Interview with GMP+ International

‘Feed safety is a joint responsibility’

Van den Bosch Transporten has been GMP+ certified since the year 2000. This means that the company complies with all feed industry standards. Why is feed safety so important? And which role do transport companies have in that? We are talking to Johan den Hartog, Managing Director of GMP+ International. The certification company has been active in certifying and assuring feed safety for 25 years. 

GMP+ certification has been around for 25 years. How did it start?
“In the early nineties, processing companies of dairy, meat and eggs called on the feed industry to better assure the safety of the products. The direct reason were a series of incidents where product safety had suffered. Residues of anti-coccidiostatics from feed were found in eggs and aflatoxin B1 from corn gluten feed meal was found in milk. The industry was called upon to take responsibility for a properly assured feed safety. Also the Minister of Agriculture at the time called on the industry. The GMP code was drawn up for that purpose in 1992. GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice.”

‘Transport is crucial in feed safety control’

The + followed some years later. What does this addition stand for?
“The + stands for the improved quality of the middle and late nineties. The ISO:9001 requirements were added to the quality assurance system already in 1995. There were a few new incidents after that, caused by the provision of raw materials. These incidents had large consequences for the export of animal product and feed safety again was high on the agenda. Following ISO:9001, also HACCP was included in the GMP code; analysing critical control points and risks in the production process beforehand from then on were the leading principle. The scope was extended to the entire chain. Besides producers, also suppliers of raw materials, traders, warehouses and transporting companies were involved in the GMP code. Feed safety is a joint responsibility; the chain is as strong as its weakest link.”

What does the GMP+ standard mean in terms of transport?
“Transporting companies play a crucial part in controlling feed safety, certainly when the supply of raw materials for the feed industry is concerned. Mixing with residues of previous loads is a risk. To avoid mixing and ensuing contamination, strict rules were made regarding preceding loads being permitted or not. The means of transport must also be sufficiently hygienic, both inside and outside. Transporting companies meeting the GMP+ standard for transport comply with these measures. This guarantees suppliers and processing companies the safe transport of their raw materials and optimal quality assurance of the transported product.” 

‘The chain is as strong as its weakest link’

What is the added value of the GMP+ certificate?
“GMP+ is much more than a certificate; it is a fully fledged quality system for feed safety control throughout the chain. By participating in the GMP+ certification programme, companies prove that they are in control of the quality control of their products. Considering the needs of the market, this is not a demand, it is a definite must. Proper feed safety assurance is essential to monitor feed safety. Participants thus help produce safe food products from animal origin: ‘feed for food’.”

How do you see the future?

“There is awareness of the feed industry being a part of the food chain. The next step is to enlarge the level playing field. The feed industry, especially the provision of raw materials, is an international market. Currently we serve sixty per cent of the global market for feed safety certification, so the GMP+ certificate is the international standard. It is our dream that all companies in the feed chain, anywhere in the world, contribute to safe and reliable food from animal origin. Everyone should be able to have safe food.”



About the GMP+ certification

With over 16,000 participating companies in over 80 countries, GMP+ International is the global leader in feed safety certification. Companies with a GMP+ certificate meet the local and international legal requirements in the feed industry on feed safety assurance. The GMP+ certificate thus creates a higher level of quality for every entrepreneur in the international feed industry. For more information, see: www.gmpplus.org

Van den Bosch Transporten and GMP+
To meet the increasing requirements around feed safety, Van den Bosch Transporten has a dedicated fleet for the transport of liquid raw materials for the feed industry. The equipment deployed meets strict requirements and regular audits are held to assure clients of safe transport according to GMP+ International standards. All Van den Bosch subcontractors also have a GMP+ certificate.

For more information, see: www.vandenbosch.com/gmpproducts.