GMP: Critical in feed-to-food chain
Dr Hinner Köster
Feed safety parameters as part of food safety is nowadays the highest
priority when we evaluate feed quality. Nutritional, technical and emotional
quality of feed used to be the highest priority and remains important for common
industry policy, however, it is now of lesser importance then feed safety.
Feed safety parameters as part of food safety is nowadays the highest priority when we evaluate feed quality. Nutritional, technical and emotional quality of feed used to be the highest priority and remains important for common industry policy, however, it is now of lesser importance then feed safety.
Even developing countries are no longer isolated but part of a global world and are therefore partially regulated by universally established control systems at all stages of production and in all sectors of their industry. The various feed and food scares in the last 15 years also received extensive media and public interest in South Africa in the feeding of farm animals.
Therefore, being a major stakeholder in the food production chain, feed manufacturers in developing countries must also show that their quality is assured via at least a recognised basic quality guarantee system. For the South African feed industry an overall quality requirement and adherence to the norms and standards that apply to the same industry in first world agriculture is important to stay globally competitive. Therefore the establishment of a clear and internationally accepted GMP Code of Practice will go a long way to assist the broader developing livestock industry in meeting those international requirements for quality, and more particularly traceability that the first world importer countries insist on as minimums.
A code on GMP for the South African animal feed industry, based on the HACCP approach using the Dutch Code as a base document, has been drawn up and also includes the premix industry. It covers the trade and production of compound feed, simple and moisture-rich animal feed, animal feed ingredients and premixes and ensures that the delivery of products and services of feed products and providers of services consistently meet requirements laid down by law with regard to human, animal and environmental safety.
This code is part of a submission on Regulations and Guidelines that will be incorporated into the new Agricultural Production Enhancement Agents Act. That means all South African feed mills will eventually have to comply with the GMP requirements, although many comply already with ISO 9002 as well as HACCP standards. It will soon become a legal national standard of the South African Bureau of Standards and once officially implemented, this GMP code should allow for the registration and monitoring of manufacturing facilities as replacement for, or that will run parallel to the present system of individual product registration.
The focal points are generic control measures for production, trade and transport, management of veterinary medicines and additives, control of undesirable materials and ensuring hygiene and safety. Ultimately, the aim with this GMP is for the South African animal feed industry to deliver products and services that comply with the quality standard requirements, which includes the standards and conditions as laid down in the animal feed legislation, supplemented with standards as agreed with the next link in the animal production chain.
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