GMP: Quality assurance for animal feed
Animal feeds form a major link in the animal production chain: they have a direct influence on the quality and safety of feeds of animal origin. Consumers of meat, milk and eggs expect the industry and the retail trade to supply safe, high-quality products.
The government has therefore established rules in the animal feed legislation which guarantee the quality of animal feeds and consequently the quality of meat, milk and eggs. Compa-nies in the animal feed sector may go a step further by progressing to Good Manufacturing/ Managing Practice. Thanks to this regulation, which is better known as the GMP regulation, companies can demonstrably guarantee that animal feeds and animal feed ingredients meet the legal rules and the super-legal requirements which have been agreed with the parties in the chain.
Quality through sector-wide co-operation
The production of safe feeds of animal origin is a responsibility of the involved livestock farmers, animal feed suppliers, veterinarians and of the industry. Those involved have, in close co-operation, drawn up rules for the production of such feeds, the so-called system of Integral Chain Management (IKB) in the meat and eggs sectors and the Milk Quality Chain (KKM) in the dairy sector. This system guarantees the quality of feeds with regard to the health and welfare of humans, animals and the environment.
The aim of the IKB and the KKM is for all the links in the feed chain which are involved in the production of meat, milk or eggs to manufacture under controlled conditions. There is a pos-sibility for animal feed suppliers to take part in this quality system via the animal feed sector GMP regulation. Livestock farmers who participate in the IKB or KKM system are obliged to take their animal feeds from GMP-certified suppliers.
In addition, of course, feed suppliers in countries other than the Netherlands may participate in the GMP regulation if they wish to provide a guarantee of the quality of their products to their customers.
Primarily the GMP regulation requires the correct use of additives and veterinary medical products. Compound feed and premix companies should implement their own measures for responsible processing of such ingredients. In addition the regulation provides for the control of the levels of undesirable substances and products such as heavy metals, pesticides and aflatoxin. Finally, the certified company should take measures to prevent salmonella contami-nation of animals via the animal feed.
The GMP regulation applies to producers of and traders in compound feeds, animal feeds, premixes and additives as well as transport, storage and transhipment, cultivation, storage and feeding at the livestock farm. In addition, laboratories which carry out analyses as part of company checks may be certified.
The GMP regulation is voluntary and companies are therefore free to participate or not.
With effect from 1 July 2003, the certification of companies will be done by certification bodies approved by the Product Board Animal Feed. For more information see:
- Certification body conditions for GMP certification
- Animal Feed Certification and Control Office (BCD)
A GMP certificate will only be issued to companies which meet all the quality norms. The period of validity of the certificate is three years during which interim audits will be carried out.