Feed Safety as a driver for innovation

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

As Managing Director of an international feed certification scheme, I am well aware that companies from all over the world are GMP+ FSA certified. And yet it is always special to see GMP+ FSA logos displayed at fairs, far away from our headquarters in the Netherlands.

Blog 2 - Feed Safety as a driver for innovation

Johan den Hartog
Managing Director, GMP+ International

That happened again recently. This time at the "Cereals - Mixed Feed - Veterinary" trade fair in Moscow, Russia. At nearly ten stands, company logos were accompanied by life-size GMP+ FSA logos. These entrepreneurs informed all visitors loud and clear: feed safety is in good hands with us.

I am especially proud of and grateful for how far we have come as a sector in the past three decades. The fact that GMP+ FSA in Russia - and in 87 other countries around the world - is a symbol of honour is not only due to the efforts of our organisation, but primarily to the dedication of the international feed sector itself.

This dedication is evident from, among other things, the partner agreement we signed with the Eurasian Poultry Association in Moscow prior to the fair to promote feed safety. But just as well from wonderful meetings I had with various Russian entrepreneurs at the fair.

Growing interest

For that you must first know that Russia has taken great strides in feed safety over the recent years. More than five years ago, the Russian government began to actively pursue policies to become more self-sufficient in meat, dairy and eggs. Now that this goal has been achieved, focus has shifted to the export of these products and premixtures, especially to Southeast Asia.

Suddenly notifications were coming in via our Registered Consultants in Ukraine and Germany that there is increasing interest in Russia for GMP+ FSA. This was emphasised once again at VIV Asia, in March 2019. After all, Russian entrepreneurs are increasingly being asked for certification when exporting to Asia and Europe. More than 50 Russian companies are now GMP+ FSA certified and there are more in the pipeline.

Commercially driven

A cynic could say: those companies just want to be certified to sell more. To which I say: great! If commercial enthusiasm leads to better feed safety, the sector will only gain from that.

The great thing is however, that a GMP+ FSA certificate often leads to much more. A Russian entrepreneur I spoke to in Moscow was not familiar with our schedule until a few years ago. Her company has recently been certified. She told me, somewhat surprised: "GMP+ FSA has not just led to the improvement of our internal business operations and the increase in sales, but also acts as a driver for more innovation within our organisation."

GMP+ FSA "forces" organisations to critically review themselves and their own processes, implement improvements, try new things and work more efficiently.

It is precisely that versatility that turn entrepreneurs like this one not only into "users", but also ambassadors of our scheme. I was surprised by the positive mindset of this entrepreneur: feed safety is not a priority for her, but a core value.

I hope that, in about five years, we will see many more GMP+ FSA logos at trade fairs. And not only in Russia, but in the most surprising corners of the world. The doors are already open: via Russia we are already invited to various countries in the Eurasian region…