The SF/SF program is successful as it requires third-party validation of a comprehensive record of best-practice requirements ranging from facility planning to ingredient sourcing controls to product traceability of program participants, in order to earn certification.
“Certification demonstrates that these facilities have in most cases exceeded regulatory requirements for medicated and nonmedicated feed and ingredients, and certainly raises the bar for the industry,” Epperson adds.
“During a recent meeting with AFIA and FDA, senior FDA officials stated their desire to cooperate in encouraging more firms to join the SF/SF program. In fact, this issue has been raised formally by FDA in a request for comments published in the Federal Register,” states Richard Sellers, AFIA’s vice president of feed regulation and nutrition. “We have also been in discussions with various agencies in the European Union and South America for a similar certification program, which should help address variability of standards between international markets, which is one of the biggest challenges to quality we have today.”
Newman, Epperson and Sellers all are quick to state that quality has always been an important issue but caution that quality should not take a back seat to supply issues.
“Even in times of tight supplies, quality remains vitally important to the feed industry,” Newman emphasizes. “Quality and end-product safety have direct linkage, and as customers look to alternative sources to economically replace now hard-to-find feedstocks, you introduce more variability into feed products, which is not the ideal.”
Back to School
Higher education weighs in on grain quality in numerous ways each and every day. The University of Illinois and Purdue University are taking it a step further by presenting the International Grain Quality and Technology Congress, slated for July 15-18, in Arlington Heights, IL just west of Chicago. (See ad below for more details).
Participants and presenters include the leading scientists, engineers, economists and professionals from academia, government and the agricultural and food/feed/fiber/fuel industry involved in the production, handling and utilization of cereals, oilseeds and co-products, and the manufacturing of grain-based foods, feeds, fiber and fuel from throughout the world. Representatives from the agricultural and food/feed/fiber/fuel industry (including equipment, biotechnology and service suppliers; grain producers, handlers and processors; food and feed manufacturers; fiber and fuel producers), certification agencies, producer organizations, grain inspection services, research institutes, and international trade policy groups from throughout the world are invited to participate.