IPPE review

by Meyer Sosland
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Despite a rare snow and ice storm that shutdown the roads in the host city, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., and complicated flights in and out of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the 2014 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) was busy and successful with more than 24,000 poultry, meat and feed industry registrants attending from all over the world. In addition, the show, held at the Georgia World Congress Center, had 1,148 exhibitors with more than 410,000 net square feet of exhibit space.

Sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the American Meat Institute, IPPE is the world’s largest annual poultry, meat and feed industry event of its kind.

IPPE’s initial projections were at 28,000 registrants, but the inclement weather impacted a significant portion of drive-in traffic. Fortunately, most of the IPPE’s fly-in attendees were already here, including a strong international contingent.

“It speaks to the strength of integrating these three shows together that attendance held up so well in spite of the inclement weather,” remarked the three trade associations.

The main attraction was the large exhibit floor. Exhibitors displayed the latest innovations in equipment, supplies and services utilized by industry firms in the production and processing of poultry, eggs, feed products and meat. A large number of companies use the annual event to highlight their new products. All phases of the poultry, feed and meat industry were represented, from live production and processing to further processing and packaging.

The education slate complemented the exhibits by keeping industry management informed on current issues and events. This year’s educational line-up featured 16 programs, ranging from a conference on ground poultry pathogen reduction to antibiotic use in the meat and poultry industry to a program on how to export feed and feed ingredients to the U.S.

EDUCATIONAL FEED PROGRAMS

As part of the programming at the IPPE, the AFIA focused its attention on impending issues in the feed industry at two conferences it hosted during the expo.

Recognizing the importance of imported feed ingredients to the U.S. production of feed, AFIA sponsored its first seminar on “How to Export Feed & Feed Ingredients to the U.S.” The seminar was designed to provide insight into the complex process of exporting feed and feed ingredients to the U.S.

Seminar topics varied from a presentation on the key responsibilities of APHIS in the importation of animal feed, by Dr. Dawn Hunter, senior veterinary officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), to a discussion about the services customs brokers provide to U.S. importers by Harold Hagan, president of Atlanta Customs Brokers and International Freight Forwarders Inc.

AFIA President and Chief Executive Officer Joel G. Newman kicked off the conference providing attendees with a snapshot of U.S. feed production and pointed out, “While the U.S. is largely self-sufficient in most feed ingredients and is highly successful in recycling co-products of food processing through the feed industry, the global industry provides good options for key nutritional ingredients and specialty products.”

Gina Tumbarello, AFIA’s manager of international trade, said in her presentation, “In one ton of compound feed, additives such as vitamins, trace minerals, amino acids and enzymes make up only one percent of the ration. However, it represents 15%-20% of the cost of that same ration. Of the estimated 165 million tons of compound feed produced by the U.S. in 2012, this is translated to roughly $6.2 billion worth of additives put into compound feed. AFIA estimates that $3.4 billion of that $6.2 billion is imported product.”

It is for this reason that emphasis is being put on Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed rules such as the Foreign Supplier Verification Program and Third-Party Certification.

Henry Turlington, AFIA’s director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs, discussed FSMA with attendees, noting that foreign suppliers wanting to export feed and feed ingredient products to the U.S. will need to understand their U.S. customer’s requirements and specifications. Daniel McChesney, director of surveillance and compliance for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center of Veterinary Medicine, mentioned in his presentation on FSMA that the proposed FSMA rules would hold importers responsible for ensuring the food they bring inside the U.S. meets FDA safety standards.

The second conference, the International Feed Education Program, offered IPPE attendees insight into current feed industry challenges. Keith Epperson, AFIA vice-president of manufacturing and training, provided a regulatory update on both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety Health Administration.

Richard Sellers, AFIA’s senior vice-president of legislative and regulatory affairs, gave a presentation entitled, “Government Compliance Update: Food Safety Modernization Act: What Do I Need to Know?” Sellers also discussed the Veterinary Feed Directive.

“Simply put, it’s like a prescription,” said Sellers.

AFIA supports the VFD rule as it is proposed to ease the administrative burden for feed mills accepting VFDs. However, the organization said in a recent statement, “AFIA continues to be concerned about the lack of veterinarians trained to complete VFDs as well as the lack of large animal veterinarians in general.”

PET FOOD CONFERENCE

The AFIA said there was a record 275 people in attendance for its annual Pet Food Conference.

In partnership with the Poultry Protein and Fat Council, the AFIA hosted the 7th annual conference, which is designed to inform pet food industry representatives on the latest industry initiatives including FMSA.

“We were pleased by the conference’s turnout despite the inclement weather. The large attendance number proves what a strong and growing interest there is among AFIA members and IPPE attendees in regards to pet food,” said Wilkinson.

The Pet Food Conference boasted a diverse panel of speakers from government agencies, private corporations, universities and AFIA staff. The program covered a range of topics from Dr. George Collings’ (Nutrition Solutions, LLC) presentation on “Ingredient Supply Challenges and Opportunities” to Sam Davis (South Carolina Department of Agriculture) and Richard Ten Eyck’s (Oregon Department of Agriculture) update on the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

Svetlana Uduslivaia of Euromonitor International kicked off the program discussing “Domestic and Global Industry Trends.” Uduslivaia informed attendees that 68% of pet owners consider their pet a family member. These same pet owners are 60% more likely to purchase “green” pet food than those who do not view their pet as a family member. She also said moving forward cat treats and mixers will see the strongest growth but remain small in actual volume, and there is room for growth in “green” pet products as well as products for urban-area pets.

McChesney provided an update from the agency, covering FSMA, pet food sampling results and the Vet Laboratory Investigation and Response Network, also known as Vet-LIRN.

He applauded the industry on their efforts to reduce Salmonella in pet food products, noting it has decreased significantly in the last five years. “By in large, firms are doing a much better job of addressing the pathogen,” McChesney said.

University representatives Cassandra Jones (Kansas State University) and Maria Cattai de Godoy (University of Illinois) addressed the group on the topic of innovation. Cattai de Godoy said innovation does not always relate “to the development of a new technology or with the use of best available research methods, but rather with the ability to adjust to a new vision and apply better solutions to meet new requirements and demands.”

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