The USDA and US Food and Drug Administration have reached a new agreement that designates the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) as the authority to certify animal feed and pet food products for export to foreign countries.
USDA said its Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has unique capabilities in working with stakeholders to develop export certification programmes that meet the specific requirements of other countries. With years of experience certifying agricultural products for export, AMS will now expand its services to support the trade of animal feed and feed ingredients.
"This agreement is a big step toward helping US feed exporters take advantage of the growing global demand for these products," said AMS administrator Anne Alonzo. "By allowing producers to obtain certification that some importing countries require, this effort opens new markets for US products, generating additional economic benefits and more jobs across rural America."
"The need to find a feed export certification solution for the increasingly popular requirements being put out by several countries ultimately led to these government agencies coming together to develop an agreement that would allow AMS to serve as the competent authority for feeds and register, audit and certify feed facilities as needed based on foreign requirements," Tumbarello said.
Under this agreement, AMS has the authority to audit, register, and provide export certification for animal feed and pet food products for export. Once this program has been developed and implemented, it has the potential to provide new opportunities for US feed exporters as well as supporting existing markets.
The agency now has the ability to certify a wide range of animal feed products, including pet food and treats, dried distillers' grains with solubles, mixed-ingredient feeds and feed additives.
The programme will not be implemented across the board for all feed and feed ingredient products to all markets. Instead, it will be addressed on a country-by-country basis. AFIA said it will help identify markets where the feed, feed ingredient and pet food industries are currently experiencing export difficulties related to certifications on foreign requirements. AMS will then work with the foreign government to determine if there is an opportunity for AMS to fulfill the requirements.
The hope is for AMS to develop a program and certificate that could be used across several export market requirements, rather than creating a separate certificate for each market, AFIA said in a statement.
Steps are already underway to use this program to address certification requirements for processed plant-based feed products under China's AQSIQ Decree 118 and AFIA said it looks forward to future opportunities to use this new mechanism for certification of feed and pet food products for export in other markets.
AFIA said it been supportive of the USDA/FDA agreement since its early stages of development. The organisation plans to work collaboratively with AMS, FDA and other representatives from the feed, grain and pet food industries as this programme develops.