The animal feed trade has united behind a scheme which is delivering major improvements to the security of Northern Ireland’s most important industry.
The food chain is a safer place as a result of the Food Fortress program now in operation with all the main feed manufacturers in the province.
According to Robin Irvine who manages the program on behalf of the feed trade: “There are now 47 feed producing companies participating in the scheme and we have the most comprehensive program of animal feed monitoring anywhere in the world.”
Introducing the new logo and brand imagery Robin said: “The Food Fortress is now established as the badge of safer feed and our challenge to the businesses further along the food chain is to recognize and promote the fact that livestock produced through our quality schemes here in Northern Ireland has added value in terms of its provenance. This is a scheme which differentiates our product and gives us an advantage over our competitors.
“The program was established as a partnership between Queen’s University, Belfast and the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association and has been supported by Invest NI through its Collaborative Network program.
“Queen’s, through the Institute of Global Food Security brought the most up to date technology to our program and helped us develop a practical solution to the challenge of managing the risks in feed production. But it is the support from local feed businesses which is the key to success. They were quick to appreciate that a cooperative approach to testing and sharing results would give a vastly greater level of assurance than could be achieved by any individual company. The fact that 99.9% of commercial feed production is covered by our strategic program of sampling and analysing for the main contaminants means that we have an accurate monthly picture across the province and across the range of feeds produced.”
The success of the program has been recognised by DARD who are responsible for enforcing the EU feed regulations in the province and by both the Farm Quality Assurance Scheme for Beef & Lamb and the broiler chicken sector who have adopted the scheme as a requirement of their feed supply .
A Hyde Farm Feeds, Crumlin; A. N. Irwin & Sons, Eglish; Ardaragh Livestock Feeds, Newry; Ballinaskeagh Grains Ltd, Banbridge; Boyd Feeds, Clogher; Capper Frading, Dungannon; Carland Mill, Dungannon; Carton Group, Co Cavan; Chestnutt Animal Feeds, Ballymoney; Connon General Merchants, Ballymena; Corby Rock Mill, Co Monaghan; CR Supplies, Larne; Cyril Watters, Aughnacloy; Devenish Nutrition Ltd, Belfast; Ergana Corn Mill, Kilrea; Fane Valley, Omagh; FS Herron Ltd, Castlewellan; G. E. McLarnon & Sons, Randalstown; Gortavoy Feeds & Farm Supplies Ltd, Pomeroy; James Glover & Sons Ltd, Crossgar; John Bell, Keady; John Thompson & Sons Ltd, Belfast; Joseph Walls Ltd, Hilltown; Kilcross Feeds, Crumlin; L. W. Surphlis & Son Ltd, Newtownstewart; M Beattie & Son Ltd, Newtownstewart; Mackin Animal Feeds, Newry; Manola Farm Supplies Ltd, Ballymoney; Masons Animal Feed Ltd, Portadown; McGuckian Milling Company, Cloughmills; Moores Animal Feeds, Broughshane; North Antrim Country Stores, Ballymoney; North Armagh Feeds, Portadown; R & J Lyness Ltd, Moira; Robert Clarke (Keady) Ltd, Keady; Robin Rainey & Sons Ltd, Randalstown; S McConnell & Sons, Kilkeel; S.H. Coleman (Glarryord) Ltd, Glarryford; South Down Feeds (Rathfriland) Ltd, Rathfriland; Strabane Mills Ltd, Artigarvan; T. J. Booth, Ballygawley; Taggart Jack, Ardstraw; Taylors (Fyfin) Ltd, Strabane; Thomas Hutchinson & Sons Ltd, Cookstown; Tullyherron Farm Feeds Ltd, Mountnorris; United Feeds Ltd, Belfast; R J Rutledge General Merchants, Castlederg.