Benchmark challenge: Australian additive reforms push sector into global thinking

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/pichet_w
© iStock/pichet_w

Related tags: Better

Australia’s feed sector wants to benchmark improvements created by 2015 reforms on additive imports and better engage with the global market, industry heads say.

Last year, the government loosened regulations on additional registration requirements for feed additives entering the country under its Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) regulations. 

The reforms to Australia’s Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Animal Feed Reform and Other Measures) took effect in March 2015, which we reported​ on back then. 

Speaking to FeedNavigator more than one year on, John Aird, executive manager of the Feed Ingredients & Additives Association of Australia (FIAAA), said gauging improvements was now a priority but it wouldn’t be easy. 

“Benchmarking the industry is certainly a challenge for the future,” ​he said.

Aird said it was particularly hard to assess improvements with feed additives because changes were subtle – for example, improved feed efficiency.

Such change occurs over time and is somewhat in the background – improvements across industry are always difficult to benchmark.”

Measuring the benefits

However, financial improvements had already been observed in some areas.

Malcolm Mottram, vice president of FIAAA, said the new generation feed additives entering the market had improved performance and profitability of animal production.

“I could easily pinpoint A$10-20 million net benefit in one ingredient sector alone. I’m sure this would be multiplied by other such examples,”​ he said.

John Spragg, executive officer of the Stock Feed Manufacturers’ Council of Australia, said it was now important for feed ingredients and additives firms to prove the benefits.

“Trade in feed additives and ingredients will be balanced between our livestock industries’ demand for these products and the availability of new products. It is up to companies importing feed additives to demonstrate the value of the products and cost benefit in their use.”

A global pace

With improved access to global feed additives, the sector was now set on being a stronger part of the global conversation.

“FIAAA has joined the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) and is looking to participate in global initiatives,”​ said Aird.

He said the association had also joined the IFIF Regulatory Committee and would attend its first meeting in October.

This push for global collaboration fell in line with current consumer sentiment, according to Mottram.

“The markets are changing through consumer demand and supermarket marketing campaigns. This places greater emphasis on access to the latest technology and products to keep pace with other countries on efficiency and cost of production.”

Related topics: Policy, Oceania, Food safety

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