The federal and state regulations in the US that cover the livestock feed, pet food and related ingredients industry were the focus of last week's first-ever Regulatory Training Short Course, a new event organized by the American Feed Industry Association.
More than 120 feed industry insiders attended the short course, a number that exceeded by six fold the early expectations of event organizers. The event was open to non-AFIA members, and participants came from as far as Canada, Mexico and France.
The short course was designed to give participants an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of the government officials who are charged with regulating the feed industry.
Participants ranged in experience levels, but the program offered speakers and materials that all could learn from.
Jarrod Kersey, AFIA director of ingredients and state legislative affairs, said he determined the event was needed based on the concerns and questions that he fields from members on a daily basis.
“This is the first-ever event of this kind designed specifically to teach people about how feed, pet food and ingredients are regulated by the various agencies,” said Kersey. “The overwhelming industry participation proves there is a need.”
Event speakers represented the top level of federal and state regulators and experts.
Reportable Food Registry
Among the topics that were discussed and sparked the most interest was the FDA’s Reportable Food Registry that became operational on Sept. 8.
Learning how to handle complex import and export issues was another popular topic. Legislation in Congress regarding food safety and FDA reform was another issue on the agenda.
“The focus of the event was how to work with regulators, not on debating the merits of the rules or the implementation of them,” said Kersey. “This step-back approach helped the industry look at the current rules differently.”
Kersey said the response to the event was overwhelming, especially given economic conditions and financial considerations that have forced many firms to cut back on travel expenditures in the last year. He said AFIA plans to make this a bi-annual event in the future.