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Monogastric feed regulations published

Date Published: 28/06/2012

Finalised rules on the feeding of organic monogastrics have this week been published by the EU.

The amended regulation had been agreed in April, though the requirements now apply retrospectively back to January 1st this year.

The published details are as expected by the sector since the April confirmation and, with some amendments, extend existing arrangements that had been in place up to the expiry of the old rules at the end of 2011.

At that time a new 100 per cent organic ration demand was scheduled to come into force, however many in the industry had never expected this to be possible due to the availability of raw materials and uncertainty over whether this formulation of diets would be adequate to animals’ nutritional needs, particularly in regard to poultry.

A failure at the European policy level to address these concerns in good time before the expiry of the previous regulation somewhat forced the hand of policy makers to hastily address the issue and arrive at the current situation.

However, the regulation as it now stands (see below for detail) will itself expire at the end of 2014, at which time the aim of a 100 per cent organic ration is still intended to be achieved.

OF&G Certification & Compliance Manager, Stephen Clarkson, said: “The publication of the amended regulation was expected and fortunately contained no surprises so far, though we are working through the wording very carefully to ensure we are clear on every fine detail of its application.

“The most important thing now is that, at a national and EU level, the discussion begins on what comes after the expiry of this amendment. That can’t start too soon if we are to avoid a repeat of the mess that ensued this time around. The last thing we want is yet another last-minute scramble to find a solution which leaves producers, feed compounders and others up in the air when they need to have plenty of warning of any changes.”

The details of the regulation

  • The non-organic portion of feed will now be limited to five per cent non-organic protein only (for monogastrics), plus an allowance for one per cent non-organic spices, herbs and molasses which are not available in organic form (the one per cent herbs and spices allowance also applies in the make-up of rations for all ruminants).
  • Twenty per cent of monogastric feed should be “produced in the same region in cooperation with other organic farms or feed business operators”. However, the regulation does not define a region, leaving Defra to continue its current approach of interpreting this to be a climatic region, in this case north west Europe, which also avoids the potential breaching of rules on intra-community trade.
  • The minimum requirement for the use of on-farm or regionally-sourced feed for herbivores has been set at 60 per cent, an increase from 50 per cent. It remains the case that all non-organic feed ingredients must have been obtained without the use of chemical solvents.

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