International Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program Up and Running
Feed mills may now begin the process of earning certification from the new, international version of the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program. The American Feed Industry Association, the creator and sponsor of the Safe Feed/Safe Food program that has operated successfully in the United States since 2004, will administer the International Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program in cooperation with a similar organization in Europe. The domestic Safe Feed/Safe Food program is a unique, third-party-verified program in which nearly 370 livestock feed and ingredient facilities, operated by more than 90 companies, are certified.
The development of the International Safe Feed/Safe Food program is designed to help facilitate U.S. trade with European feed and ingredient customers by providing a tool to illustrate compliance with the European Union’s feed hygiene regulation, Regulation (EC) 183/2005, which requires compliance with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system.
If an official responsible for a feed mill or a related facility wishes to pursue International Safe Feed/Safe Food certification for his or her plant, he or she may seek inspection and certification through AFIA. Further, all firms that successfully achieve certification from the International Safe Feed/Safe Food program will be recognized as compliant with the domestic version of the program as well.
“The new International Safe Feed/Safe Food program will build on the success of the original, domestic program we started several years ago,” said Keith Epperson, AFIA vice president of manufacturing and training. “Giving feed mills the means to achieve international certification opens doors to increased trade and new business opportunities. The domestic and international programs complement each other and build the base for companies wanting to strengthen their commitment to feed safety.”
Representatives of the European Feed Additives and Premixtures Association, FEFANA, met with AFIA team members at AFIA’s office in Arlington, Va., last fall to train U.S. auditors.
In accordance with EC Regulation 183/2005, FEFANA developed a Guide to Good Practice, detailing options for industry compliance with the regulation. Furthermore, FEFANA officials designed their own third-party verification system to illustrate compliance with the regulation. This system is known as the European Feed Additives and Premixtures-Quality System, or the FAMI-QS program, and it is similar to AFIA’s Safe Feed/Safe Food program, but based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system.
“The FEFANA representatives commented that the Safe Feed/Safe Food program is a high-quality offering, and we feel the same about their efforts to develop the FAMI-QS program. Our combined efforts make for a truly outstanding international program,” said Joel G. Newman, AFIA president and CEO. “We are delivering on two promises to our members with this program by providing expert leadership and being a strong voice for the industry.”
Last year, AFIA and FEFANA signed an agreement providing reciprocity for firms in the International Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program and the FAMI-QS program. In accordance with the agreement, AFIA’s program will operate under FEFANA’s Guide to Good Practice, a recognized guide by the European Commission.
The AFIA-FEFANA event last fall was attended by several U.S. feed-facility auditors, all of them affiliated with the Facility Certification Institute. The training of the U.S. auditors permits them to inspect U.S. facilities for compliance with the EU standards.
AFIA has signed an agreement with Eurofins Scientific, Inc., to provide certified auditing services. ESI is an International Standards Organization, or ISO 65, certified organization. ISO 65 is the globally recognized standard for certification of auditing programs. ESI will utilize the services of the Facility Certification Institute’s trained HACCP auditors and other FCI technical personnel for review of audit documents. AFIA has contracted with FCI to provide audit services for its Safe Feed/Safe Food program.
Development of the International Safe Feed/Safe Food program was funded in part by a USDA Market Access Program grant via the U.S. Grains Council and AFIA.
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