“The Pet Food Industry United” was this year’s theme of European Pet Food Industry Federation’s (FEDIAF) annual general meeting, gathering 125 delegates from European pet food companies and associations. The European pet food industry attendees represented product ranges of cat, dog, bird, small mammals and ornamental fish food.
“We were delighted to host this year's FEDIAF meeting in Manchester,” said Peter Kersh, chairman of PFMA, in a press release. “In the current Brexit discussions, our theme of 'The Pet Food Industry United' couldn't be more relevant. We are happy that the AGM gave us the opportunity to show that the Brexit vote has not changed our role in FEDIAF and we continue to be an active and supportive member.”
FEDIAF gave an overview of the past working year’s EU legislative developments underlining the need for clear, enforceable rules for a level playing field between the operators. FEDIAF achieved, in discussions with the regulators, a number of new simplified labelling rules, the approval of essential additives or maintain access to important export markets (e.g. Russia, Canada, Turkey).
Updated versions of the FEDIAF Nutritional Guidelines Cats and Dogs were approved as well as its improved Safety Guide.
The FEDIAF safety guide, previous versions of which had already been endorsed by the EU, was improved to incorporate new legal requirements and represents thus a state-of-the-art manual for manufacturers throughout the EU for producing safe products. Training of personnel, machinery, HACCP, raw materials, contaminants, supply chain… – all elements are covered and explained for the users, which include also the national control authorities.
Once endorsed again by the EU, probably before end 2017, the safety guide will be posted on the FEDIAF website for free download by any interested party.
Nutrition: There are 37 essential nutrients (vitamins, trace elements, fatty acids, amino acids and others) that dogs need in their daily food, cats require 41 essential nutrients, according to FEDIAF. For many years FEDIAF, together with a scientific advisory board composed of scientists from European universities and vet schools, annually updates its publicly available nutritional guidelines.
What are the minimum needs of calcium for puppies?
How much vitamin A do cats need? What is the maximum for the trace element zinc for dogs?
A practical tool for producers to achieve the right quantities and balance of nutrients,
A guidance on how to conduct product analyses or feeding protocols and on energy requirements.
A European Commission representative presented the EU work program and highlighted that future official controls, also of pet food, would concentrate more on “the truthfulness of labels”. The official thanked FEDIAF for good and constructive cooperation in various fields and for defining requirements of dietetic pet food in particular.
By Lindsay Beaton
As work continues on creating a new nutrition label that focuses on simplifying information for consumers, challenges remain.
By Tang Yu