The international version of the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program is nearing implementation, according to the American Feed Industry Association, the creator and sponsor of the Safe Feed/Safe Food program that has run successfully in the United States since 2004.
The Safe Feed/Safe Food program is a unique, third-party-verified program in which more than 350 livestock feed and ingredient facilities, operated by nearly 90 companies, are certified.
Representatives of the European Feed Additives and Premixtures Association, also known as FEFANA, recently met with AFIA team members at AFIA’s office in Arlington, Va., to discuss details of the international version of the program. The establishment of the International Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program was 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 certification from the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system.
In accordance with the regulation, FEFANA submitted 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.
“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. “While the Safe Feed/Safe Food program is available to facilities that are not members of AFIA, we believe we are delivering on two promises to our members with this program by providing expert leadership and being a voice for the industry.”
AFIA and FEFANA signed an agreement in January of this year, providing reciprocity for firms in the International Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program and the FAMI-QS program. Under the agreement, AFIA’s program will operate under FEFANA’s Guide to Good Practice, a recognized guide by the European Commission.
The two-day meeting between AFIA and FEFANA included time to meet with representatives of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the Agriculture Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service to share program details with them. The AFIA-FEFANA event also was attended by several U.S. feed-facility auditors, all of them affiliated with the Facility Certification Institute. This latest training of the U.S. auditors will permit them to inspect U.S. facilities for compliance with the EU standards.
Development of the International Safe Feed/Safe Food program was funded in part by a USDA Market Promotion Program grant via the U.S. Grains Council and AFIA.
With the training of the auditors complete, the launch of the international program is expected in the near future. At that time, if an official responsible for a facility wishes to pursue International Safe Feed/Safe Food certification for a 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.
Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program