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Feed sector needs to be classed as essential during COVID-19

The Feed Industry in USA and EU calls on state officials to maintain access to businesses providing animal food. Associations plea to include animal food businesses in their list of “essential businesses”.

AFIA

In the letter AFIA states: “While we understand and appreciate the efforts to slow this pandemic, we also must recognise that animals must continue to have access to food and therefore, our industry must be able to manufacture, transport and sell ingredients, feed and pet food. Some states have taken the necessary steps to exclude essential businesses that qualify as ‘agricultural’ under their respective state codes. As you look at your next containment steps, we want to ensure that livestock feed and pet food, and the establishments that transport, package, manufacture, process and sell those products, receive the same exemptions as they are vital to the health and wellbeing of animals.”

The full letter can be found here.

Europe

EU grains, oilseeds and feed value chain partners (FEFAC, COCERAL and FEDIOL) call on the Commission to take urgent steps to avoid disruption of food and feed supply in Europe.

The chain partners call for the inclusion of feed next to food in the list of essential goods mentioned in the EU Commission Guidelines on Border Management. Some Member States, like Spain, Italy and Belgium, have already included feed supplies on their list of essential goods, but the partners state there is a need for a harmonised approach at EU level. They also call on EU and national authorities to take swift action to ensure that all food and feed, even if not perishable, can be transported across the EU unhindered as long as all required health safety measures are respected.

“As traders of agri commodities, our mission is to ensure the supply of the raw materials and ingredients that are needed by farmers, the food sector and the feed industry for direct use and further processing. We source from European producers, moving agri goods across the EU and exporting the surplus, but we also import the raw materials for which the EU is in deficit. We have been watching disruptions in the food and feed supply chain increasing in the last few days, and are very concerned about future developments as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread. The EU needs to protect the health of all operators in the chain so that they continue to ensure the uninterrupted supply of food and feed.” COCERAL President, Philippe Mitko

For our processing plants to continue providing consumers with vegetable oils and livestock with protein meals, essential goods need to continue arriving to our facilities, which requires imperatively essential agricultural raw materials to be transported to and across the EU.” – FEDIOL President, John Grossmann

“The EU feed industry fully accepts the need for strict containment policies at EU and Member States level to slow down the infectious COVID-19 cycle. Our priority and key mission is to protect animal health and welfare of farm animals and food supply chains for milk, meat, eggs to consumers during the COVID-19 crisis. We therefore urge the EU Commission to recognise the status of feed as essential goods in the EU COVID-19 guidelines, which is crucial to uphold the functioning of the single market for feedstuffs to prevent supply chain disruptions and shortages of essential nutrients to the EU farm animal population.” FEFAC President, Nick Major.