Christina Wood of Central Point of Expertise of Timber (CPET) provided the Committee with a presentation on work being carried out on the production of sustainable palm oil. Following the presentation, ACAF members wanted a more detailed definition and documentation on sustainable palm oil, before agreeing to endorse a factsheet covering sustainable palm oil and animal feed, which was being prepared by CPET. The Committee agreed it would revisit this subject at a future ACAF meeting. Dr David Howells (UK Feed Fat Association) offered to produce a factual note for consideration by the Committee.
Members acknowledged a briefing paper on the New Food Body for Scotland. The Committee agreed that an official from the new body should be invited to provide details of the work and interactions with scientific advisory committees once the body became operational.
An official from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) provided members with details of the European Commission’s proposal on medicated feeds. Members were informed that the proposals were published on 10 September 2014 with the aim of harmonising the production standards and marketing of medicated feed in the EU at an appropriate safety level, and to reflect technical and scientific progress in this area. Members requested that the VMD official provide the Committee with points in the proposal that VMD would like the Committee to consider. The Committee also agreed to revisit this subject during the negotiations.
An official from the Food Standards Agency provided an update on the negotiation of the Commissions official controls proposal, which aims to update and improve the existing regulatory system of feed law enforcement as part of the agri-food chain. Members were informed that, although significant progress had been made, no consensus had been reached on the topics of charging for official controls and the use of suitably trained and qualified staff, including official veterinarians. Negotiations were continuing and it was expected that trilogues between the European Commission, Council and European Parliament were to commence from Summer 2015 onwards. A further update would be provided at a future meeting.
Finally, the Chairman of ACAF’s sub-group that is reviewing the Committee’s 2003 report into on-farm feeding practices confirmed that the sub-group had met twice and that significant progress had been made in updating the report. Further work was required and it was expected that an updated report would be finalised by the middle of 2015.
The next ACAF meeting is scheduled to take place in at Queen’s University Belfast on 19 June 2015.