E.C. feedstuff labeling proposal costly, unnecessary, GAFTA president says

by Teresa Acklin
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   A proposal to require labels on all European Community feed materials would raise costs, would create marketing delays and is not needed by any sector of the European trade, according to Aat Braakenburg, president of the Grain and Feed Trade Association, London.

   Mr. Braakenburg, addressing GAFTA members at their 1993 annual dinner, said the proposed labels would include quality specifications, such as protein, fiber and fat content. The labeling requirement would apply to 153 materials, including cereals, protein feedstuffs and marine and animal products, he said.

   Mr. Braakenburg said such labeling would introduce a mechanism to impose quality controls on all materials intended for animal feed. The so-called “label” is a document that will accompany the material from import to the end user, he said.

   The proposal would mean feedstuffs would be subject to greater quality controls and testing before shipment, Mr. Braakenburg said. This process would create tremendous delays and would add to raw-material costs, he added.

   The proposal also is unnecessary because customers who are dissatisfied with quality already have recourse under their trade contracts, he said.

   The proposal currently is under discussion among E.C. member states' ministries. Mr. Braakenburg recently said the requirements might be waived for registered compound feed manufacturers. But he noted that some feed materials still would not be exempt and that once quality labels were implemented, requirements could be tightened over time.

   GAFTA, with more than 500 members in 48 countries, promotes international trade in grains, feedstuffs, pulses and rice. Mr. Braakenburg, director of the Pell Group of Companies in Rotterdam, is the first GAFTA president from the Netherlands.

World wheat consumption to grow 10% by 2000, I.W.C.'s Amstutz says

   World wheat consumption by the year 2000 should increase by at least 10% from current levels, according to Daniel Amstutz, executive director of the International Wheat Council, London.

   Speaking at the Grain and Feed Trade Association's 1993 annual dinner in London, Mr. Amstutz also said world wheat trade should grow by 20%, to 120 million tonnes, in the next seven years.

   Mr. Amstutz predicted that China would become the single largest wheat importer and that Asia would constitute 50% of the world market. The African market also is likely to grow, he said, and would be more than twice as large as the market in the former Soviet Union.

   The expected growth makes it important for political leaders to conclude the GATT talks, he said. “The hope is ... that they will remember that the objective of GATT is to expand markets, to liberalize trade, to create greater trade flows and to generate more wealth in developing countries,” Mr. Amstutz said.