Convergence project could facilitate free and fair trade of feed ingredients

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© istock/BsWei
© istock/BsWei

Related tags: Feed ingredients, European union

A new international initiative aims to develop and establish common guidance that covers the technical requirements for the assessment of new feed ingredients, including new uses of existing feed ingredients.

Regulatory authorities and feed and feed ingredient associations from Canada, the EU and the US met in Brussels last month to launch the International Cooperation for Convergence of Technical Requirements for the Assessment of Feed Ingredients (ICCF).

ICCF chair, Melissa Dumont, said the goal of the initiative is further dialogue and exchange of information between authorities and industry experts to increase the efficiency of the approval processes across the jurisdictions, as well as help to standardize the safety assessment approaches.

Specialty feed ingredients are critical to boost the efficiency and sustainability of meat production and the ICCF project supports feed ingredients coming to market in the safest and most efficient manner possible, said the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF), one of the founding members.

Reduction in trade barriers

The work done under the ICCF “will benefit not only the three regions covered, as the guidance documents will be made available for reference and use by other jurisdictions around the globe,”  ​said Dumont.

“This initiative will also help to facilitate free and fair trade of feed ingredients [through the reduction in technical barriers for trade] as well as support the feed and food chain as it works to safely and sustainably meet the global growing demand for animal protein,”​ she said.

Founding ICCF members include the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the EU Commission (DG Santé), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC), the EU Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures (FEFANA) and the IFIF. 

The project builds on a report carried out in 2013 under the auspices of the IFIF aimed at weighing up the similarities and differences among seven jurisdictions on the approval process, and risk management assessment of feed ingredients.

That study covered synergies and gaps for product approvals in Brazil, Canada, China, EU, Japan, South Africa and the US, with expert input and support from government feed regulators and feed and feed ingredients associations in those countries, said the IFIF.

The ICCF steering committee is made up of representatives from the founding members of the alliance - it is responsible for defining the priorities and activities of the project and is set to establish the first expert working groups, which will be tasked with developing specific technical guidance documents.

As the initiative develops, observer countries will be invited to join the expert groups and may be invited as non-voting members to the ICCF Steering Committee on an ad-hoc basis, explained the IFIF.

The ICCF steering committee meets at least twice a year, and the location rotates among the three regions - Canada, EU and the US. Expert working groups will commence work this summer with first results expected in early 2018, it added. 

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