FBA Issue 29: November / December 2009
November 9 - 10 2009
Global Feed Summit 
Developments in the global livestock feed industry take centre stage at the upcoming Global Feed Summit, which will be held in Bali, Indonesia on November 9-10, 2009. Held at the Laguna Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali - Balai Raya A + B. Over 20 invited panelists will address the uncertain economic climate, feedstock price volatility, animal health, feed nutrition, regulatory concerns and other pressing issues dominating the global dairy, poultry, aquaculture and swine feed sectors.

Asia's rising population, booming personal incomes and ascending per capital protein intake have fuelled increasing demand for animal feed across the region. This year's Global Feed Summit will address emerging livestock feed market opportunities, and provide up-to-the-minute analysis of market movements and regulatory updates.
Leading the agenda are sessions looking at the feed industry's competitiveness, market trends and challenges. Experts from the World Bank, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, and PT Charoen Pokphand (CP) Indonesia will share perspectives on the opportunities for feed millers & integrators, challenges confronting the livestock industry & the impact of avian flu on poultry demand & trade.
Volatile animal feed raw material prices will also receive special consideration at the conference. Key representatives from the US Grains Council, Soon Soon Oilmills and PT Japfa Comfeed Indonesia will provide insights into Asian raw feed material supply/demand balances and managing raw material price volatility.  They will also analyse, both the constraints and potential benefits in using alternative feed  ingredients. Discussions will also address the economics of soybean meal quality, that of other key feed grains, as well as innovations in feed formulation.
Another key highlight at the conference will be the focus on Genetically Modified (GM) Feed Acceptance and Adoption. Industry leaders Monsanto will discuss the benefits of biotechnology and the global adoption of GMO crops. Zen-noh will share their views concerning GM issues & non-GM raw materials demand in Japan, focusing on the feed market outlook.
Updates on poultry, swine, dairy, ruminant, aquaculture and aquafeed market developments in Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Korea, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Middle East will also be presented at the conference. Other discussions will cover animal health nutrition, AGP-free Nutrition (antibiotic Growth Promoter-free), mycotoxins and feed enzymes innovations.
 Those seeking more information on participating at the Global Feed Summit as delegates, media partners, exhibitors or sponsors can contact angelia@cmtsp.com.sg, visit our web site at www.cmtevents.com/aboutevent.aspx?ev=091141& or contact Ms. Grace at +65 6345 9147. 
The above are excerpts, full versions are only available in FEED Business Asia. For subscriptions enquiries, e-mail membership@efeedlink.com
FEBA Issue 29: November / December 2009
The ASAIM-WPSA (Singapore Branch) Industry Seminar
by Eric J. BROOKS
From dioxin tainted Belgian feed a decade ago to contaminated Chinese food exports in 2007, it is becoming increasingly important to regulate, certify and monitor the farm to supermarket supply chain. Held in Singapore during mid September, a joint American Soybean Association – World Poultry Association seminar dealt with the challenge of regulating and certifying feed additives.
Key speaker Jon Ratcliffe, managing director and founder of UK-based Food and Agriculture Services (F.A.C.S) Limited provided a highly insightful, well detailed analysis of the challenges faced in creating a safe farm to supermarket supply chain. Providing numerous examples from a mere decade ago, Ratcliff explained how the same feed quality problems Asia faces today previously dogged EU. He proceeded to outline how various EU feed and food safety schemes, certifications and institutes evolved were adapted to that continent's staggering feed-to-meat supply chain complexity.
As Ratcliff explained it, feed is a very complex industry with many processing steps and attendant suppliers, each of which requires a separate set of issues and corresponding need for controls and regulations. This complexity manifests itself in several ways. In a typical poultry processing plant, "Those people may have good knowledge of food production but not about feed production. How do you know that the minerals in your premix are safe?" As Ratcliff made clear, minerals could be sourced anywhere from clean mines to contaminated scrap metal.
Moreover, from farm to food store, every supply chain node is vulnerable to safety issue black boxes similar to the above example, both inside their facilities and at many nodes upstream from them. Each feed-to-meat supply chain stakeholder must adhere to his own industry's level's certifications. At the same time, the purity of its raw materials can only be ensured via proper inspection and certification of its upstream suppliers. Schemes such as FAMI QS, which ensures EU feed safety, are designed to audit, evaluate and certify the risks such upstream uncertainties create.
In addition, the scale and certification process is dogged by size and scale issues. Ratcliff stated that for example, "If you have only one premixing mill, then you have to flush that out a few times a day. That then becomes a critical control point." This assumes that the same mill grinding equipment used for processing different types of feed and feed raw materials. On the other hand, a larger milling facility may have individual milling lines, each dedicated to a specific feed or feed raw material, thereby making the need to regularly flush them unnecessary. 
In addition, there are different, often incompatible audit and certification standards in different parts of the world. Even when one scheme is equivalent to another, the fact there are so many of them creates confusion. For example, there are two standards that regulate food safety.
Even though the first standard encompasses the specifications of the second, there are Asian countries where bureaucrats decided to accept the latter while rejecting the former. Seminar attendee Mathieu Cortyl, Asia Pacific general manager of Norel & Nature stated "one Asian country stated that it will only accept GMP, not FAMI QS, even though FAMI QS encompasses GMP." Cortyl explained that, "You don't need FAMI QS if you have GMP and HACCP plus documentation but some countries will accept one but not the other."
Ratcliff did an excellent job of highlighting EU schemes, standards, their evolution and relative effectiveness. On one hand, their relevance to Asia is that unlike culturally monolithic America, EU standards were successfully implemented over a diversity of nations, cultures and stages of economic development. That, in many ways, is the same challenge faced by the Asia Pacific feed-to-meat supply chain. Having founded his own inspection and auditing firm in the UK but having transplanted its concepts to countries like China and Thailand, Ratcliff was in a unique position to expound on the challenges involved in creating a rational, comprehensive set of regulations, schemes and standards in Asia.
On the other hand, since Asia lacks a transnational regulatory body such as the EU, reforming its certification processes is a much more complex challenge here than in the west. However, if large countries were to take the lead in setting up legitimate regulatory bodies on the level of the EU or US FDA, it would create a framework that other countries could easily fall into line with. Needless to say, that is easier said than done. In India and China, single provinces are as geographically large and populous as individual European states. Their linguistic and cultural barriers makes it difficult to implement policies created by distant bureaucrats in Beijing or New Delhi.
Despite the challenges their scale and internal diversity creates, Ratcliff stated that, "China and India will need to put into place regulatory procedures. The problem those countries have is that enormous task of trying to implement a top down standard across so many languages and countries. Somebody has to undo all that and put in something that can be applied across the entire region."
Towards this end, Ratcliff believes that private industry stakeholders will play a key role in blazing the path for universal standards. He explains that, "You don't need to wait for the authorities to drive that standard. There are excellent companies in China [and India] already. They are already exporting and they will drive the making of these standards. But they have to be integrated companies, otherwise they will not be able to enforce the standard [across the feed-to-meat supply chain]." In this context, reputable private companies such as F.A.C.S. play a key role in the legitimizing of industry stakeholders.
Perhaps what mattered most was the profile of the seminar's participants. Everyone from suppliers of audit and certification services to livestock industry association executives to feed additive makers particpated in animated, articulate discussions. A strong determination to raise the safety standards of Asia's feed-to-meat value chain was very much in evidence.
The above are excerpts, full versions are only available in FEED Business Asia. For subscriptions enquiries, e-mail membership@efeedlink.com