Dr Kathy Lewis from the University of Hertfordshire provided a presentation on an European Food Safety Authority-funded literature review to examine whether feed additives could improve the environmental impact of livestock farming. The committee heard that some feed additives can reduce the environmental impact of livestock farming particularly for methane and ammonia emissions. It was agreed that more work is needed. The committee acknowledged the findings and suggested that these should be drawn to the attention of the Environment Agency.
The vice Chairman of European Food Safety Authority's Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) provided the committee with an presentation on the work of FEEDAP, including how the panel carries out its risk assessment of feed additives. The ACAF Chair allowed some time for questions after this presentation.
The National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) explained how it had recreated the original cross between ancient wheat and wild grass that occurred in the Middle East 10,000 years ago. The result is a ‘resynthesised’ wheat which, when crossed with modern UK varieties, could potentially offer yield improvement, drought tolerance, disease resistance and efficiency. The committee was interested in the research and wished to be kept informed of developments.
In 2003, ACAF published a review of on-farm feeding practices. Since then, there have been a number of legislative and technical developments which the committee reviewed in considering whether the publication requires updating. The committee agreed to set up a sub-group to take this forward.
The recently elected Chair of the UK Former Food Processors Association (UKFFPA) gave a presentation on the work of the association and how it intends to proceed. Members were interested in the association’s work which dovetails with initiatives on minimising packaging material in feed produced from former foodstuffs.
Finally, the committee was provided with an oral report on the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit of UK feed law enforcement that took place in January 2014. The audit covered risk management along the feed chain and dioxins monitoring. The findings of the FVO auditors were, in general, favourable.
After the close of the meeting, delegates were given the opportunity to ask further questions.
The next ACAF meeting is scheduled to take place at the McDonald Old England Hotel, Bowness on Windermere on 9 May 2014.