In 2014, at the behest of a Chinese feed machinery manufacturer, the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC), through the International Standards Organization (ISO), proposed the establishment of a technical committee to develop standards for feed manufacturing machinery.
From the beginning, feed industry stakeholders in many countries argued there was not a pressing need for this standard and such a standard could actually have a negative impact on the industry. For example, France’s standards organization, AFNOR, stated: “We conclude to a complete lack of market needs for standards for feed machinery.” However, despite attempts to veto the proposal by countries including the U.S., Japan and France, ISO allowed the proposal to work on the development of possible standards for feed machinery to move forward focused on three areas terminology, hygiene and safety.
The Working Group on terminology has made the most progress to date. Originally China, which controls the secretariat for this process, submitted a proposal to the Working Group with more than 2,000 terms divided into nine terminology subsets. By comparison, typically there is only one category per standard. Although the U.S. industry staunchly opposes the need for and ISO Feed Machinery Standard, multiple U.S. feed machinery companies formed a group to ensure that the negative impact of these proposed standards will be limited as much as possible. On the China side, the process is controlled solely by one company, with a staff person serving as the secretariat for the entire initiative and its employees playing the primary role along with academics in each of the working groups. Over several years of multiple working group meetings with the U.S. and China the most active participants, this list of terms was reduced to just over 200 terms. However, China against the other members of the working group’s own position, insisted that there still needed to be nine terminology categories. The terminology proposal went to a vote in October, but was defeated with Switzerland and Denmark joining opposition to the standards and deciding to vote against it.
It appears there is growing active opposition to the standards as companies in various countries learn about the initiative and contact their local standards organization who may have initially supported or ignored the proposal seeing feed machinery standards just as any other new standard and not realizing the impact this would have on the industry.
There is a TC 293 plenary session planned in Winterhur, Switzerland, from January 15-16, 2019. The TC 293 plenary in Switzerland will convene all the active countries and working groups involved in this matter.
Call to action
Countries and companies who may not be involved yet can still participate. Companies and/or industry organizations just needs to contact their national standards organization that represents their country in ISO to let them know their position and their interest in participation in the process.