Dispatches from the 10th annual Oilseed and Grain Trade Summit, Minneapolis

Regulation, niche ingredients may influence feed sector development

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

Regulation, niche ingredients may influence feed sector development

Related tags Omega-3 fatty acid

Regulations and paperwork will have a large role to play in the US feed industry’s future as new requirements take effect, say industry officials.

“The biggest thing on the plate is the Food Safety Modernization Act and what role the FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] is going to play,”​ said Marc Yung, director of business development for Wilbur-Ellis’ feed division. “That’s the one thing that is the biggest challenge right now.”​ 

He spoke on the topic at last week’s Oilseed and Grain Trade Summit 2015 in Minneapolis.

However, niche feed ingredients will also continue to be an area of development, Yung told FeedNavigator.

Work with the FDA and the new FSMA will mean changes to the relationships involved in the production of feed ingredients, said Yung.

“What we’re going to see is a lot more emphasis, and a lot more effort on everyone’s part to ensure that there’s a pedigree that goes along with the ingredients to make animal feed,”​ he said. “The pet industry has been doing this for a long time, but the transition for all feed [ingredients] is a pretty major undertaking for the feed industry.”

It means developing new relationships with suppliers, he said. Moving forward, ingredient buyers will likely spend more time vetting supplier facilities. He added, “We’re taking it from a feed product to a food product.”

The regulations also mean more paperwork, and new documentation practices, he said. While many companies already had “good manufacturing practices”​ the emphasis will include keeping track of those policies and recording how they are followed.

To meet the new requirements, his company has brought in more people to cover areas like health and safety, quality control, regulation and facility auditing, he said. “There are a lot of people who are involved in ensuring not only that we’re doing the right thing, that we’re saying the right things and we are writing the right thing down,” ​he added.

Novel diet sourcing

“If you look at the craft beer business and how much it has grown, people want something a little different then what you can get anywhere else,”​ said Yung. The use of niche or novel feeds in animal production helps meet that need, he added.

Following consumer demands, there is a growing interest in specialty animal diets – like those for grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free production or feeds that add omega-3 fatty acids or omega-6 fatty acids, he said. “You don’t put flax in a poultry diet for least cost, it’s to put in those omega-3 qualities,” ​he added.

People are willing to pay a higher price for animals produced with specific diets, Yung said. Though, he added, that there will always be a place for producers using a least cost feed formula in production.

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