IGFA training in conjunction with DAFM 29th November 2016 9.00 am to 1.30
Location: Killeshin Hotel Portlaoise Junction 16 N7. For booking form contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Robust selection and qualification measures are vital components in the safety and quality management systems and strategy of all businesses.
The Irish Grain and Feed Association (IGFA) has hosted a series of meetings in Dublin and has led calls across the industry for the introduction of internationally recognised feed safety standards in order to maintain the high reputation of Irish feed products internationally.
This key message emerged as the IGFA invited The International Feed Safety Scheme to discuss common areas and issues across the industry in order to enhance greater harmonisation.
“This was the first such meeting and we are very proud to have been able to assist with this meeting before the Irish Presidency hosting came to an end. It is essential for Ireland to have internationally recognised feed safety standards in place and to promote harmonisation of these schemes so that they do not act as trade blocks to Irish products” says Deirdre Webb, Director, IGFA.
The series of meetings came on the back of several high profile food scandals in the last few months in Europe which included the horse meat scandal, mislabelled organic eggs and aflatoxin contamination in milk in the Netherlands due to contaminated Serbian and Romanian grains.
“We have used the lessons and crises from the first half of 2013 to assess our early warning and incident control procedures and looked at what lessons can be learned from the horsemeat scandal in particular. The food industry must be protected and the IGFA, as a critical part of this chain, takes its responsibility very seriously. While we accept that no system is foolproof, particularly where deliberate fraud occurs, this should not lead to complacency but instead reinforces the need for a more dynamic approach to feed safety to be adopted in order to attempt to reduce the risk to the food chain,” says Webb.
This month the US soybean farmers in America have launched a sustainability programme based on a scientific review of all production system conventional and organic. The programme will cover 279,111 soy bean farmers. The system nationally measures positive environmental benefits such as, water quality, insecticide use, soil erosion, C0 2 emissions and biodiversity enhancement.
The protocol is based on a robust set of data and backed up by local conservation officers and third party auditing. “One of the really great concepts with the US sustainability programme”, said Deirdre Webb of IGFA “is the one of continuous improvement. This encourages farmers and industry to continually innovate, to look at new techniques and opt for systems that make the entire chain more sustainable in the future.”
“The Irish feed industry is constantly asked by our customers are we sourcing our feed materials in a sustainable manner. While we are large importers of feed materials these products primarily are by products of the food industry” continued Deirdre Webb.
The change in attitude of the US food industry towards sustainability has really been a major driver for the launch of this initiative. “We benefit by being able to purchase sustainable by products for our rations”. This protocol fits alongside the already existing schemes such as RTRS Pro-terra and provides customers with options depending on the end market requirements.