A new deal stuck between animal feed scheme owners has created a new platform for the managing and recording of international incidents and crises, which affect more than one scheme owner.

For some time now, there have been procedures in place in order to keep each other informed at all times and to also co-operate with each other.

With the implementation of the platform the co-operation between these scheme owners will be further improved.

The recognition of incidents and crisis situations in a single platform provides better sharing of information between the scheme owners, so that appropriate action can be initiated faster in order to prevent or minimise harmful consequences.

According Deirdre Webb, from the Irish Grain and Feed Association, the move is part of its ongoing process of improving and modernising feed safety along the chain.

“We initiated this initial meeting and alongside our European association FEFAC have encouraged the international schemes owners to develop closer links to support the industry,” she said.

Webb said the feed industry is a global operator and has integrated systems up and down the chain and is best placed to react quickly and efficiently to potential threats and developing risks.

According to Webb this year 3.6m tonnes out of a total tonnes of 4.2m tonnes of compound feed in the South of Ireland were certified under these schemes.

“We would encourage the farm organisation to speed up the development of their home mixing schemes.

“Farmers are increasingly using materials such a recycled bread, biscuits chocolates and other materials and without a credible system in place to help them understand the risks involved we are all exposed,” she said.