GMP+ animal feed safety system certification
Safe food is directly related to animal feed safety. This relationship was brought to the attention due to a number of serious incidents involving contaminated animal and compound feed stuffs, both at home and abroad. In response to these incidents, which posed risks to public health, the Product Board Animal Feed took the initiative in 1992 to develop a standardised assessment framework for animal feed safety, referred to as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
The original Dutch GMP standard has been adjusted several times since the first version, influenced by increasing internationalisation, the global trade flows of food and animal feed, and the need for international harmonisation of animal feed safety. With the integration of ISO 9001 quality management requirements, HACCP food safety principles and other relevant requirements, a standards framework was created in the late 1990s that is now being applied and recognised worldwide.
Following an interim recalibration of the GMP standard, the GMP+ standards framework was introduced in 2006, followed by the introduction of the GMP+ FSA (Feed Safety Assurance) module in 2010 and the GMP+ FRA (Feed Responsibility Assurance) module in 2014.
GMP+ FSA covers feed safety and forms the leading standards framework in volume (number of certified companies).
GMP+ FRA responds to the increasing awareness in the international feed industry regarding sustainable entrepreneurship, in which the aspects of the environment, working conditions and animal welfare are central.
The GMP+ standard sets requirements for management responsibility, product and process information, the basic conditions programme according to the HACCP standard, hazard analysis, specific management measures, standards and critical limit values, monitoring and measurement, corrective actions and measures, validation and verification, and documentation and registration.
From 1 July 2019, a new additional requirement applies that requires all GMP+ certified companies to have the analyses they have carried out, done with GMP+ registered laboratories.
A change to the GMP+ FSA module is currently underway. The basic principles are preserved; safeguarding feed safety remains the primary responsibility of the organisation to be certified. The standard module will prescribe 'target conditions' that companies must meet and will be aligned with other internationally accepted standards, such as ISO 22000.
GMP+ applies to the entire production and supply chain of feed. It consists of producers of feed materials, transport companies, shippers, transshipment and transshipment plants, laboratories, intermediaries and traders in compound feeds.
In order to pursue feed safety throughout the chain, GMP+ certified companies may only use suppliers certified according to the GMP+ standard or an equivalent standard.
The GMP+ certification process follows the pattern of other generic management system standards. This pattern is based on an implementation methodology in a fixed cycle of 3 years.
After a preliminary and review investigation, also called 'Phase 1 and Phase 2 audit' or 'certification audit', the certified organisation is subject to annual interim audits. Thus, we can determine whether the standard requirements are still being met. These audits are called ‘surveillance audits’.
The GMP+ requires that one of these interim investigations take place unannounced at production companies established in Europe. This is due to the requirements of other feed safety schemes. At the end of the cycle, the certified organisation can start a new cycle of 3 years, again starting with a certification audit.
An organisation can use the GMP+ standard as a stand-alone management system, but combinations with other management system standards are also possible, such as ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 22000 (food safety), HACCP (food safety – expiring in 2021) or with other sector-specific standards.