The American Feed Industry Association’s 2012 International Feed Expo, organized in conjunction with the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s International Poultry Expo, concluded on Jan. 26 in Atlanta. More than 20,500 visitors from 100-plus countries attended this year’s event supporting the feed, pet food and poultry industries.
The annual trade show and expo, the world’s largest event of its kind, housed 895 exhibitors who displayed the latest in products and technologies, while sponsoring associations provided numerous educational programs and international networking opportunities.
“The International Feed Expo is a place for everyone to come together on a global basis and access the latest technology in the marketplace, to receive education on best practices and also share a good networking opportunity with other people in the industry,” said Joel Newman, AFIA president and CEO. “With over 20,000 attendees here at the show, it’s the place to be.”
AFIA presents two education programs
The first of the American Feed Industry Association’s educational programs was the Pet Food Conference, held on Jan. 24, covering a variety of topics ranging from regulatory issues to the technical aspects of production.
The conference featured speakers from industry-leading companies, domestic and international associations and government agencies, including ADM Alliance Nutrition, Novus International, Eurofins Scientific, American Proteins, Pet Food Association of Canada, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, and the Food and Drug Administration.
Among the highlights during this day-long program was a presentation by Dr. Dan McChesney, in which he encouraged all feed facilities to identify what controls they already have in place and compare them to what is required by the Food Safety Modernization Act.
“Whatever you have identified as a hazard, you have to have a preventive control to address that hazard,” said McChesney. In addition, facilities are required to keep detailed records of any controls in place.
According to McChesney, FDA’s proposed rules for preventive controls will likely be released in February or March 2012, with the final rule scheduled to be published this summer, after public meetings in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Oakland, CA, and a 75-day comment period.
Day two of the International Feed Expo was highlighted by the AFIA’s annual Feed Education Forum, addressing unique feed industry issues in three sessions presented by Tim Lease of WL Port-Land Systems, Inc., Richard Sellers, AFIA’s vice president of feed regulation and nutrition, and Keith Epperson, AFIA’s vice president of manufacturing and training.
Starting off the program, Lease offered practical money-saving tips, including how to decrease system operating pressure by adjusting air compressor metrics, during his presentation titled, “Selecting the Proper Equipment to Maximize Efficiency.”
Next, Sellers’ update on the Food Safety Modernization Act explained which facilities are affected by the one-year-old regulation and reminded attendees that “facility registration is a license to operate. It’s an important distinction in this new law.”
Sellers went on to distinguish AFIA’s role in educating Capitol Hill about the difference between food and animal feed. “Neither Congress nor FDA wish to make a reckless feed law.” Sellers said, “If they do, it’s my fault; I did not provide enough education.”
Epperson concluded the program with an overview of Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. The agencies aim to increase inspections in the feed industry, however; according to Epperson, in 2012 OSHA received a budget increase of only $6.4 million, representing about 1% of the $584 million it requested. Epperson then reminded attendees that truck drivers were banned from using cell phones on Jan. 1.