Campina tightens feed quality controls

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cattle Milk

Dutch dairy group Campina has upgraded its new quality assurance
system for animal feed used by member farmers, re-iterating that
current checks in the sector were not good enough.

Campina said it only wanted to work with feed companies who could guarantee HACCP standards all the way down the supply chain, and who would react pro-actively to any crises that arose.

An independent body should certify which companies complied, it said.

Concerns over feed quality have grown in the Netherlands since a dioxin was detected in potato skins fed to dairy cattle there in August 2004.

"The current quality certification in the cattle feed sector is inadequate. This is why we are introducing supplementary requirements,"​ said Atze Schaap, Campina's director of member services and responsible for milk coming in to Campina factories.

The group will soon test a new, online monitoring system with 100 of its member farmers and five feed companies. The system will continually record details of all feed bought by Campina's dairy farmers from third parties, providing greater traceability and transparency in the supply chain.

All member farmers will also be able to check on the​ website to see which feed companies comply with the extra quality assurance requirements set out by the firm.

Campina announced initial plans to implement a new quality standard for its suppliers last year. The standard, known as TrusQ, set out requirements on the care for animals, the maintenance of milking machines and milk cooling tanks, water and feed.

It came largely in answer to the dioxin scare in 2004, when contaminated potato skins fed to cows led to dioxin levels showing up in the milk. The outbreak saw 160 Dutch dairy farms shut down.

In June 1999 dioxin was discovered in Belgian animal feed used to supply the Belgian, French and Dutch markets. The feed had been enriched with old used engine oil with a high level of dioxin. Hens, pigs and cattle ate the contaminated feed and high levels of dioxin were found in meat products as well as eggs.

New European Union hygiene laws, introduced in January this year, were intended to tighten feed controls as part of a raft of measures to implement the bloc's 'farm to fork' safety strategy.

The legislation puts the primary responsibility on all food and feed operators, from farmers and processors to retailers and caterers, to ensure that food on the EU market meets the required safety standards.

Related topics Regulation & Safety

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