Day one, morning one of the 2017 AAFCO Annual meeting started with several presentations including one by a representative of the frozen fruit and vegetable processing industry. Are you aware that 73% of human food waste is directed to pet food? Are you also aware that 36% of this waste matter, which equates to roughly 15,000,000 tons, is no longer available for animal feed under FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) rules? While this does not directly impact our members, as they do not use these by-products in their foods, the change in the competitive industry does have an effect.
The interesting revelation about the statistic means that, while in direct violation of the FFDCA (Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act), before FSMA 15,000,000 tons of unacceptable materials were being diverted into pet food through rendered products due to FDA compliance policy loopholes. Now, under FSMA, this waste is considered unacceptable for pet food and must go to other “re-purpose” functions – such as compost or landfill.
An interesting non sequitur shared by the presenter was this 15,000,000 tons of waste is enough to feed over 200,000 average human US households. However, this product is human-generated waste not intended it to feed people; hence the statistic makes no sense. Yet, this is part of the logic the presenter used to advocate for diversion of these by-products to pet food. Secondly, the presenter lamented how much water needs to be removed from fruit and vegetable by-products to make them useful for compost, while neglecting to mention the same is needed to re-purpose the by-products for pet food. Clearly the presentation was intended to encourage the listener that pet food is a better diversion than compost or landfill.
Fortunately, as previously stated, our members do not use these products.
But what consequence might there be for our manufactures? Directly, probably nothing as real food generates minimal by-products. Indirectly, the competition could anticipate increasing prices as the quality of their ingredients are forced to increase. Which may ultimately benefit our members as the price difference between their food and others will be much less.
As usual, we will keep our fingers on the pulse of the market to report to you so that you may act accordingly.