Main certificates in the Animal Nutrition industry
Animal nutrition is an industry of great importance to our society, not only because it is a highly relevant economic sector worldwide, but also because it is currently the basis for human nutrition.
Animal food, along with its ingredients and its additives have a direct impact on the quality of the products we consume and in food safety in general. Therefore, it is important that companies take part of good practice programs and undergo regular quality audits.
In order to guarantee product quality and food safety, the industry has developed a series of certifications that allow manufacturers of products for animal nutrition to meet these objectives. These certifications regulate producers and traders of feed and its components, as well as its handling and transport. In addition, they control the cultivation of raw materials and animal feed on livestock farms.
In this article, we will look at the two most relevant certificates in the animal nutrition industry; FAMI-QS and GMP+. These are the international reference quality standards created to ensure the quality of animal feed, as well as their premixes, ingredients, raw materials and additives.
FAMI-QS is a quality and safety system developed specifically for manufacturers of additives and pre-mixes for animal feed, which was created with the aim of ensuring that operators comply with European Regulation (EC) 183/2005 on feed hygiene. In addition, the standard establishes the necessary measures to guarantee that all applicable regulatory requirements regarding food safety are met.
FAMI-QS consists of a system of good manufacturing practices with the objective of guaranteeing the safety of products. Its design aims to ensure good safety and hygiene conditions in the production chain of all components of animal feed.
The FAMI QS standard was developed in 2004, being the first safety certificate for feed ingredients and premixes. In turn, it is the first good practice system officially recognized by the European Commission in accordance with Regulation 183/2005 (EC).
FAMI-QS certification, among other things, reduces the risk of unsafe products in the food chain, ensures the quality and safety of food, and enables companies to comply with the European Regulation on feed hygiene. Also, it allows companies to compete internationally, opening doors to new markets, and it has a positive effect on brand image. In addition, it is easily integrable with the ISO 9001 standard, as well as with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems.
Having the FAMI-QS certification is an opportunity for additive and premix manufacturers to demonstrate to their customers that their products are safe and that they meet the highest quality standards, giving a clear signal of confidence to potential clients.
GMP+ (Good Manufacturing Practices Plus) is a specific quality standard for animal nutrition, which is recognized worldwide. It is based on the traceability control of all production processes and ingredients, in order to obtain safe food, that is, to guarantee the safety of products intended for animal feed at all stages of the food chain.
Currently, around 20 thousand companies worldwide are part of the GMP+ network, which are audited annually by independent certification bodies.
GMP+ was born in the early nineties and since then a series of modifications have been made to improve it in its different fields of action, such as traceability, safety limits, risk detection, etc.
GMP+ monitors the entire food chain, from primary production to the final product, and establishes the appropriate conditions in relation to production facilities, storage, transportation, quality control, and marketing of nutritional products and feed. All this guarantees that all production is carried out in accordance with the highest quality standards.
The regulation includes an extended version that includes GMP+ and FSA (Feed Safety Assurance), which is based on the ISO 9001 quality regulation and the integration of a HACCP plan (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). In short, it is a very rigorous risk analysis that includes, among other things, parameters such as production processes, control of raw materials and suppliers, unwanted substances, etc.
Unlike other certifications that regulate different aspects of production processes, such as ISO regulations, or the production of food and nutritional products, such as FSSC 22000, GMP+ is a standard developed specifically for the animal industry, so having this quality seal is very important for companies that manufacture products for animal consumption.
As we have seen, both FAMI-QS and GMP+ are two certifications of utmost importance for companies that in some way or other are related to the food chain of the animal industry. Having them can be the key to access certain markets and compete internationally, so it is extremely important to understand if our company needs to obtain one or the other, or even both, depending on the activity we carry out.
At BTSA, as a manufacturer of additives and premixes (Antioxidants and natural Vitamin E) for the animal nutrition industry, in 2017 we obtained the FAMI-QS certification, which has allowed us to manufacture our products under the requirements of this regulations and market them worldwide.
Photo credit: Maddie Leopardo (Unsplash)