Brussels wants to load extra cost onto pig diets

UK - Sharply rising feed costs will rise even further if Brussels achieves its ambition to force compounders to list feed ingredients by percentage, says the National Pig Association.
calendar icon 7 February 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

National Pig Association

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

NPA says it supports the current requirement for compounders to state ingredients in descending order so that pig-keepers know what they are buying. But it fears a move by the European Commission to revisit the listing of ingredients by volume will load unnecessary cost onto its members.

In a letter to the European Commission Health and Consumer Protection Directorate it says forcing compounders to state ingredients to within a tolerance of plus or minus 15 percent is unnecessary when ingredients and nutritional information are already on labels. The move would mean additional and unnecessary bureaucracy for feed manufacturers. And the capital cost of complying would put smaller compounders in particular under pressure.

Running costs would also increase as compounders continually reprinted feed labels to reflect changes in ingredient quantities caused by variations in supply. Pig farmers will be the ones who suffer, as increased costs will inevitably be passed down the line, warns NPA.

‘Many sectors of British agriculture are currently under significant economic pressure and it is difficult to justify these increased costs arising purely as a result of unnecessary bureaucratic over-regulation.’ As far as food safety is concerned, the requirement to list all ingredients provides as much information as full percentage declaration or banding would do, says NPA.

Forcing compounders to list ingredients by percentage would simply cause compounders to discontinue their research and development activities, as anyone would be free to hijack their intellectual property. “Pig producers would not wish to be denied access to new developments in feed. We are already in a position where research and development into pig production is seriously under-funded and any further reductions will have severe consequences.

“Our members have no problem getting more detailed information from their suppliers should they require it, so we would urge the Commission to seriously reconsider the implementation of this regulation.”

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