QUALITY ASSURANCE FOR FEED
The aim of animal nutrition is to provide animals with the right amount of energy, nutrients and minerals based on their needs, and to promote their health, wellbeing and performance. The composition of an animal's food varies depending on the species. Individual factors such as the age and nutritional status of the animals also play an important role.
It's no wonder, then, that animal nutrition is such a complex topic. To ensure that feed is well utilised, it needs to be produced from high-quality raw materials that are also residue-free, safe and nutritious. To ensure this is the case, Naturland has its own quality assurance standard that goes above and beyond the requirements of the EU regulation on organic products, which it starts applying at the source of the raw materials.
At Naturland, a farm's home-grown fodder forms the basis of its animal nutrition. At least 50 percent of a farm's feed must be produced by the farm itself or be procured from a Naturland-approved farm cooperative. Our production standards regulate specific requirements for each animal species to support this. Our feed processing guideline also serves as a foundation for our certified feed partners to produce high-quality feed.
SAFE PROCUREMENT OF RAW MATERIALS
Third-party feed must be certified by Naturland and/or meet Naturland's QA requirements. Provided there is an adequate supply in terms of quality and/or quality, Naturland favours home-grown or locally sourced feed over imported feed. Due to the strong demand for Naturland products and the huge challenge of providing a sufficient quantity of raw materials at the ideal level of quality, we have developed a series of specifications for purchasing EU organic raw materials from non-Naturland organic farms in Germany and abroad. The aim is to guarantee the traceability of EU organic raw materials right back to the farm that produced them and to ensure their production quality. As such, as well as examining the food supply chain in detail, we also consistently examine the animal feed that is used. After all, what we feed to our animals ultimately ends up on the consumer's plate. We apply various quality assurance measures as part of this process:
If a farm wishes to use non-Naturland goods, it must first put forward a request. The goods then undergo a conformity assessment, which varies in scope depending on the raw material. The most challenging feeds to assess are oilseed press cakes. They are a by-product of processing oilseed into vegetable oil and are a popular feed component due to their high protein and fat content.
In view of the specific climate conditions required to optimally produce certain raw materials for animal feed, press cakes are also purchased from abroad. This means that raw materials purchased from a local oil mill can be traced across the continent and end up on all kinds of farms in a foreign country.
Mapping out these supply chains, critically analysing and evaluating them and continuing to increase and improve the availability of the desired quality of raw materials used for feed is just one of the feed QA team's many tasks.