Joerg Seifert, Secretary General of FEFANA will be chairing our stream on Global Markets and Regulation, on Day 3 of Feed Additives 2018. Ahead of the event we caught up with Joerg to get his thoughts on the latest developments in the industry.
[Feed Additives] The default stance is the rest of the world learns from European regulation first; what can European legislators learn from the rest of the world/other jurisdictions?
[Joerg Seifert] EU legislation ensures a very high level of product safety in terms of safety for animals, workers, consumers of animal-derived products and safety for the environment. Recognising EU product authorisations and facilitating market access in other parts of the world is a way for others to take advantage of the EU safety standards. On the improvement side, EU feed legislation defines two distinctively different types of feed ingredients : feed additives and feed materials. In reality, the boundaries between these two categories are frequently blurred with a large grey zone in between that can create issues in terms of level playing field and fair competition in the market. This is an area where EU legislation could be improved and where we may look at others.
[Feed Additives] As chair of the regulations stream, what are the issues the industry needs to address in this area?
[Joerg Seifert] Industry must continue to put great weight behind current efforts to converge the technical requirements for the assessment of feed ingredients at global level. In this context, a pioneering initiative involving regional and national authorities and trade associations comprising EU, CA, US and IFIF, called the ICCF, has taken off recently striving to present first guidance documents for public consultation later this year to achieve formal adoption in early 2019. Furthermore, there are increasing demands for innovative products to be developed and brought to the market much faster in view of mounting societal concerns with regard to climate change, reducing emissions from livestock agriculture, combatting antimicrobial resistance or securing animal welfare – just to name a few. On the other hand, we see increasing length of authorisation procedures, barriers to communication, e.g. pertaining to appropriate product labelling and use of substantiated claims, constraints to availability of certain types of essential feed additives in organic farming etc. indicating that legislation is evolving too slowly to keep up.
[Feed Additives] A key theme of this conference is innovation and disruption. What part of the industry do you think ready for a new entrant to disrupt?
[Joerg Seifert] Innovation is the key theme across the entire feed sector. Optimizing feeding systems to produce more feed and food while at the same time using fewer resources will remain an on-going challenge. As precision livestock farming is becoming increasingly important, there are opportunities for new entrants to bring innovative and disruptive technological solutions and products to the market if we have the right policies and legislation to stimulate and facilitate such developments.