The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the National Renderers Association (NRA) have announced a partnership of two animal feed safety certification programs -- AFIA's FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food and NRA's Rendering Code of Practice (COP) -- resulting in an updated and more user-friendly auditing process.
The announcement was made after updates to both programs to better align with industry standards, including the soon-to-be-published regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
"Updating FSC36 to align with FDA's updates is vital to our members' facility operations' compliance," said AFIA President and CEO Joel G. Newman. "AFIA is proud to partner with the NRA to align their COP with FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food so that together we are preparing our members for tomorrow's challenges."
"The rendering industry takes its stewardship role very seriously," said NRA President and CEO Nancy Foster. "This joint venture is one more step to emphasize transparency, accountability and commitment to animal food safety by NRA members."
The decision to pair the programs allows AFIA and NRA to require only one audit from the facilities seeking FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food certification and NRA's COP certification. As before, the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) will administer the FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program on behalf of AFIA. Renderers seeking FSC36 certification via SQFI will be automatically certified in both programs after a successful audit. Rendering facilities interested in obtaining only the renderer's COP certification may bypass SQFI and request a COP audit directly from Validus, a third-party certifying body.
"We are excited about the opportunity to partner with NRA to support their animal food safety certification," said Henry Turlington, AFIA director, quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs. "The updates to the FSC36 are important changes to help drive continuous improvement in quality and food safety programs for our members as well as support compliance with the new FSMA compliance."
FSC36 is considered a firm foundation for AFIA's other certification programs such as FSC32 Manufacture of Pet Food (Global Food Safety Initiative benchmarked) and FSC34 Manufacturer of Animal Feeds (GFSI benchmarked for animal feed manufacturing), which have more stringent certification requirements. The Rendering COP was originally developed in 2005 by the Animal Protein Producers Industry (APPI) organization, which has merged with NRA.
"Many renderers see value in one-stop, dual certification to meet customer expectations for feed safety and prepare for regulatory compliance with FSMA," said Dr. David Meeker, NRA senior vice president of scientific services. "To facilitate this, NRA's companion guidance for FSC36 includes differences between feed manufacturing and rendering so each audit will be appropriate for the type of facility."