Photo by Dan Flavin.
More than 31,000 poultry, meat and feed industry leaders from around the world attended the annual event held at the Georgia World Congress Center. The IPPE, the largest event of its kind in the world, also attracted 1,275 exhibitors to the trade show floor. Exhibitors demonstrated the latest innovations in equipment, supplies and services used in the production and processing of poultry, meat, eggs and feed products.
Feed industry equipment suppliers said business is strong internationally and improving in the United States.
“There’s been expansion activity across the live production and processing side and feed mills are a part of that,” said Hans Lehmann, vice-president and general manager, North America, GSI. “Feed has been hanging on pretty good. Meat consumption is good and domestically we are seeing expansion in swine to support the new packing facilities coming online and expansion on the poultry side.”
Grain has been a little soft, he said, but is showing some signs of life with a big 2016 crop, strong exports, improved ethanol margins and a swing back to profitability.
“Some of the things that drive business for commercial grain in elevators are starting to swing back, on top of a big crop,” he said.
Bühler Inc. was showcasing its MultimpactMax Hammer Mill and MultimpactFine Hammer Mill, which offer high capacity (60 tonnes per hour plus) for both coarse and fine grinding applications. Dan Lundt, Bühler’s sales director, feed and oilseeds, North America, said the hammermills meet the industry’s needs as it moves to fewer mills with larger capacities.
The company also was showcasing equipment that addresses health and safety concerns from increasing regulations like FSMA. He said all of Bühler’s pelleting equipment has stainless steel contact surfaces and is cleaned in place, limiting the interaction between the operator and the equipment.
Sanitation was also a key for sales of Global Industries’ steel Sentinel buildings, which were on display at the IPPE. Steve Frisbie, marketing director for Global Industries, said the buildings are designed mostly for tropical and subtropical areas because they are easy to keep clean and sterile.
“Growers are finding with these kinds of buildings that they can turn chickens over more quickly,” he said. “They tend to grow faster.”
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Feed companies with more than 500 full-time employees must already be in compliance with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) part of the Act, and will have until September 2017 to comply with the Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Prevention Controls portion of the law, according to the AFIA’s Gary Huddleston. Companies with 500 or fewer full-time employees will have to be in compliance of the CGMP and Hazard Analysis portions of the law by September 2017 and September 2018, respectively.
According to the AFIA, 80% to 90% of the 19,000 animal feed facilities in the United States fall under the small business (less than 500 employees) category.
“Inspections will be starting in early 2017, so some of the larger companies may see the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) coming to their facilities to do inspections very soon,” Huddleston said.
Robert Prevendar, NSF International’s global managing director of supply chain, food safety and agriculture, told feed millers during the education program that although new U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to overturn many policies introduced during the Obama administration, he expects FSMA to remain law.
“It’s here and it’s not going away,” he said. “Even with a new president, chances are it’s not going to be repealed.”
The FDA estimates the annual cost of FSMA implementation for the feed industry to run between $135 million and $170 million over the next 10 years. However, the AFIA estimates the cost will be considerably higher, although it hasn’t offered an exact dollar amount.
Prevendar said more global trade that has led to increased feed imports to the United States and the increasing complexity of the supply chain are two of the major factors that led to the creation of the food and feed safety measure.
“For the first time, feed is defined as being food,” he said. “They are not differentiating between the two.”
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Newman discusses Trump
How new U.S. President Donald Trump, whose policies are radically different than his predecessor, Barack Obama, might impact the feed industry was addressed during a presentation on Feb. 1 by Joel Newman, president and chief executive officer of the AFIA.
Newman said the industry would likely have opportunities in regulatory reform but also may face challenges in trade,
“There are a lot of ways that people are describing this administration, but mostly the one I think fits this is unconventional,” Newman said. “It’s not going to be like any previous administrations that we are familiar with. That will cause us to deal with a lot of change in the process.”
A big concern for the feed industry was Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Jan. 23. The TPP is a trade agreement negotiated over more than seven years with governments of 11 nations accounting for about 40% of the global economy. TPP was wrapped up in February 2016 but was never sent to the U.S. Congress for approval.
The TPP was considered a good agreement for agriculture and would have created more jobs and accelerated the amount of product moving out of the United States, Newman said.
“We’re not at all pleased that this very quick decision was made to pull out of the agreement,” he said.
The agreement had to be signed within three years, so there is a year-and-a-half to two-year window to see if portions of it can move forward, he said. The problem is China is actively moving to take the spot vacated by the United States.
“That’s a huge region,” Newman said. “If someone else takes our spot, it’s going to take a long time for us to get back in there. It takes just as long to negotiate bilateral agreements as it did to negotiate this multilateral agreement. The withdrawal is also going to really affect the trust that we’re going to have in negotiating trade agreements in the future. We spent years working with these 11 countries, came to an agreement, and at the last minute we’re backing out.
“To go back and replace it with an agreement with even half of those countries is going to take quite a while. This is a huge area of disappointment for us and our industry.”
Two of the top three destinations for U.S. agricultural exports — Canada and Mexico — are affected by the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has promised to reform.
“We need to make sure that goes well so we don’t end up with a worse situation but an improved situation,” Newman said. ”There’s no question there’s an opportunity to add some accountability within the agreement but how they go about it is going to be critical.”
One area that the feed industry may benefit from the Trump presidency is in regulatory reform. Trump and congressional Republicans campaigned on reducing regulatory burden. Legislation has passed the House and is under consideration in the Senate, including the Regulatory Accountability Act, which gives Congress an opportunity to look back at economically significant rules. Another regulation reform would allow Congress to review a final rulemaking for law before it gets enacted to make sure it meets the parameters they have set up as well as the cost justification vs. the benefits of law.
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International Feed Regulators meet
Feed industry representatives and government officials around the world took part in the 10th annual International Feed Regulators Meeting (IFRM) on Jan. 31 during the IPPE. Critical issues facing the feed sector with the International Feed Industry Federation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (IAO) were discussed.
“I am delighted we had a record number of participants from across the world from key regulatory bodies at this meeting,” Newman said. “This meeting, yet again, proved to be an important opportunity for the global feed industry and feed regulators to discuss key issues for the feed and food chain, including Feed Safety Risk Management Strategies, as well as program on capacity development for feed safety to implement the Codex Alimentarius requirements.”
The meeting is an important example of the private sector collaborating with the FAO and regulators from around the world, Newman said.
“Feed operators can valuably contribute to make the livestock and food sectors more responsible and sustainable to achieve other important goals such as food security, public health, and animal health and welfare,” said Daniela Battaglia, livestock development officer at the Animal Production and Health Division of the FAO. “The IFRM is an important opportunity to exchange ideas among stakeholders from around the world and to coordinate our efforts toward common goals.”
Other topics at the 10th IFRM included a workshop on actions to minimize antimicrobial resistance (AMR), an update on feed legislations in the Philippines, Ecuador and Japan, as well as a discussion of feed-related work in the Codex Alimentarius Commission and an update on the Convergence Project, which aims toward convergence of technical requirements specific to feed additive/ingredient authorization across regions.
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Feed Facility of the year award
During the AFIA Educational Program, the 2016 Feed Facility of the Year award was presented to Trouw Nutrition USA of Neosho, Missouri, U.S.
The annual award, co-sponsored by the AFIA and Feedstuffs, recognizes overall excellence in feed manufacturing operations.
“Trouw’s Neosho plant is committed to excellence in the manufacturing process,” said Doug Vanjoff, plant manager. “The facility strives to meet each of our customer’s needs through the use of computer-controlled systems, focusing on quality, safety and sustainability.”
Trouw has six quality certifications, including AFIA’s Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program, Safe Quality Food Level Two, Fami QS, GMP+, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Restricted Use Protein Products (RUPP).
“We sincerely appreciate this recognition of our plant’s operational excellence,” Vanjoff said. “We are very proud of this facility and everything that we do. To be recognized as a leader in the industry is a testament to our team’s commitment.”
Formerly called the Feed Mill of the Year Award, which only considered dry feed milling facilities in the United States, this year the AFIA introduced a new format that compared plants in five different categories: Commercial dry livestock, integrator, liquid feed, pet food and premix.
Trouw, the overall winner, topped the premix manufacturing plant category; Westway Feed Products of Dimmit, Texas, won the liquid feed category; and Tennessee Farmer’s Cooperative of Lavergne, Tennessee, was the winner in the commercial dry livestock category. Due to a low number of applications submissions, the integrator feed plant and pet food plant categories did not have winners selected.
Pet food conference
A record 365 people attended the AFIA’s 10th annual Pet Food Conference on Feb. 1, held in conjunction with the IPPE.
Attendees heard from a panel on environmental monitoring in pet food safety programs, as well as eight individual speakers. Melissa Brookshire, founder of North River Enterprises, a consulting firm specializing in consumer support services for the pet food industry, discussed the need for transparency with pet food customers during her presentation, “Making Pet Food for Today’s Discerning Customer.”
“A pet food manufacturer today needs to balance the nutritional requirements of the animal, conducting sustainable operations and the needs and wants of the customer,” she said. “It can be done, but it takes some focus and attention.”
Another presentation, given by Jessica Starkey, assistant professor at Auburn University, focused on developing the next generation of pet food employees. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture/Purdue University study reported there is a need for nearly 60,000 high-skilled employees in the U.S. food and agriculture arenas in the next four years.
Starkey said education about careers starts with teachers in the United States.
“Educating the educator on the pet food industry will help us share information with students looking for careers in agriculture,” Starkey said. “The students are there; we just need to connect to industry.”
Other topics discussed included: industry trends; trade, extrusion of grain-free pet foods; and research and AAFCO updates.