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“Poultry feed industry growing in New Zealand”

08 February 20177 min reading

Michael Brooks, NZMFA: “As of December 2016 there were 41 feed producer companies in New Zealand, with 8-9 mills comprising around 85 percent of production. More production capacity is certainly available. New Zealand-grown raw materials comprise approximately 20 percent of total tonnages used for feed. The majority of feeds, including wheat, soya meal and sorghum are imported from e.g. Australia and can be landed in New Zealand at a lower cost than New Zealand-produced raw materials.”

michaelbrooks-e1486574991396In this issue, Feed Planet Magazine talked with Michael Brooks, Executive Director of New Zealand Feed Manufacturers Association (NZFMA). Having 105 members, NZFMA represents the interest of almost all the animal feed manufacturing companies in New Zealand. Saying that there are 41 feed producer companies in New Zealand, with 8-9 mills comprising around 85% of production, Michael Brooks also states that the majority of feeds, including wheat, soya meal and sorghum are imported from e.g. Australia and can be landed in New Zealand at a lower cost than New Zealand-produced raw materials.

We talked with Michael Brooks about the NZMFA; New Zealand feed industry, the association’s activities in the industry and its future plans.

First of all could you please tell us about the New Zealand Feed Manufacturers Association? How many members do you have; what is your member profile and what are your activities as an association? The New Zealand Feed Manufacturers Association (NZFMA) represents the interests of almost all the animal feed manufacturing companies in New Zealand. Its members include manufacturers and blenders of compound feeds, premixes and dietary supplements and other individuals and companies which service and supply the industry.

The majority of feed is produced for the intensive livestock industries (poultry and pig) as well as the dairy and equine industries. A small amount of feed is also produced for animals such as dogs, emus, rabbits and fish.

The NZFMA currently has 105 members. Manufacturing members are classified as Category A - producing over 40,000 tonnes of feed per annum; Category B - producing less than 40,000 tonnes per annum, and Blenders – companies producing blended feed. Associate Members are individuals and companies other than feed manufacturers with an “interest” in the feed manufacturing industry. The work of the NZFMA is funded by levies paid by Category A, B and Blender members. Associate Members pay an annual fee.

As an organization, the role of the NZFMA is to promote and protect the interests of members involved in the New Zealand animal feed manufacturing industry. The NZFMA represents its members through liaison with Government and Government Departments, securing full and proper representation on or before Boards, Committees and Commissions constituted under Acts or Regulations of the Government of New Zealand.

The NZFMA also works to establish industry standards for the production of compound feed that comply with all food safety requirements, and develops and administers industry Codes of Practice and internal audit documents such as Labelling Guides, Product Recall Templates, and members’ requirements under the Fair Trading Act.

On behalf of its members the NZFMA also collects and circulates technical information and statistics, promotes research and development and industry training and facilitates discussion among members. The NZFMA publishes a digital newsletter, Feed Forum, for its members three times a year.

Could you please give us some information about New Zealand feed industry? What are the feed varieties produced in New Zealand and what is the production amount? What are the most produced and consumed feed varieties in your country? New Zealand produced 1,019,269 tons of feed in 2015. The production amount was 1,078,141 tons in 2014. 716,520 tons of this was produced by North Island and 302,750 tons were produced by South Island. According to the species specific data for 2015, 474,311 tons were consumed in broiler poultry industry, 159,496 tons were consumed in layer poultry industry, and 136,280 tons were consumed in pig industry, 76, 000 tons were consumed in calf industry and 107, 668 tons were consumed in dairy industry. The feed consumed in poultry industry has increased more than 5 percent in comparison to 2014 data. However it decreased 50 percent in dairy industry.

How many feed producer companies are there in New Zealand? What can you say about the feed production capacity, their capacity usage and technologic structure? As of December 2016 there were 41 feed producer companies in New Zealand, with 8-9 mills comprising around 85% of production. More production capacity is certainly available but as you will see from the annual feed production statistics overall tonnages are currently down, including a significant drop in dairy industry demand based on the poor international prices being received for dairy products. The situation for the dairy industry has improved during the last quarter but is still vulnerable to price fluctuations.

Consumption by poultry species (meat chickens and layer hens) has grown substantially, reflecting recent investment by producer companies and the fact that poultry is New Zealand consumers’ leading choice of animal protein.

Consumption by the pork industry on the other hand has dropped as the domestic industry faces problems including a decline in investment and pig herds and competition from imported pork products. The last now comprises over 55% of retail consumption.

Supplying raw material for feed is one of the most significant issues of feed industry. Raw material is considered as a problem in many countries. Does New Zealand have any difficulty in this sense? What can you say about the raw material production in New Zealand? New Zealand-grown raw materials comprise approximately 20% of total tonnages used for feed. The majority of feeds, including wheat, soya meal and sorghum are imported from e.g. Australia and can be landed in New Zealand at a lower cost than New Zealand-produced raw materials.

Most New Zealand-grown wheat is produced in the South Island but is subject to high internal transport costs between the South and North Island. A further problem is that New Zealand’s moist climate often requires locally produced wheat to undergo extra drying.

What do you think about your position when you compare New Zealand to other regions in the world in terms of animal feed industry? What do you aim in order to strengthen the position of your industry throughout the world in the future? As you will see from the tonnage figures, the New Zealand animal feeds industry is tiny by world standards. The quality of New Zealand-produced raw materials however is recognised as being of high quality.

As part of its work in promoting industry standards, the NZFMA established the FeedSafeNZ quality of production accreditation scheme in 2015 to provide safer feed for animals and in consequence, safer human food. The FeedSafeNZ accreditation is available to New Zealand Feed Manufacturers Association (NZFMA) members who pass independent audit standards as to the quality of their feed production processes and practices.

FeedSafeNZ audits are carried out annually by AsureQuality, a company that provides food safety and biosecurity services to the food and primary production sectors worldwide. Manufacturers undergo a stringent testing regime that involves a thorough on-site audit of their plant and storage facilities and operations. Only FeedSafeNZ-accredited sites are permitted to use the FeedSafeNZ logo (see attached) on their packaging and other materials.

The FeedSafeNZ initiative has proved a success, with 22 New Zealand feed mills having gained accreditation to date, with more expected to be audited in the coming months. Good feedback has been received from members, regulatory authorities and customers alike about the higher standards of production being attained.

As an association, do you have any ongoing projects of your industry or what are your future plans? The NZFMA aims to have all feed mill sites in New Zealand accredited under the FeedSafeNZ scheme and to make FeedSafeNZ accreditation a mandatory requirement for membership as a manufacturer or blender member of the NZFMA.

The NZFMA is also working to increase the professional skill sets of industry personnel through a dedicated training and qualifications programme. As the representative body for an industry playing an important role in the New Zealand agricultural sector, the NZFMA recognises that quality people produce quality products.

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