President's Message
Joel G. Newman, president and CEO
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
by: Joel G. Newman, president and CEO

Section: Spring 2015

As you read this we will be well into 2015, complete with lower ingredient prices and increasing feed demand in most sectors of the industry—what a great way to start the year. The industry has successfully weathered the $8 corn prices and confirmed this is not the new norm. Several events have increased the volatility and frequency of swings in the grain and feed ingredient markets, as well as animal production adjustments, and again, the industry has shown the resiliency to deal with these events.  

I am pleased to share with you that the American Feed Industry Association also has exciting news, which will also help to make your business more successful this year 
and beyond.

The true strength of AFIA was again demonstrated as members actively joined our staff in working on several issues important to the industry and your businesses including:
  • Our Food Safety Modernization Act working groups came together again for the second round of comments on the FSMA rules. AFIA took member positions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in two separate working sessions and received positive reception in response to our recommendations to make the compliance requirement for FSMA much more practical, and thus, more cost effective for your businesses. The final rules will be released in August 2015.  
  • With the assistance of Iowa AFIA members and Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), AFIA was successful in achieving a written proposed transition plan from FDA for a new ingredient approval process. We are now entering working sessions with FDA on addressing industry concerns with this proposed plan.
  • The Production Compliance Committee is working with AFIA staff to provide more clarity on the requirements of the OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard and the issue of combustible dust in feed and ingredient locations. Key to this process was the negotiation with OSHA that labeling for feed products is regulated by FDA (as it has been) and there is not a requirement to develop new Kst values where they are not already established. AFIA will be providing members with a guidance document and Model Safety Data Sheet (SDS) in the coming months that will walk companies through compliance with the new standard for their products.  
  • FDA accepted all of AFIA’s recommended changes for the Veterinary Feed Directive, which will change the industry requirements for use of antibiotics in feed. Currently, we are working with various segments of the industry, veterinarians and FDA on a transition plan that will ensure there is a smooth process of changing inventories of affected products and that the liability of the feed industry will have all of the documents required, on a timely basis, to make and ship a medicated feed to farms within these new requirements.

Dr. Henry Turlington, AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs, assisted by the entire AFIA team, has conducted 10 interactive FSMA training sessions for members, in addition to the numerous awareness presentations staff have presented at various state and regional feed association meetings. Phase II of the FSMA trainings will be introduced this spring, with a series of webcasts on key compliance requirements of the rules. I urge the entire industry to take advantage of these opportunities to learn about the new rules and how to meet FDA’s requirements.

In December, we officially launched the new AFIA website and database, bringing several new and updated features that enhance communications and provide benefits to 
our members:
  • A completely redesigned and interactive website with more information and links on key issues, communications and services.
  • The AFIA Membership Directory is now online on the members-only portion of the website—with the opportunity for members to update their company information and ensure the directory is up-to-date 365 days per year. We ask all of our members to create a login if you have not already and view the newly designed website.
  • The “Member Advocacy Module” is coming this spring, which will provide an easy and convenient way to voice your perspective to your state and federal legislators, and support AFIA positions on critical issues.

As always, thank you to all of our members for your very active involvement and support.  

AFIA wishes you and your companies the best for a very successful 2015. You have AFIA’s promise that our team will do our part to help make that a reality.
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