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Feed and food go hand in hand. The ingredients that go into animal feed will impact the food produced from livestock that enter the food supply chain. Feed certification can help to ensure that feeds for livestock and poultry are safe, nutritious and compliant.

Chicken eating feed

In a growing market, feed production now exceeds one billion metric tons* annually. Led by China and the USA, which between them produce more than one third of the global total, the feed production has increased by an average of 1.6% each year since 2012, and show little sign of slowing.

The majority of this feed is destined for commercial farm use, to feed the livestock that will enter the food supply chain (pigs, sheep, cows, poultry, and others). There is also a second, much smaller feed market totaling some 25 million metric tons* annually, which is sold into the pet food supply chain. In Europe alone, some 5 million farmers raise animals for food production, consuming 450 million metric tons every year. In the pet food market, Europe’s 70 million pet owners buy pet food totaling 10 million metric tons.

Sourcing the ingredients

Food companies are an important source of ingredients for the feed supply chain, it gives them an opportunity to make the most of by-products. Selling these into the feed supply chain, to animal feed and pet food manufacturers, opens a lucrative source of income. But how can this opportunity be maximized?

Fit for purpose

Traded globally, animal feed for livestock and poultry plays an important role in the food supply chain. In recent years, the industry and consumers have been rocked by safety issues relating to foods of animal origin, for example bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), dioxin contamination and bacterial infections, in which animal feeds were implicated. Feed certification addresses these issues.

Applied to by-products from the processing sector, feed certification demonstrates the safety, quality and compliance of inputs. It assures the supply chain that the product traded complies with animal welfare requirements and food regulations. If it’s not allowed in the food supply chain, it’s not allowed in feed.

Foundation of food supply

Animal feeds are the building blocks of the food supply chain. Feeding animals used for food production with high quality, nutritious product will help farmers to breed high-quality, high yield animals that contribute to the economic and nutritional wellbeing of people.
At a time when global demand for food is growing, the challenge for the feed industry is to not only increase capacity, yields and production, but to also safeguard product safety and quality.

Certification schemes

Feed certification addresses the safety and quality issues that have dogged the food sector for years. Designed to help companies demonstrate their commitment to quality, safety, animal welfare and international trade, feed certification is highly regulated and is based around three pillars:

  • Quality aspects (quality management systems, ISO 9001)
  • Feed legislation (EU requirements covering a range of requirements like traceability, monitoring and safety)
  • Good manufacturing practices (sector specific, HACCP, prerequisite programs)

Thousands of food companies have already accepted the feed certification challenge. Optimizing their market for by-products, they have been audited against one of the major feed certification schemes. These include:

GMP+ – integrates ISO quality management requirements, HACCP and other elements. It defines conditions relating to feed production facilities, storage, transport, trading, etc. GMP+ also defines clear conditions, so that feed safety and sustainability are guaranteed and certification bodies can conduct independent audits. A GMP+ certificate provides additional guarantee for all stakeholders in the international feed industry.

FAMI-QS – the Quality and Safety System for Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures. Addressing the safety, quality and regulatory compliance of specialty feed ingredients and their mixtures, FAMI-QS was the first code aimed at this sector – and remains its only certifiable code. FAMI-QS:

  • Minimizes the risk of unsafe specialty feed ingredients and their mixtures entering the feed and food chain
  • Enables operators to implement the Feed Hygiene Regulation (183/2005/EC)
  • Provides measures that help meet other feed safety regulatory requirements

EFISC – the European code of good practice for the industrial manufacturing of safe feed materials. This code aims to provide a harmonized, voluntary feed safety assurance scheme for the feed materials industry within the EU internal market. It guides manufacturers on how to establish and implement their own feed safety management system in accordance with EU and national legislation, including requirements for a management system, risk control, documentation, withdrawal and traceability. The code contributes to fair trading practices and to the free movement of feed materials within the EU market, while also increasing transparency and improving efficiency and customer confidence.

Certifying products destined for the feed supply chain against the GMP+, FAMI QS and EFISC schemes improves market access, prices and demonstrates commitment to feed safety. As well as food companies joining the feed supply chain, there has also been a noticeable increase in the number of trade companies becoming feed processors – again, we see business diversifying to optimize profitability.

Supporting the drive towards better quality, and increasing access to feed markets, we are accredited to deliver certification against FAMI-QS, EFISC and GMP+ feed schemes. With a network of 75 auditors across 60 countries we offer a genuinely worldwide service.
Working with SGS gives you access to the widest range of complimentary services, including non-GMO certification, which is of particular importance to the feed supply chain as many regulations ban products that may contain GMO. As an independent third party, we assess and confirm that food and pet food manufacturers have management system in place to ensure that product is free from GMO contamination.

For the complete range of SGS services and support visit SGS Food Safety.

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Erik Verweij
Program Manager Feed (GMP+ FC, EFISC, FAMI-QS)
t: +31 (0)88-2143297

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.