Once again topping the 30,000 mark in attendance, the 2016 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) attracted poultry, meat and feed industry leaders from all over the world Jan. 25-28 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

In addition, the expo, held in the Georgia World Congress Center, had 1,301 exhibitors, a new record, with more than 464,750 net square feet of exhibit space.

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

“This year’s tremendous exhibitor and attendance numbers are a tribute to IPPE’s unparalleled education sessions, abundant networking opportunities and distinctive exhibits. The enthusiasm and energy displayed by this year’s attendees and exhibitors will only ensure the success and growth of future IPPEs,” the three organizations said.

The expo featured several hundred suppliers to the feed industry, including Bühler, Inc., Plymouth, Minnesota, U.S., which was displaying its new cooler as well as several other recently developed feed manufacturing products.

“It is the world’s first continuous flow cooler, with a lot of innovation built into it,” said Brian Williams, vice-president of business development and marketing for Bühler. “It has a conical floor rather than a flat floor. That means there is no need for any distribution mechanism at the top of the cooler.”

He said the cone can be moved up and down, which is how the discharge is regulated.

“Because of the continuous discharge, you don’t have to oversize all of your takeway conveyors anymore,” Williams said. “It also uses less energy for all cooling and is a more efficient design as about 10 percent less total air is needed.”

Displaying its new HD Stax elevator buckets at the expo was Maxilift, Inc., Addison, Texas, U.S. Bo Fisher, vice-president of sales, said the HD Stax model is very popular in the feed industry.

“Feed ingredients tend to be very abrasive and our customers need buckets that can stand up to the abrasion and have the longest life possible,” Fisher said.

He noted that the HD Stax buckets are well suited to the overseas market.

“The new product line has been developed more for our export markets,” Fisher said. “The stackable design makes it more economical to ship and the thick wear surfaces give it a long life.”

Food Safety Modernization Act

The AFIA hosted a full-day Phase III “Food Safety Modernization Act – Preparing for Implementation for the Animal Food Industry” seminar on Jan. 27. The third of a three-phase training set over two years attracted 250 participants and covered various components of the new FSMA final rule, “Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals,” and focused on the implementation process.

“FDA estimates the cost of FSMA to be between $135 to $170 million per year,” said Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice-president of public policy and education. “FDA suggests firms keep electronic records and use existing history or past records in supply-chain management to help reduce costs. However, AFIA maintains the costs of FSMA implementation to the industry to total more than $1 billion.”

Presentations from various AFIA staff members covered the creation of an animal safety plan, how to develop an effective supply-chain program, recordkeeping for FSMA compliance and an overview of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program and third-party rules.

“There is not always a bright line between current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) and preventive controls,” said Dr. Daniel McChesney, U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine director of office of surveillance and compliance. “Think of CGMPs as observational, routine, facility and staff focused, whereas preventive controls occur in the process and controls or eliminates hazards.”

The FSMA final rule was published on Sept. 17, 2015. The first implementation period will affect firms with more than 500 employees (regular firms) and begins Sept. 19. Facilities in those firms must be in compliance with the current good manufacturing practice provisions of FSMA. Sept. 19, 2017, marks when small firms (less than 500 total firm employees) must begin CGMP implementation. Large firms must complete implementation of preventive controls (PCs) by this date and small firms must complete implementation of PCs by Sept. 18, 2018. Very small firms, those with under $2.5 million in sales annually (as determined by the last three years’ average), that have notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of their size, have until Sept. 17, 2019, to complete CGMPs.

AFIA Educational program

The AFIA hosted a half-day educational program on Feb. 28 at the IPPE. Entitled “Feed Production: Updates on Issues Impacting Your Business,” the program included five presentations.

Gary Huddleston, AFIA manager of feed manufacturing safety and environmental affairs, gave an update on Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety data sheet requirements; Christian Richter, principal of Washington, D.C., U.S.-based The Policy Group, provided the latest on Environmental Protection Agency Rules impacting the feed industry; Charles Stark, faculty coordinator of the O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center at Kansas State University, gave a presentation on energy management in feed mills; Richard Sellers of AFIA talked about the Food Safety Modernization Act and Henry Turlington, AFIA’s director of quality, education and training, discussed biosecurity in feed mills.

Turlington’s presentation focused on the development of biosecurity programs at feed facilities. He said the concept of biosecurity to control the spread of animal diseases is not new. “However, the societal and financial impact of spreading highly contagious animal diseases has increased due to the intensity of the global nature of animal agriculture and transport of pathogens worldwide.”

Once a biosecurity plan is developed, it must be continually evaluated so it can remain effective as situations change.

“There are numerous hazards that feed and ingredient manufacturers need to control or prevent, including physical, chemical and biological hazards,” Turlington said.

On the topic of energy savings in feed mills, Stark said the first step is to determine where energy usage in the plant is occurring. The three primary areas are electricity, boiler fuel and transportation fuel.

Next, energy usage data must be analyzed and goals for conservation must be established. “Someone must be responsible for driving this program,” he said. “If it is driven by a committee, and no one is in charge, it is not going be successful.”

Stark added that energy conservation requires a culture change among management and employees. “It starts top and works its way down,” he said.

Feed Mill of the Year

The educational program ended with Kent Nutrition Group, Inc. (KNG), of Rockford, Illinois, U.S., being named the 2015 Feed Mill of the Year. The annual award recognizes overall excellence in feed manufacturing operations and is sponsored by the AFIA and Feedstuffs newspaper.

KNG's Kent brand has served Midwestern livestock producers for more than 85 years. Its Rockford facility was built in 1964.

“This award is for our employees,” said Tom Smolen, plant manager of KNG's Rockford operation. “The staff understands what is needed to be in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act and they take these requirements to heart. Winning the Feed Mill of the Year award is a direct reflection of their dedication.

“We operate our plant with an ‘audit ready everyday’ mentality. At KNG, we strive for excellence during every shift to make safe, quality products that our customers can trust to provide the best in nutritional value for their animals,” said Smolen.

To ensure food and feed safety, the Kent Rockford plant is certified in AFIA's Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program and third-party Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP).

The Rockford plant was named AFIA Feed Mill of the Year runner-up in 2012.

The Feed Mill of the Year Award runner-up in 2015 is Southern States Cooperative, Valdosta, Georgia, U.S. Since 1923, Southern States has been a farmer-owned cooperative providing a wide variety of agriculture products and home supplies to the agricultural community. The Southern States Valdosta location has been in operation since Oct. 13, 1998. 

Pet Food Conference

The AFIA’s Pet Food Conference on Jan. 26 drew 330 registrants, far exceeding the 2015 conference, which had 250 registrants.

The Pet Food Conference is designed to inform pet food representatives about the latest industry initiatives, and included speakers from government entities, private companies and universities, and discussed compelling topics including the future of trade, developments in meat and poultry safety, labeling claims and how to prepare for third-party certification.

“The final FSMA rule requires pet food manufacturers to consider different aspects than their feed and feed ingredient manufacturer counterparts,” said Leah Wilkinson, AFIA vice-president of legislative, regulatory and state affairs. “While the industry is preparing to implement the final rule, we are also looking to future challenges and opportunities in the pet food market.”

Attendees heard from industry representatives Betsy Booren, North American Meat Institute; John Dillard of Olsson, Frank and Weeda; Maria R. C. de Godoy, University of Illinois; Daniel McChesney, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Robert Prevendar, NSF International; and AFIA trade expert Gina Tumbarello on the issues of whole genome sequencing, labeling, sampling, certifications and trade.

“In 2015 the U.S. averaged $105 billion in pet care sales,” said Jared Koerten of Euromonitor International during his domestic and global trends in pet food presentation.

“Dog food represents almost half of global sales, and together with cat food, both control 70 percent of the global pet care market.”

Research updates addressing allergens and pet obesity were also provided to the group. Kelly Swanson, professor of animal and nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois, explained that information pulled from a 2014 study showed “30 percent of pets were overweight and 28 percent were obese, which is more than 50 percent of the pet population.”

Research is ongoing into methods to mitigate this obesity trend.