17 May 1996

Full ingredient lists welcomed

By Stephen Howe

FEED manufacturing members of the trade organisation UKASTA are to provide full ingredients lists for most compound feeds.

The move was announced by UKASTAs director general Jim Reed and follows farmers weeklys "Whats in the Bag?" campaign.

Speaking exclusively to farmers weekly, Mr Reed said that UKASTA had obtained in principle the agreement of the big three compounders (Dalgety, BOCM Pauls and Bibbys) to provide individual ingredient declarations as soon as possible.

Some of the smaller compounders will face difficulties in complying, said Mr Reed. "They are not geared up to produce labels, or accurately record ingredients in the same way as the bigger compounders. So this is not going to happen overnight and will take place following further discussion with the NFU, meat manufacturers, MLC and the Food and Drink Federation."

UKASTA needed to consult with those organisations to seek the best and least confusing way of making the new ingredients declarations work, said Mr Reed.

Mr Reed expected most companies would now provide full ingredients listing for most products. "Some compounders may decide to stick with category declarations as they are perfectly entitled to do under existing EU and UK law."

Others could retain the right to withhold ingredients for high-performance feeds because of commercial sensitivity.

He saw no need to list ingredients on a percentage basis. "If we go down that road, our members will end up in a straight commodity business. Their margins will disappear and with it their research into high-performance feeds."

But UKASTA expects to see a marginal increase in the price of compound feed following full ingredients listing.