Historic Issues Addressed

The following is a brief summary of the more significant issues that were adrressed by the SFMCA in its history. Prior to the formation of the SFMCA as a national association, state associations of stock feed manufacturers were in operation. NSW SFMA dates back to 1942 and other state SFMA associations formed after this time. 

13 February 1961 the Inaugural Meeting was held at the Victorian Chamber of Manufacturers. This followed initial work to develop a draft constitution. Prior to this meeting, there were State Associations that had been formed in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The national associations name was agreed to as “The Australian Stock Feed Manufacturers’ Federal Council”.

Mr A G Crago from Crago Stockfeeds NSW was elected as the first President.

Business item from the first meeting:

A deputation of members would meet with the Australian Wheat Board to advise the Board that stock feed manufacturers were dissatisfied with the basis on which they were required to purchase their wheat from the Board and that they were also dissatisfied with the quality of the wheat.

Based on the inaugural meeting minutes, the level of dissatisfaction with the Australian Wheat Board was the major stimulus for the national body being formed.

1962

Soybean meal importation commences and with opposition being experienced from meat meal manufacturers.

1963

The Federal Council agreed to give support to linking Queensland and Western Australian stock feed manufacturers into forming associations to join the Federal Council.

1964

The SFMCA debated the introduction of decimal weights and agreed to support a suitable system of decimal weights and measures for adoption throughout Australia.

1965

Queensland Association was formed and joined the Association. Research in NSW Seven Hills Research Station had resulted in improved quality of meat meal with the testing of meat meal allowing buyers to be more selective in their purchases.

1966

With the introduction of decimal currency, the Association funds stood at $328.72. Due to drought conditions, grain supply had become a major problem in NSW due to wheat exports completed by the Wheat Board. There was a meat meal shortage as stocks had been exported and restrictions were applied to limiting export permits by State Departments of Agriculture. In Victoria a new system was implemented between the Department of Primary Industries, meat meal manufacturers and stock feed manufacturers to ensure a minimum 3 months of meat meal stocks be held in Victoria. Representation was made to the Department of Customs and Excise to have the duty on imported fish meal removed. Due to the rise in raw material costs, the Association made representation to State Prices Commissioners for a stockfeed selling price increase and this had been successfully granted. The Association opposed moves by the chicken meat industry to use feed as a basis for the collection of levies for the funding of research projects. State Associations were active in reviews of State Stock Food Acts and Regulations. It was agreed that State Associations should exchange details of future developments and submissions made concerning the proposed new Stock Food legislation.

1967

WA Stock Feed Manufacturers Association formed and joins the Federal Council. Due to the drought oats was imported from Western Australia to South Australia for stockfeed use. Regulations relating to the control of feed additives were being addressed through the Association and State Departments. This was looking at the potential for uniform legislation throughout Australia, this including registration and labelling. An Inter Firm Comparison was undertaken in South Australia. This was run by the Department of Trade and Industry to allow stock feed manufactures to compare grain purchasing prices and stocks, labour, energy, distribution and administration costs and business profit. It was agreed that other states should look at a similar comparison system and gaining the support of their State Trade Department.

State Associations negotiated as a group with the Australian Wheat Board regarding the supply and price of wheat to stock feed manufacturers within each state.

1968

The first Australian Stock Feed Manufacturers’ Convention is held in Melbourne during September 1968 and is determined to be an outstanding success. The Convention was attended by 106 people and a surplus of $430 was realised. The potential development of soybean production in Australia was discussed. The opinion was formed that soybean production was unlikely to compete with existing cotton growing establishments. The potential for an oilseed crushing industry in Australia was identified. Production of stockfeed was quoted as being 650,000 tons in 1957 with this increasing to 1.4 million tons for 1967/68. Manufacturers in a letter to the Minister of Agriculture identified wheat being traded outside the Wheat Board marketing system as the Wheat Board pricing system charged feed millers for wheat at a “home consumption rate” rather than the ruling “export rate”.

1969

A reply from the Minister regarding no action being taken on stock feed wheat pricing lead to the Federal Council approaching the Chicken Meat Federation to discuss potential joint action. A record grain crop followed one of the worst droughts on record. This resulted in a major downward trend in overall stockfeed demand. Manufacturers were reported to have resorted to price cutting and offering unrealistic credit terms in their efforts to obtain a greater share of the depressed market.

The annual chairman’s report included the statement “May I congratulate members for the gentlemanly way in which Association matters have been conducted during the year”.

Reference is made to industrial stoppages on the delivery of petrol and fuel oil creating shortages that impacted feed delivery for egg and broiler production. Additionally the first reference is made to a new Animal Feed Makers Award being negotiated in NSW. The NSW Egg Marketing Board introduces higher yolk colour requirements and legislation is formed for the payment of a bonus to egg producers who attain the required colour level.

The Association has been focused on the poultry and chicken meat industries. A move is made to encourage greater interest in the dairy cattle and pig industries through having invited speakers at member meetings.

1970

Packaging Legislation in each state defined stock feed bag weights, these being Vic 125lb, Qld , SA and WA 100lb and NSW 100 – 125lb. (125lb = 56.7kg). In Queensland it was reported that due to farm expansion there was an over production of eggs and pigs that was classed as being a disaster for producers. Egg production had jumped by 30% over the prior 12 months period.

1971

Discussion takes place regarding preparation for conversion to the metric system.

Significant negotiation takes place between the Federal Council, State SFMA associations and the AWB to try and arrive at an agreed selling price of FAQ wheat to SFMA members. Negotiations breakdown and the interstate trade in wheat continues where feed mills can purchase wheat from another state at prices lower than what the AWB will supply within each state, referred to as “unorderly wheat marketing”.

There is formation of a number of grain marketing boards (oats, barley, sorghum) across Australia. This presented uncertainty as to the degree of support in supplying grain to the domestic stock feed market versus export focus.

1972

Conversion to the metric system commences in SA in December 1972.

The egg industry works with all State Governments to introduce a quota system to stabilise and control surplus egg production. The chairman’s report identifies the “increasing cost of labour forcing feed manufacturers to look very seriously at the relative costs of capital versus labour and consequently seeking ways and means of minimising the number of men employed. Perhaps the areas receiving the most attention are bagged product and bagged ingredient handling where there are substantial incentives to swing to bulk handling”.

1973

Conversion to the metric system takes place in other states. The change in metric bag weights was used as a means for the industry to change from old-style sacks to non-returnable bags.  Conversion of weighbridges to metric weighing is a significant move for feed mills as is provision of metric conversion tables.

A move is made in NSW to have stock feed exempted from the Prices Justification Tribunal. This would allow manufacturers to adjust feed selling prices as and when raw materials increased or decreased.

Discussion is held in Federal Council about the merits of the SFMCA fostering the formation of a Pig Industry Council as there was no national body for the pig industry.

A federal Government committee is established, with SFMA representation to look at sufficient requirements of protein meals being made available for local consumption prior to any exports of the products being entered into. A temporary Government embargo was placed on the export of meat meal.

Continuity of wheat supply and feed wheat being available at the “right price” continues to be debated between SFMCA, the AWB and the Government. A proposal for each sate SFMA to provide annual wheat usage forecasts to the AWB is discussed.  A parliamentary committee is setup to look at wheat pricing, with SFMCA making a submission.

1974

It was agreed that the SFMCA would approach the Flour Mill Owners of Australia to join with them in being involved in industrial discussions relating to the Milling Award. This is the first reference to the SFMCA being involved in industrial relations and was in response to a Union log of claims against feed millers.

The Federal Council agreed to look at the possibility of setting up and funding a Federal Secretariat.

State Constitutions were discussed and it was agreed that the constitutions of each state should be uniform, bearing in mind the requirements for membership should be the same.

Poor econmic factors created many worries for members. The lack of export beef markets resulted in over supply of beef and a collapse in cattle prices. This had an impact on chicken and pig meat prices. The stockfeed tonnages reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics were:

                1972/73                1,685,640 tonnes

                1973/74                1,853,341 tonnes

New South Wales supplied 45% of the feed volume.

Questions were asked about the SFMCA’s role in negotiating with the AWB regarding wheat prices and the Trade Practices Act 1974. Each State SFMA was involved in negotiating with their relevant State AWB.

1975

There is considerable debate regarding State Departments of Agriculture promoting the concept of “home-mixing”.

Relations between the domestic feed market and the AWB remain poor with the view being held that the AWB regarded the stockfeed industry as an outlet for all their off-grade wheat. The SFMCA argues that the AWB needs to be more commercially orientated treating the domestic market as it does for export.

1976

Attention given to Government controls relating to raw materials:

  • Wheat and AWB submissions on wheat prices and quality. The SFMCA negotiated on behalf of the industry in dealing with the AWB.
  • A Government review looks at removing export controls on meat meal. The SFMCA successfully argues that export volume control by the Government must continue to protect domestic supply to the feed industry.

Industrial representation in Award negotiations increase in the SFMCA’s focus.

1977

SFMCA becomes a respondent to the Milling Industry Award in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.

1978

Four cases of legal action are undertaken against stockfeed manufacturers by the AWB under Section 92 of the Australian Constitution. The cases relate to interstate trade of wheat and whether they could be legally stopped by the AWB. Wheat growers and stockfeed mills are circumventing the AWB marketing system by trading wheat across state borders. The High Court ruling resulted in stopping the trade of wheat across state borders where it was not under the control of the AWB.

Frustration in the wheat market is expressed in the AWB legally holding stockfeed mills to only buy wheat through the AWB, while ignoring home-mix farmers buying wheat directly from grain growers at lower prices. The Association believes that unless a realistic approach was taken by the AWB, then alternative routes would be found for a way round it.

A review of statutory marketing boards commences in NSW and it is expected similar reviews will take place in other states.

The use of antibiotics in stockfeed comes under attention from State Departments of Agriculture or Primary Industries.

1979

A log of claims is served by the Union on the stockfeed industry. The log consists of 37 items of which manufacturers agree to 7 of them. Strike action is threatened by the Union.

Truck blockades protesting against the “truckie tax” cause interruption in the supply of raw materials and delivery of feed for Sydney based feed mills. Razorback Mountain, near Picton NSW, on the Hume Highway is the scene of the major blockade.  Blockages occur in other states but have less impact.

Due to a shortage of meat meal, SFMCA representation to the Department of Primary Industries results in a ban on the export of meat meal from NSW.

Triticale breeding gathers pace as an alternate cereal feed grain to wheat that can be sold outside the AWB.

In meeting with the AWB, the SFMCA makes points relating to the continued interstate trade in wheat outside the AWB control. Before meeting with the AWB it is agreed to use the term ‘non Board wheat” rather than the more commonly used term ‘black market wheat’. It is argued the AWB wheat price is high relative to other cereal grains.

1980

The association’s name is changed to the Stock Feed Manufacturers’ Association of Australia

The SFMCA’s first paid Federal Secretariat in Dr Geoff Fairbrother is appointed.

Reference is made to the animal liberation movement. Poultry welfare was seen to be the main focus of activists.

An SFMCA Industrial Committee is formed and operates using the legal services of McCarthy Associates. A method of funding this service through industrial levy contributions from members is implemented.

1981

The Uebergang vs AWB court case commences and highlighted continuing pressure to remove the AWB control over domestic wheat marketing controls. The SFMCA provides financial funds in support of the High Court case.

In WA there is a Government move to require an expiry date being placed on stock feeds. Prior to this no states required expiry dates. A compromise in WA is reached with only bagged feeds requiring expiry dates and manufacturers being allowed to print on labels “in excess of 3 years”.

Discussion takes place in progressing standardisation of stockfeed registrations in each state. Problems are being experienced in differing interpretations in each state relating to the regulated requirement to register stockfeed products. A Government working group with SFMCA representation is established to examine uniform labelling and registration of stockfeed.

There is a significant jump in the planting of triticale in NSW and Qld.

The growth in the live sheep export trade in WA and resulting feed demand is under threat from ACTU actions and the Meatworkers’ Union in opposing the trade.

The association negotiates with the Union to try and get union support to have mill workers use appropriate safety apparel.

1982

The Federal Minister for Agriculture removes meat meal from the prohibited export list and it can be freely exported.

The Industrial Committee role increases and there is a structured approach taken to the Milling Industry Award negotiations and Union wage rate increase demands. The 38 hour week for mill workers is agreed to, except Qld where the 40 hour week remains in force.

NSW feed mills feel the impact of electricity supply shortages in NSW.

Drought conditions in Victoria and NSW reduces grain supply and the AWB moves wheat from Qld to NSW and Vic to meet domestic feed demand. The AWB under legislation is required to sell wheat at the same price throughout Australia. To compensate for the added cost of transporting wheat from Queensland to NSW and Vic, the domestic stockfeed wheat price is increased by applying a “freight levy”. The SFMCA objects to the freight levy and argues the transport cost should apply to the users of the wheat rather than spread across all the industry.

Lobbying takes place to try and get grain importation from overseas into NSW. The NSW State Government applies a “no import” policy.

In NSW the AWB makes available 800,000 tonnes of wheat for drought feeding.

1983

Sorghum is allowed to be imported due to drought conditions and limited domestic grain supplies.

The SFMCA Constitution is changed to allow the appointment of both a Secretary and Executive Officer.

1984

Occupational Health and Safety becomes more important in negotiations with unions. New legislation on bag weights and manual lifting come into force.

Discussions take place regarding the oilseed industry and supply contracts, the large variation in meal quality and the limited number of suppliers.

Uebergang vs AWB High Court wheat case continues, although SFMCA withdraws their support for the action.

New Wheat Marketing Legislation is enacted allowing sales of wheat under a permit system.

The animal liberation movement commences promoting farm fresh eggs from free range birds.

1985

A proposal to restructure SFMCA into a stronger national body under a corporate structure with less control through each State SFMCA is rejected.

The introduction of the AWB permit wheat system is reported to have been introduced smoothly and welcomed by the stockfeed industry. A push commences for the deregulation of the barley market that operates under state Marketing Board control.

The National Health and Medical Research Council commences work looking at antibiotic use in stock feeds.

The union movement puts pressure on feed mills in relation to the issue of chemicals and toxic risks in feed mills. This is part of growing industrial action from union bodies pushing to update conditions and pay rates.

The use of synthetic egg yolk colouring versus natural colouring materials becomes an issue.

State Governments start to reduce funding and employment of staff in providing field services to livestock producers. It is anticipated that the gap will need to be filled by private advisers and this cost could be transferred to the farmers feed supplier. The provision of free farm advise by feed manufacturers is seen as both an additional cost burden but also an added marketing aid.

1986

A final report from the working group set-up by the Government in 1981 provides its final report on Uniform Labelling and Registration of Stock Feeds. Rather than implementing uniform legislation across all States it was resolved that the report would be issued as a Recommended Code of Practice for the Stock Feed Industry.

Pesticide residues in milk and meat hit the media. Dieldrin residues are found and testing of stock feed commences by NSW Department of Agriculture. The SFMCA writes to all marketing bodies asking that they adopt a form, for use by suppliers of grains or oilseeds, which declares that the grain or oilseed has not been sprayed by any non-approved pesticide or does not contain illegal (above MRL) residues of approved pesticides.

SFMCA works with GAFTA on stock feed ingredient standards. Emphasis is placed on moisture levels and permitted impurities.

The wheat permit system comes under threat from wheat growers as the AWB refuses to issue permits to some growers and the system is unclear and requires considerable paperwork.

The Trade Practices Commission initiates investigations into potential price collusion in the stock feed industry in Victoria.

A Royal Commission into Grain Handling and Storage commences. SFMCA supports a total freeing-up of the domestic wheat market.

Major rationalisation in the stock feed industry occurs. Increasing integrated mill capacity is resulting in loss of trade for independent mills.

A Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare reports on the live sheep trade. The SFMCA contributes to the resulting standards for feed for live sheep exports.

In Victoria, feed mills agree to standardise finished feed bag weights to 40kg and raw materials received from suppliers to a maximum 50kg.

1987

Superannuation within the milling industry is initiated.

Membership accreditation is discussed by Federal Council and is pushed from the Qld State SFMA. The possibility of implementing a “Code of Good Manufacturing Practice” is considered. Committee work is established looking at recommended retention time periods of raw material and finished feed samples, pesticide residue testing, purchase orders stating raw materials are not to contain pesticide residues and a code of practice relating to prevention of pesticide residues and the use of antibiotics in stockfeed.

1988

The SFMCA holds discussions with the ATMA regarding the potential to include stockfeed material within their regular technical workshops. The potential to hold a “joint workshop approach every 18 months” is discussed. It is later agreed to a joint SFMCA/ATMA seminar being held in March 1990.

A draft Code of Practice to prevent pesticide residues in stockfeed is circulated to States for feedback.

1989

Wheat domestic market deregulation commences. The previous guaranteed supply of wheat to the domestic market by AWB is discussed. It is acknowledged that there would be no future guarantee of supply under a deregulated domestic market.

Deregulation of the egg industry takes place in NSW and has consequences for all states.

SFMCA seeks information on how feed accreditation programs in USA, Canada and the UK operate.

Increased activity in addressing issues around grain sampling, unloading of trucks at mills and trading standards.

Further major restructuring of the stock feed industry with takeovers and mergers of some of the major feed companies across eastern Australia.

Airlines strikes result is postponed Federal Council meetings and business interruption across the nation.

National Award restructuring progresses with the Milling Industry Award.

1990

SFMCA agrees to work with Government to prepare a Code of Good Manufacturing Practice for Feed Millers, this being based on the 1988 draft version.

Opiates found in horse feeds becomes a major industry issue. Low level presence of morphine in horse urine samples is traced back to poppy seed contamination of grain, hay and chaff.

The Federal Government allows the importation of uncooked frozen Canadian pigmeat to proceed.

1991

The Standing Committee of Agriculture approves the Code of GMP for the Feed Milling Industry. This is seen as a voluntary Code that SFMCA members can choose to adopt.

1992

SFMCA makes submissions to raise the maximum permitted levels of selenium in stockfeed.

Avian influenza exotic disease outbreak occurs in Bendigo Vic. SFMCA looks at exotic outbreak standard procedures and movement controls.

1993

Competency standards are introduced within the Milling Industry Award. Enterprise bargaining agreements are introduced at site level and ratified by the Industrial Relations Commission.

Veterinary chemical product registration and controls are combined nationally under the National Registration Authority, later to be renamed the APVMA. The SFMCA successfully argues that stockfeed containing medications should not in their own right require registration. Similarly custom premixes are exempt from registration.

Heliotrope in stockfeed in SA and Vic has a major negative impact across the industry. Negotiation with the grains industry takes place looking at setting a maximum heliotrope seed presence in stockfeed. The pig industry argues for a zero tolerance level.

1994

State Departments move away from the registration of stockfeed. This is in part due to the formation of the NRA and registration of veterinary chemical products and a push for industry to adopt uniform standards and labelling requirements. The adoption of the Code of GMP for the Feed Milling Industry is seen as critical to the state regulatory authorities.

SFMCA agrees to look more closely at how an industry accreditation program could be operated.

The specifications for meat meal are negotiated between SFMCA and the Australian Renderers Association and jointly published. The SFMCA reviews the Code of Practice for the Manufacture of Meat Meal.

Grain is imported into Australia due to drought conditions.

1995

SFMCA funds the development of stockfood training materials for the National Certificate of Food Processing (Milling).

Mycotoxin poisoning in horses is traced back to contaminated corn being used in manufactured horse feeds.

1996

The AWB introduces a new tender system to make available wheat for domestic users.

Qld SFMA makes QA accreditation compulsory for membership. A sub-committee is established to implement the program with a target compliance date set for 1998. Other States express interest in the program as a potential national model. However debate takes places as to whether QA accreditation should be voluntary or mandatory for membership.

In response to BSE, the SFMCA voluntarily implements a ban on the feeding of meat and bone meal to ruminants. All members are notified of the ban and that legislation enforcing the ban would occur in due course.

The SFMCA agrees to take part in the National Residue Survey with feeds mills approached to supply grain samples for residue testing.

Ruminant feed ban labelling requirements commence in Victoria and are followed by other state legislation. Discussions take place relating to State inspector audits of feed mills and compliance with the ruminant feed ban.

The SFMCA implements a National Feed (Commodity) Vendor Declaration. SFMCA has input into the National Vendor Declaration (Cattle) and questions relating to feeding and use of by-products.

1997

Conference surplus funds are used by SFMCA to initiate its Young Achiever Award program. In later years this is renamed as the SFMCA Development Award.

SFMCA works with NACMA in the development of standard trading contracts, terms and conditions.

1998

The first Federal Council meeting is held using teleconference technology.

Qld SFMCA implements a training day in HACCP Implementation for Stockfeed Manufacture.

The Longford gas plant explosion impacts the Victorian stockfeed industry with some feed having to be transported from interstate to meet the supply gap.

1999

Industry has to prepare for the Y2K bug impact that turns out to be a non-event.

2000

The Code of GMP for Feed Milling is revised and is to be used to implement an SFMCA accreditation program. It is agreed this is to be compulsory for SFMCA members in all states.

The SFMCA looks at the GMO issue and growing anti-GM activity.

GST is introduced and applied to stockfeed.

2001

The SFMCA QA program structure progresses in its development, this requiring independent annual audits where members notify the association of their compliance. The program will need State SFMA agreement and Constitution changes. Further work is required to provide written procedures and recording keeping directions to go with the Code of GMP.

2002

Significant work is undertaken looking at animal protein cross contamination in multi species feed mills. Feed testing is undertaken as part of the national ruminant feed ban in response to BSE.

FeedSafe is adopted as the name for the SFMCA QA accreditation program. The program details are finalised, with an Audit Checklist being implemented to match the Code of GMP standard. The Code of GMP gains Veterinary Committee and Primary Industries Ministerial Council andorsement. Consequences of non-compliance is implemented through loss of SFMCA membership. State Constitutions are changed to make FeedSafe accreditation compulsory and Provisional Membership a new category.

2003

FeedSafe is launched with the first site gaining accreditation in August 2003. By the end of 2003 there are 27 mills that have gained FeedSafe accreditation. The FeedSafe logo is released for use by accredited feed manufacturers.

Trade mark registration of FeedSafe is obtained through IP Australia. 

SFMCA becomes part of the Feed Grain Users Group that later changes to the Feed Grain Partnership.

Following BSE and risks surrounding GMO’s, members struggle to obtain insurance. SFMCA implements a national insurance brokering arrangement to guarantee all members can obtain insurance quotation.

SFMCA implements a National Sponsorship Program to broaden its income base for special project work. This is later named the National Industry Partner program.

The SFMCA Development Award structure is changed to have five State winners.

The SFMCA website is developed to promote the industry and provide communications to members.

US maize and UK wheat are imported due to drought and limited domestic grain supplies.

The SFMCA discontinues its provision of industrial relation services through a third party legal service. This reflects a decline in industrial disputation and the increased role of individual company enterprises bargaining agreements that have overtaken many of the Award rates and conditions.

The organisation changes its name to the Stock Feed Manufacturers’ Council of Australia (SFMCA). SFMCA becomes an incorporated association.

SFMCA joins the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) as a national feed association member.

2004

SFMCA becomes a partner in the TSE Freedom Assurance Program. TSEFAP operating under Animal Health Australia manages the ruminant feed ban.

A maximum 25kg bag weight policy is adopted by SFMCA for both inward raw materials and outward finished feeds.

2005

SFMCA works with other organisations to argue against feed grain use in biofuel production where the biofuels industry gains Government assistance, particularly through potential mandated inclusion of biofuel in motor fuels.

Under FeedSafe greater controls are implemented relating to use of medications and feed sequencing and flushing during feed manufacture. 

The SFMCA develops its first Industry Strategic Plan for the next 5 year period. The extension of FeedSafe and promotion to the broader industry is the major focus. Ram testing and multi-species feed mills is to gain greater attention.

2006

SFMCA joins a new Federal Government working group aimed at developing national feed controls that are proposed to be released as a National Feed Standard. The aim is to develop consistent State regulatory controls that would also apply to imported stock feeds and raw materials.

SFMCA takes part in a TSEFAP run visit by EU inspectors to assess the adequacy of feed mill compliance with the ruminant feed ban controls. The Department of Agriculture publically released report following the EU visit identifies that “the ruminant feed ban is fit for purpose as Australia has a favourable BSE status”.

Drought conditions put pressure on grain supplies and quarantine import controls for grain are subject to discussion.

Under the National Measurements Institute and legislation, uniform testing procedures and certification of testing equipment comes under attention. Feed mill measuring and weighing equipment fall under these new controls.

SFMCA with other organisations supports the removal of the AWB single desk control of wheat exports.

2007

SFMCA works with NACMA to get a new feed wheat trading standard implemented. This is aided through the anticipated changes in export wheat marketing controls.

SFMCA works with APL to assess the risk of chemical and medication residues in pigs resulting from pig feeds. The new PigPass program recognises FeedSafe as the industry QA program.

Transport Chain of Responsibility is raised as a new issue for feed mills to comply with.

Following a review of the FeedSafe program, HACCP is introduced as a compulsory requirement within FeedSafe.

Equine influenza (EI) occurs in Australia and results in nationwide action to control. Horse feeds sales are significantly impacted as horse movements cease and horse racing and events are stopped until EI is determined to have been eradicated.

Melamine contamination of milk products in China occurs. The SFMCA addresses the potential risk from imported feed ingredients for the Australian feed supply chain.

Salmonella incidents linked to free range eggs draws renewed attention. A survey of feed raw materials identifies the broader than expected presence of salmonella in animal and vegetable protein meals.

The SFMCA makes submission to various State GM Moratorium reviews.

2008

The SFMCA works with the AOF prior to the commercial release of GM Canola in NSW and Victoria. A non GM canola meal standard is to be implemented for segregation from GM canola meal.

Lead residues are found in pigs in WA. The residue is traced back to zinc oxide imported from China that was heavily contaminated with lead.  SFMCA calls on the Department of Agriculture to implement greater controls over imported raw materials.

A downturn in the pork industry has a significant impact on pig feed demand across all states.

Following many years of debate, the AWB is fully deregulated, removing single desk controls.

2009

Award Modernisation results in the Milling Industry Award ceasing to exist and feed milling employees fall under a much broader Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award.

Worksafe Victoria targets canola meal storage and use as dangerous goods in feed mills. This initiates work to provide direction to members on how to handle canola meal and other “seedcake” under dangerous goods regulations. The transport of canola meal remains an issue that SFMCA works with AOF to try and resolve.

The working group set-up in 2006 to develop a new National Feed Standard finishes draft version 15.

2010

SFMCA provides directions to members in managing microbial presence risk in animal and vegetable protein meals.

The SFMCA unsuccessfully argues against an Exotic Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) levy being applied to manufactured horse feeds to recover control costs should another horse exotic disease occur.

Further heavy metal contamination (lead and cadmium) occur in zinc products imported from China and India.

2011

A major review of FeedSafe is completed with increased focus on mill hygiene and guideline documents provided for training purposes. The FeedSafe logo is redesigned. Additional direction is provided to mills when using medications and risks of cross contamination into non target feeds. The Federal Department of Agriculture works with SFMCA to undertake a survey and feed testing of multi-species mills using medications.

The SFMCA Strategic Plan is revised implementing actions to address lack of feed miller training in the industry. Potential future supply chain threats are reviewed and action plans developed.

A dioxin incident occurs in Germany where oil used in animal feed is contaminated. This results in increased controls over recycled cooking oil processing and use in Australia.

Floods in Toowoomba and Brisbane interrupt feed delivery to farms and supply of grain into mills.

SFMCA works with the ATO in reviewing “capital effective life” guidelines for assets held within feed mills. This includes feed mill site visits for ATO staff to understand what equipment is in use.

The impact of a potential carbon tax comes into meeting discussions. SFMCA decides to initiate an Energy Survey of member feed mills. To date there is no collated data on energy use or calculated greenhouse gas emissions.

2012

The first SFMCA Energy Survey is completed and data reported to members.

The Victorian branch implements the first Dairy Forum, held in alternate years to AMC. This focuses on issues of relevance to feed mills supplying the dairy industry.

Following a period of little activity, work on the National Feed Standard is reactivated with a “final version” being agreed to by the Working Group.

SFMCA releases Use by Date Guidelines for feed to manufacturers.

2013

Visits to feed and premix manufacturing sites is hosted by SFMCA for Department of Agriculture and quarantine staff. The aim is to foster a closer working relationship between industry and Government staff.

Agreement is reached between SFMCA and the University of Queensland for the development of an Advanced Feed Mill Training Course.

Basic training in FeedSafe is implemented with provision via the SFMCA website. The first module FeedSafe Overview is released to members.

Nicarbazin residues in eggs from feed supply highlights increased laboratory testing ability and the lack of an MRL in eggs. SFMCA successfully works with the APVMA to have an MRL for nicarbazin introduced for eggs.

An Avian Influenza outbreak occurs in Young NSW. The biosecurity impact on feed mills is highlighted through the control response.

2014

SFMCA takes part in a Government working group looking at simplification of APVMA controls for low risk feed ingredients. From 2015, this results in a new self-check method for feed additive suppliers and exemption from the previous APVMA registration requirement.

SFMCA initiates work in market access for horse feed exports to China. Horse feed manufacturers electing to take part are subject to Chinese inspection and approval. A Chinese import protocol draft is developed and subject to both Governments agreeing and signing.

SFMCA works with other livestock bodies to lobby the Government to make reporting of grain stocks mandatory. There is no positive response from the Minister’s office on the request.

An Aquafeed Technical Committee is established to address common issues experienced by members manufacturing aquafeeds.

The FeedSafe focus on mill hygiene and cleaning is re-inforced through the provision of a basic training module.

SFMCA initiates a review of its operating structure.

2015

The structure review results in members agreeing to change State SFMA from seperate legal entities to becoming committees of the SFMCA. This greatly reduces administration costs and simplifies the organisations operation for financial control, GST reporting, member database control and Constitution maintenance. The former State Secretaries become State Development Officers moving from predominantly administration to working to further develop the SFMCA and stock feed industry.

Sustainability in feed manufacture becomes a growing issue with questions being asked about the Australian industries use of palm kernel meal and whether it is derived from sustainable sources.

Fires in South Australia impact the Wasleys feed mill, putting it out of action for a number of weeks until the damaged parts of the mill can be rebuilt.

A new basic training module is released addressing Medications and Feed Additives.

The proposed Shenhua coal mine on the Liverpool Plains in NSW is objected to by SFMCA. This is on the basis that there will be significant loss of high value grain production land as well as an uncertain impact on the regions aquifers.

2016

The SFMCA Advanced Feed Mill Training Certificate is launched. On-line training is provided through the University of Queensland.

SFMCA unsuccessfully argues against a Queensland mandate on biofuel inclusion in motor fuels.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) becomes a more important issue and SFMCA commences work with IFIF and other entities to form a policy position.

The South Australian electricity supply is interrupted and SFMCA lobbies the SA Energy Minister to seek greater supply security.

Transport Chain of Responsibility legislation progresses with a new national approach. Feed mills are required to address additional legal responsibility with inward and outward loads.

2017

A new SFMCA five year strategic plan is completed. Sustainability is introduced as a new pillar, together with standards and people.

Insect protein use in animal feeds is raised as a new issue. A Government working group, with SFMCA having representation, is to review biosecurity risks and potential additional regulatory controls if needed.

The first trainees complete the full Advanced Feed Milling Course.

A major review of FeedSafe is undertaken. This results in changes to the Audit Checklist and tighter limits on allowable non-conformances.

2018

Canola meal is finally exempted from dangerous goods classification during transport. This follows AOF work confirming spontaneous combustion does not occur. The DG classification for canola meal storage however remains in place.

A new FeedSafe basic training module targeting feed mill safety is released.

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