Feed Bites

AFIA Policy Priorities: Driving Innovation, Sustainability and Global Competitiveness in the Animal Food Industry

Written by: Leah Wilkinson   |   June 6, 2024

Global Market Access, Multilateral Affairs, Feed safety, Ingredients, Sustainability

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) is committed to advancing the animal feed industry through strategic policy priorities that enhance business operations, promote sustainability, ensure safety and bolster global competitiveness. These policy priorities are developed with input from our membership and Board leadership. 

This year, our efforts will be focused on several key areas: 

Improvement of the Business Climate   

Our members should do what they do best: make safe, nutritious and high-quality feed and pet food. The AFIA is here to fix the other stuff so business can be conducted in a seamless manner. We work to update feed laws and regulations to promote harmonization, protect against unjustified state fee increases and ensure science-based considerations for feed safety. Our focus is on improving and strengthening the supply chain, addressing transportation, workforce, infrastructure, product availability and shipment issues.  

Sustainability Policy   

As more policies are put in place to address climate solutions, the AFIA is actively promoting the role of animal nutrition and feed ingredients in climate and sustainability solutions. We are working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to update its feed management standards. In addition, we engage internationally to foster collaboration on sustainable feed practices, harmonized life-cycle assessment databases and labeling standards to promote a unified approach to sustainability in the feed sector across borders.  

Availability and Cost Effectiveness of Ingredients   

The animal food industry needs efficient and effective ingredient review processes to keep innovating and bringing new solutions to the market. Our members rely on the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Additive Petition (FAP) and Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) notification processes, as well as the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ ingredient review process, and we direct our efforts to improve the speed, efficiency and predictability of the processes. Additionally, the industry needs more and is advocating for the passage of the Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development (Innovative FEED) Act (S. 1842/H.R. 6687) which will help the industry expand available label claims for feed ingredients related to animal production, well-being, food safety and the environment.  

Feed and Food Safety   

Food safety is paramount in the animal food industry. The AFIA advocates for feed and food safety by promoting science-based provisions and fair implementation of guidelines to help members comply with the FDA's food safety regulations and be prepared for inspections. We are also supporting animal agriculture in research, regulatory strategies, advanced technologies and approved feed ingredients that mitigate disease transmission risks.  

Health, Safety and the Environment   

The AFIA will continue to advocate for health, safety and environmental regulations that ensure appropriate worker protection while maintaining ongoing access to feed safety technologies. A big focus this year will be related to the Environmental Protection Agency’s reviews of formaldehyde as a feed ingredient. The work here will also involve monitoring scientific and regulatory developments on emerging contamination issues, such as PFAS/PFOS and microplastics, to evaluate their impact on the animal food industry and take appropriate actions. In addition, we keep members apprised of  pending changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standards and regulations on heat illness prevention and lock-out/tag-out procedures, offering feedback and preparing the industry for compliance. 

Global Market Access, Competitiveness and Multilateral Affairs    

We also know that one area of growth for our industry is in international trade, with 2023 bolstering $ 13.4 billion in total value exports. Advocating for global market access, competitiveness and multilateral affairs involves several key initiatives.

On the international policy front, it includes pushing for increased farm bill funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program, Emerging Markets Program and Foreign Market Development. It also requires collaboration with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to open or expand markets for animal food products by developing new or updating existing country-to-country export protocols.  

For industry resiliency, strategies must be developed and implemented to de-risk and diversify the U.S. vitamin supply chain and prevent future dependencies on critical animal food inputs, like amino acids and trace minerals. Finally, enhancing the global presence, competitiveness and sustainability of the U.S. feed industry is crucial for international market development. 

The AFIA is dedicated to advancing the feed industry through strategic policies. By updating regulations, enhancing supply chain efficiency and supporting sustainable practices, the AFIA aims to streamline industry operations and promote a resilient and dynamic feed sector. Our engagement with regulatory bodies and international committees ensures we stay at the forefront of industry advancements. 

Through collaboration and innovation, AFIA's strategic policy priorities will guide the feed industry toward a prosperous and sustainable future. 

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