009.

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