American Feed Control Officials consults with industry on new strategic plan
US feed industry urges AAFCO to promote North American feed regulation model
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a 96-year-old nonprofit group comprised of state and federal feed regulators, solicited input on its new 2005-09 strategic plan from six national trade organizations representing the commercial feed, feed ingredient and pet food sectors during a day-and-a-half “summit”.
Invited by AAFCO to participate in the summit, the first such event in recent times, were industry and executive staff representatives of stakeholder groups that work closely with AAFCO and provide advisers to its committees.
During the meeting, industry groups offered input to refine the plan’s objectives and ways to implement the plan in an effective and timely manner. Considerable discussion was devoted to ways to enhance participation in AAFCO by state feed control officials, who encounter both time and financial resource constraints, as well as ideas for streamlining and enhancing the productivity of the organization’s two major meetings conducted each year. On organizational objectives, AAFCO was encouraged to promote the contribution it makes in maintaining a safe feed supply with other stakeholders and the public, as well as the role it plays in professional development and as an information resource for feed regulatory officials.
Commercial feed industry representatives also recommended strongly that AAFCO develop an action plan to proactively promote internationally the North American approach to feed regulation as a model that results in safe feed and feed ingredients, thereby promoting trade in feed, pet food, ingredients and animal products
Concerning the strategic plan’s objective of enhancing feed and food safety, industry stakeholders encouraged AAFCO to utilize and build upon existing quality-assurance programs and guidance to provide further education to diverse sectors of the feed and feeding industry.
AAFCO also was encouraged to continue working with FDA to enhance education and training for feed inspectors to encourage more uniformity. However, there were differing opinions concerning AAFCO’s approach to developing mandatory feed safety regulations, and the industry groups agreed to continue the dialog with AAFCO on development of such regulations.
Industry stakeholders also provided suggestions on how to engage livestock and poultry producer organizations in AAFCO’s deliberations, particularly those pertaining to feed safety in on-farm mixing operations.
Ideas also were offered on how to promote AAFCO’s new Spanish-language Official Publication.
Participating organizations were the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA), National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA), National Renderers Association (NRA) and Pet Food Institute (PFI). Attending on behalf of AAFCO were its officers and Board of Directors, its Food and Drug Administration adviser, and other senior AAFCO officials who had been involved in the development of its previous strategic plans.
AAFCO’s 2005-09 strategic plan, which was adopted by its Board of Directors in 2004, contains objectives for both internal organization, outreach to stakeholders and program development. Emphasis areas include feed safety; ensuring working partnerships with stakeholders; promoting and enhancing member participation; enhancing communications; promoting organizational growth; and promoting internationally the North American system of feed safety, labeling and ingredient approval.
David Meeker, NRA’s vice president of scientific services, said, “The rendering industry has goals similar to AAFCO’s concerning the safety of feed ingredients, and the strategic planning meeting gave us an opportunity to discuss how industry programs can work hand-in-hand with regulation to meet those goals.”
Subsequent discussions are planned during AAFCO’s Annual Meeting scheduled for July 31 to Aug. 1 in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.