Written by: Leah Wilkinson | June 3, 2021
This blog is part of our policy priority series.
With the kick-off of the American Feed Industry Association’s new fiscal year comes new priorities within the legislative and regulatory areas as set by the association’s Board of Directors. These priorities set the course for our work advocating on behalf of the membership at the state, federal and international levels. Here is a brief overview of the categories we will focus on this year.
Feed and Food Safety & Health, Safety & the Environment
Ensuring the regulatory climate around feed safety, food safety, worker health and the environment remains at the center of the work that we do for our members. These areas are the regulatory foundation on which our industry abides to provide the level playing field for a properly regulated industry.
Availability & Cost Effectiveness of Ingredients
For many years, the industry has struggled with an unstable, tedious and inefficient review system within the Food and Drug Administration for new animal food ingredients. This remains a top priority for the association. New work has begun to seek modernization of this system to allow products seeking label claims for animal production, animal well-being, food safety and the environment to be regulated as “feeds” instead of “drugs.” This work began in the association back in 2002, but was set aside as other issues became more pressing, i.e., the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Improvement of the Business Climate
In order to conduct business, our industry strives for a fair and appropriate business climate. You must have the tools to be able to operate your business across state lines and compete with other industries (or unemployment benefits) for employees. You need appropriate infrastructure to do business or transport your products to your domestic or global customers.
Sustainability & Climate Policy
The topic of sustainability and the impact of animal agriculture on the climate is an ever-growing presence in business and the domestic and international marketplace. We know that the animal food industry is meeting the challenge of operating in a sustainable fashion and will seek out opportunities to tell that story. We are also learning more on the role that animal nutrition plays in providing climate and sustainability solutions.
Global Market Access & Competitiveness
The growth in global exports of feed, pet food, ingredients and equipment in the last several years highlights the importance of our work to ensure our industry remains competitive in the global marketplace. To do that, we need to be able to access markets and expand our presence through properly negotiated trade agreements, standards and protocols.
See a recent example in how we are expanding market access for our members in Vietnam.
These areas are not the entirety of issues that the association covers on our members’ behalf. Instead, these are the areas targeted by our Board of Directors as the “must-haves” for our industry to thrive and grow. Over the course of the next few months, we will focus more in-depth on the specific priority areas above and discuss how you can engage with us in these topics.