Generally, our society has been demanding results that are bigger, better and produced faster – this trend does not stop at the feed industry. Changes in transportation, storage and sanitation are contributing to a shift in design considerations and capabilities for large-scale feed mills. By addressing the benefits of these trends, facilities can develop a master plan to either immediately incorporate them or allow flexibility for future growth and business development.
Clean is cool... in the food industry that is. As a result of stringent sanitation standards and a cultural demand for the details behind food production, there is added pressure put on all levels of the supply chain to improve the traceability of their products. One of the first laws affecting the feed industry was introduced in September 2016; the FDA issued a new rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that requires better regulation in pet food processing plants by integrating Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs). Public pressure from the grocery aisles is also gaining momentum as food consumers are eager to understand the details of ingredients and feed that makes it into their diet. For feed mills, a critical component of demonstrating CGMPs to the FDA and for public perception will be clear product tracing.
As technology in this field continues to improve and become more standardized, it will benefit feed facilities to stay up-to-date for a number of situations ranging from supply chain management to brand and legal protection during food recalls. The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) found some of the most common methods for tracing products include “pen/paper (alphanumeric notes), bar codes, radio frequency identification (RFID), and electronic systems.” The latter is the most efficient option for the feed mill industry; currently available software packages typically combine a number of tracking, measurement and accounting features.
Master plans in the near future will require traceability techniques throughout the process, from the intake of ingredients through end product consumption. Consider how this technology can be effectively incorporated into your facility.