The AAFCO 2017 Annual meeting just wrapped up and I’m pleased to give you a summary of the developments that most impact you. First, I´m pleased to report that I’m still on the following active working groups:
- Nutrition Facts Box,
- Nutritional Adequacy and Feeding Directions, and
- Direct-fed Microbials
I’m more than pleased to report the Big News for us. As the President of Next Gen PFMA, I have finally been recognized by “the powers that be” as an “Industry Advisor” and our small – but mighty – association will be listed in the AAFCO OP (the Official Publication) right next and equal to the big guys, like PFI and AFIA.
The Direct-Fed Microbials working group should be picking up again following the cancer diagnosis and impending resignation of its leader. While I whole-heartedly wish her a speedy recovery, I will be anxious to make some real headway in this particular working group, whose meetings have been stalled.
I am very excited about all of this and noticed some changes at AAFCO this year. Namely, there were several “advisor only” meetings that I was — I believe, deliberately — not invited to attend. My impression is that there is be a bit of a “hush hush” at the meetings and it is very clear that they sense, see, and feel the growing force of the small batch pet food manufacturers like you. They know that things are starting to shift and, looking in on AAFCO’s meeting, it was as if they were doing all they could to maintain the status quo.
Yes, this is frustrating and it is also encouraging. The status quo can never be maintained and things ARE beginning to shift in favor of more transparency.
I volunteered for two new working groups: the definition of livestock (rabbits anyone?) and updating the Vitamin A requirements in pet food. Additionally, I volunteered to be a committee member on the Model Bill Committee. In regard to my participation, I was told: yes, no thank you, yes please. Don’t worry – we at Next Gen PFMA have excellent rapport with two industry advisors who are members of the Vitamin A workgroup – your industry will be represented.
As always, it’s a pleasure to represent manufacturers of the best pet food companies in the world! I will update you as things develop or don’t. In the meantime, we are here to assist you. Don’t hesitate to ask for our help.