Where Food Comes From, a Colorado headquartered firm specializing in third party verification of food production practices, said the program, which is run by its IMI Global unit, houses a real-time listing of approved feed products and ingredients by name, while indicating the verification or certification programs each product is approved for use in.
The listing is species-neutral, and also includes direct hyperlinks to the individual product websites, said the company.
“Along with providing a resource for our customers for the different verification programs, we also look on the flip side,” Doug Stanton, vice president of operations at IMI Global told FeedNavigator. “It helps give the [feed] manufactures or suppliers exposure. “
He said the goal was to offer producers a place they could go to find products that meet the needs of their specific program, like sources of organic alfalfa for a dairy.
Feed Verified, said the company, also assures segregation and traceability practices are in place at the manufacturer and the products are verified by IMI Global to meet the requirements of the programs selected.
The idea for the program started when IMI Global was certifying feed products used by a rancher and found some of the ingredients did not meet the requirements of a desired market, said Stanton. With the list in place, producers can check for products or ingredients that meet their specific needs in a timely manner.
“If I’m going to buy a supplement or a mineral, [I need to know] what products have been approved by a third-party company, so I won’t feed something that would disqualify my cattle or pigs from participating in a program that I want to focus on,” he said.
The verified list has already gone through some changes from the initial conception, said Stanton.
“When it started it was going to be for natural and non-hormone [products], because that was the need, but, since that time, organic has come into play and non-GMO has come up, so we’re adding that,” he said. “We see it as a fluid listing of different kinds of verifications depending on our customers. And, we’ll continue to expand those claims so that if a customer is looking for a product hopefully there will be one that will match.”
Currently, feeds and supplements can be rated for being approved for use in animal production that is non-hormone treated cattle (NHTC free), approved for the US Department of Agriculture’s Never Ever 3, approved for a GAP animal welfare rating, organic production and approved input for non-genetically modified organism project use, said the company.
Feed firms on board
Alltech has been one of the early companies to take part in the verification process and currently has 15 products on the approved supplier list, said Brian Lawless, Alltech programs nutrition coordinator.
The list offers a way to help reduce confusion regarding product certification, he said, and it should offer transparency and an easy place for farm producers to check for what their animals are eating.
The company has been working on its initial approvals for several months, because the process was new, he said.
“This whole process, seed to feed to food, is becoming more linear and this will help us,” he said. “The market for some of these specialty products is growing, the expense wasn’t high and with the return on the growth of the market, you continue to grow.”
In addition to Alltech, Bio SI Technology has one product on the verified list, IMI Global reported.