When we talk about feed safety, it is tempting to only focus on applying the correct standards and procedures. And while that’s indeed extremely important when it comes to ensuring safe feed, values like honesty, integrity and reliability may just be equally vital.
Johan den Hartog
Managing Director, GMP+ International
Standards and integrity are obviously connected, but still they are very different things. Standards provide clear rules, while integrity is a value. The one is ‘hard’, the other ‘soft’. A standard is measurable, while integrity is not. As a feed safety scheme, we grant certificates solely on the basis of our GMP+ FSA standards. In addition, we promote integrity, but in the absence of objective measures, it’s not an area certified companies receive grades on.
Integrity is part of what we call ‘Feed Safety Culture’. It is about the right mindset: we cannot haggle about feed safety, it should be in the DNA of business owners and their employees.
But while we cannot force businesses or people to become ethical – you either are, or you aren’t – as a feed safety community, we can take measures to enhance integrity within the chain. And thus, make it harder for bad actors to succeed.
For one, reliable laboratory analysis are crucial for a trustworthy feed safety chain. Inaccurate analysis results undermine public trust in the strength of the entire chain, as well as endanger feed safety itself. In fact, several incidents related to inaccurate analysis results have occurred over the years, which led to confusion and stress among companies within the feed chain.
That’s why last year GMP+ International launched the GMP+ Registered Laboratories program (GMP+ B11), which gives laboratories a set of performance criteria they had to meet in order to keep analyzing several critical contaminants for GMP+ FSA. The Dutch Food Safety Authority (NVWA) expressed their appreciation about this program. And yes, we encountered some skepticism: could this actually be achieved worldwide? Yet a full year later, with 74 Registered Laboratories in 23 countries and many more still in the application process, we can conclude that there is a worldwide market need.
As the number of GMP+ Registered Laboratories continues to grow, trust and reliability within the feed chain is growing as well. Integrity may not be measurable in numbers. But together we can surely enhance it!
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