policy issues

Engaged in Process to Develop International Safety Standards for Feed Machinery

Since 2015, the American Feed Industry Association has been engaged in an ongoing effort with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to ensure the U.S. feed equipment industry’s concerns and interests are heard in the development of voluntary international standards in the area of feed machinery.

ISO is a nongovernmental organization, based in Geneva, Switzerland, with a membership of 161 national standards bodies that brings together groups of international experts to develop consensus-based standards that ensure the quality and safety of products, further facilitating trade. Most of the work is performed within ISO’s Technical Committees (TC), which comprise representatives from industry, non-governmental organizations, governments and other stakeholders, who are put forward by ISO’s members. ISO currently has a portfolio of nearly 20,000 documents covering a broad swath of topics and industries.

How Are ISO Standards Developed?

  1. ISO standards respond to a need in the market.
  2. ISO standards are based on global expert opinions.
  3. ISO standards are developed through a multi-stakeholder process.
  4. ISO standards are based on a consensus with each country being provided the opportunity to participate in the process.
  5. Technical advisory groups are formed to formally provide input from stakeholders within each country participating in the standards process.
  6. ISO procedures for consensus are based on a one country, one vote model.

AFIA’s Role on ISO/TC 293

ISO/TC 293 is the technical committee, which AFIA is engaged in, that has been established for writing feed machinery standards. It is focused on writing standards for all of the equipment used to process formulated feed in an industrialized feed processing mill where the feed materials are received, cleaned, and, after a series of processing, become the finished, bulk or packaged product ready for delivery.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and AFIA a Market Development Cooperator Program grant to provide funds to support participation by U.S. companies. ASABE administers the U.S. technical advisory group (U.S. TAG) to ISO/TC 293, and Gary Huddleston, AFIA’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs, serves as the U.S. TAG chairman. Many AFIA member companies are also involved in the work.

U.S. TAG members have been actively involved in three separate working groups on feed machinery terminology. Although there is more work to be done, the U.S. TAG has made progress protecting the interests of U.S. feed machinery manufacturers. With a substantial amount of the terminology work nearing completion, ISO/TC 293 in the summer of 2018 began working on the next area of emphasis, which is safety. At this time, work is yet to begin on the third area of emphasis - equipment hygiene.

Recent Industry Concerns

AFIA has had concerns regarding the trajectory of ISO/TC 293, which was initiated and is controlled by the China National Technical Committee on Feed Machinery. Global engagement by diverse countries, such as the United States, prevents one country or area of the world from attempting to create a competitive advantage by promoting their regional requirements. Without strong involvement of U.S. companies in the process, an unfair trade advantage could develop.

AFIA members can learn more about current industry actions here.