We sat down last week in Atlanta at the 2017 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) with Joel Newman, president, CEO and treasurer of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), to gauge the trade group’s outlook two weeks after President Donald Trump took office.
While there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding how the Trump administration will affect animal agriculture, Newman is eager to work with the country’s new leadership.
“There will be challenges where we’re going to need to do more work, but overall a new administration brings new opportunities for the feed and animal production industries,” Newman says.
As Trump promises to scale back regulations, Newman acknowledges that this may be an opportunity to reshape some of the more cumbersome aspects of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
“Food/feed safety is one of our top priorities, but we recognize that FSMA is a whole new level of regulation both for the industry and FDA to implement,” Newman explained during his interview. “We’re focused on addressing the areas that will make that more practical for implementation and still accomplish the objectives of the administration.”
Though the Trump administration has been very vocal about its position on current and pending trade agreements, Newman is hopeful AFIA will be able to work with the administration to highlight the many opportunities export trade presents for animal production.
Soon after the election in November, AFIA issued a statement that said it plans to be active in discussions with Trump’s administration and Congress in addressing “strict regulatory burdens,” when it is “appropriate for the animal food industry.”
AFIA’s membership represents 75 percent of the U.S. feed industry.