Despite inclement weather conditions, the 2014 International Production & Processing Expo had more than 24,000 poultry, meat and feed industry registrants from all over the world. In addition, the show had 1,148 exhibitors with more than 410,000 net square feet of exhibit space. IPPE is sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the American Meat Institute and is the world’s largest annual poultry, meat and feed industry event of its kind.
IPPE’s initial projections were at 28,000 registrants, but snow and ice impacted a significant portion of drive-in traffic. Fortunately, most of IPPE’s fly-in attendees had already arrived prior to the winter storm, including a strong international contingent.
The main attraction was the large exhibit floor. Exhibitors displayed the latest innovations in equipment, supplies and services utilized by industry firms in the production and processing of poultry, eggs, feed products and meat. A large number of companies use the annual event to highlight their new products. All phases of the feed, poultry and meat industry were represented, from live production and processing to further processing and packaging.
The “largest-ever” education slate complemented the exhibits by keeping industry management informed on current issues and events. This year’s educational line-up featured 16 programs, ranging from a conference on ground poultry pathogen reduction to antibiotic use in the meat and poultry industry to a program on how to export feed and feed ingredients to the United States.
The College Student Career Program attracted approximately 500 students from 30 universities throughout the U.S., while the new International Student Career Program brought in 24 students from 14 universities. The graduating students interviewed for jobs and internships with 93 human resource representatives from 28 industry and allied firms. They were also able to visit the exhibit floor to see the most current technology used in today’s industry.
Other featured events included the Pet Food Conference, International Poultry Scientific Forum, VIV International Pork Production Summit, Tech XChange program and publisher-sponsored programs.
AFIA-hosted three programs—the “Pet Food Conference,” “How to Export Feed & Feed Ingredients to the U.S.” and the “International Feed Education Program.”
The day-long Pet Food Conference, which informs pet food industry representatives on the latest industry initiatives including the Food Safety Modernization Act, had a record-setting 275 people in attendance. This is the seventh year the pet food program has taken place at IPPE. AFIA jointly sponsors the event with the Poultry Protein and Fat Council.
“We were pleased by the conference’s turnout despite the inclement weather. The large attendance number proves what a strong and growing interest there is among AFIA members and IPPE attendees in regards to pet food,” said Leah Wilkinson, AFIA’s director of ingredients, pet food and state affairs.
The Pet Food Conference boasted a diverse panel of speakers compiled from government agencies, private corporations, universities and AFIA staff. The program covered a range of topics from Dr. George Collings’ (Nutrition Solutions, LLC) presentation on “Ingredient Supply Challenges and Opportunities” to Sam Davis (South Carolina Department of Agriculture) and Richard Ten Eyck’s (Oregon Department of Agriculture) update on the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Svetlana Uduslivaia of Euromonitor International kicked off the program discussing “Domestic and Global Industry Trends.” Uduslivaia informed attendees that 68 percent of pet owners consider their pet a family member. These same pet owners are 60 percent more likely to purchase “green” pet food than those who do not view their pet as a family member. She also said moving forward, cat treats and mixers will see the strongest growth but remain small in actual volume, and there is room for growth in “green” pet products as well as products for urban-area pets.
Dr. Daniel McChesney, director of surveillance and compliance for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center of Veterinary Medicine, provided the full house with an update from the agency, covering FSMA, pet food sampling results and the Vet Laboratory Investigation and Response Network, also known as Vet-LIRN.
McChesney applauded the industry on their efforts to reduce Salmonella in pet food products, noting it has decreased significantly in the last five years. “By in large, firms are doing a much better job of addressing the pathogen,” McChesney said.
University representatives Dr. Cassandra Jones (Kansas State University) and Dr. Maria Cattai de Godoy (University of Illinois) addressed the group on the topic of innovation. Cattai de Godoy said innovation does not always relate “to the development of a new technology or with the use of best available research methods, but rather with the ability to adjust to a new vision and apply better solutions to meet new requirements and demands.”
She concurred with Uduslivaia’s fact on pet owners considering their pets as members of the family adding there are more pets in U.S. households than there are children—83 million dogs and 96 million cats but only 73 million children.
Recognizing the importance of imported feed ingredients to the U.S. production of feed, AFIA sponsored its first seminar on “How to Export Feed & Feed Ingredients to the U.S.” The seminar was designed to provide insight into the complex process of exporting feed and feed ingredients to the U.S. Seminar topics varied from Dr. Dawn Hunter’s, senior veterinary officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, presentation on the key responsibilities of APHIS in the importation of animal, to Harold Hagan’s, president of Atlanta Customs Brokers and International Freight Forwarders Inc., discussion about the services customs brokers provide to U.S. importers.
AFIA’s president and CEO Joel G. Newman kicked off the conference providing attendees with a snapshot of U.S. feed production and pointed out, “While the U.S. is largely self-sufficient in most feed ingredients and is highly successful in recycling co-products of food processing through the feed industry, the global industry provides good options for key nutritional ingredients and specialty products.”
Gina Tumbarello, AFIA’s manager of international trade, clarified further in her presentation, “In one ton of compound feed, additives such as vitamins, trace minerals, amino acids and enzymes make up only 1 percent of the ration. However, it represents 15-20 percent of the cost of that same ration. Of the estimated 165 million tons of compound feed produced by the U.S. in 2012, this is translated to roughly $6.2 billion worth of additives put into compound feed. AFIA estimates that $3.4 billion of that $6.2 billion is imported product.”
It is for this reason that emphasis is being put on FSMA proposed rules such as the foreign supplier verification program and third-party certification, which AFIA submitted comments on.
Henry Turlington, AFIA’s director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs, discussed FSMA with attendees, noting that foreign suppliers wanting to export feed and feed ingredient products to the U.S. will need to understand their U.S. customer’s requirements and specifications because as Dr. Daniel McChesney, director of surveillance and compliance for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center of Veterinary Medicine, mentioned in his presentation on FSMA, “The proposed FSMA rules would hold importers responsible for ensuring the food they bring inside the U.S. meets FDA safety standards.”
AFIA staff also addressed the “Where are we now?” and “Where are we headed?” questions from IPPE attendees in regards to the challenges facing the feed industry at the International Feed Education Program. Keith Epperson, AFIA vice president of manufacturing and training, provided a regulatory update on both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety Health Administration. Richard Sellers, AFIA’s senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, discussed “Government Compliance Update: Food Safety Modernization Act: What do I need to know?” Sellers also discussed the Veterinary Feed Directive.
“Simply put, it’s like a prescription,” said Sellers.
AFIA supports the proposed VFD rule as it is proposed to ease the administrative burden for feed mills accepting VFDs. However, the organization said in a recent statement, “AFIA continues to be concerned about the lack of veterinarians trained to complete VFDs as well as the lack of large animal veterinarians in general.”
Henry Turlington, AFIA’s director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs, closed the program. He continued on the topic of FSMA discussing, “Food Safety Modernization Act Hazard Identification Requirements: Where do I begin?” explaining how certification with AFIA Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Programs will help to provide companies with a good starting point for FSMA implementation.
If you have questions about IPPE, contact Sarah Novak, AFIA vice president of membership and public relations, at (703) 558-3674.
If you have questions about the Pet Food Conference or pet food-specific issues, contact Leah Wilkinson, AFIA director of ingredients, pet food and state affairs, at (703) 558-3560.
If you have questions on the “How to Export Feed & Feed Ingredients to the U.S.” seminar or international trade, contact Gina Tumbarello, AFIA manager of international trade, at (703) 558-3561.
If you have questions about AFIA’s International Feed Education Program, contact Keith Epperson, AFIA vice president of manufacturing and training, at (703) 558-3568, Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, at (703) 558-3569 or Henry Turlington, AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs, at (703) 650-0146.