The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) now has the authority to register, audit, and certify feed facilities as needed based on foreign requirements.
It is also able to certify a wide range of animal feed products, including pet food and treats, dried distillers’ grains with solubles, mixed-ingredient feeds and feed additives.
The move follows an agreement between the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Sam Jones-Ellard, Public Affairs Specialist with the AMS, told FeedNavigator.com:
“Providing the USDA with the authority to certify that feed and pet food meets export requirements is a big step towards helping US feed exporters take advantage of the growing global demand for these products.
When fully implemented, this programme could open new markets for US animal feed and pet food products, generating additional economic benefits and more jobs across rural America."
Feed industry backing
The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) said it has been supportive of the USDA/FDA certification deal since its early stages of development.
“The agreement is a result of AFIA’s efforts to inform USDA’s FAS about several issues that the industry has had exporting to various markets, such as Brazil’s requirement for GMP certifications and products under the implementation of China’s AQSIQ Decree 118,” said Gina Tumbarello, AFIA manager of international trade.
The trade group said it will help identify markets where the feed, feed ingredient and pet food industries are currently experiencing export difficulties related to certifications on foreign requirements.
The AMS programme, which was modelled on a previous USDA/FDA agreement for processed eggs, will not be implemented across the board for all feed ingredients or for all markets.
Instead it will be addressed on a country-by-country basis, said the government agency.
China compliance programme
The ASM programme has just started (19 February) to address certification requirements for processed plant-based feed products under China’s AQSIQ Decree 118.
China is a profitable market for the US feed sector.
US feed and feed ingredient exports to China reached $1.6 billion in 2011, an astronomical growth rate of 478% over the 2009 rate, according to the USDA‘s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
In order to meet AQSIQ requirements and further facilitate trade, the AMS said it will open a web-based application to build a list of registered US plant-based feed facilities for submission to Chinese authorities.
AQSIQ requirements mandate that US exporters of plant-based feed products meet the following criteria: the exported product must originate from a registered US facility; the registered facility may be subject to audits by AQSIQ officials; and the exported product must be accompanied by a shipment-by-shipment certificate.
The agency is encouraging all producers interested in beginning or continuing shipping their plant-based feeds to China to fill out the AMS web-based application, which can be accessed here.
The AMS said it will evaluate every application for completeness before entering the facility on the list of registered sites for submission to Chinese officials.
Talks ongoing with Chinese authorities
Details surrounding the registered facility audits by AQSIQ officials and the certification requirements are still being negotiated with China, said the US government agency.
China defines ‘processed plant-based feed products’ as feed derived from grain and oil crops, such as wheat bran, bran coat, soybean cake/meal, peanut cake/meal, rapeseed cake/meal, cottonseed cake/meal, sunflower cake/meal, safflower seed cake/meal, linseed cake/meal, coconut cake/meal, palm cake/meal, DDGS from maize or cassava, and beet pulp.
The definition does not extend to forage grasses and raw feed grains.