Animal Nutrition Agri Business Sectors
Providing Essential Products and Services
Livestock and poultry production generated farm cash receipts of over $6.2 billion in 2015. The Feed Industry plays an important role, supplying products and services to producers of livestock, poultry, and aquaculture, as well as domestic pet owners.
Ontario livestock and poultry producers spent appoximately $1.5 billion on commercial feed in 2015. Ontario also exported an additional $460 million of animal feed during the same year.
Feed companies provide essential products and services to livestock and poultry producers including complete feeds, supplements and premixes. The feed industry utilizes Ontario grown grains and oilseeds in the manufacturing process. Most feed companies provide a variety of products targeted to specific species and their stages of growth. Finished feed comes in many forms; it can be pelleted, or produced in a mash form, which is a fine textured feed. Feed is either bagged or delivered to farmers in bulk. Many feed companies have their own fleet of trucks that they use to deliver feed to farmers, and pick up raw ingredients.
Each company has sales and technical staff that provide technical expertise to producers. Nutritionists advise producers on what rations will provide the best results for their livestock or poultry. The feed industry has also filled a need within the producer community for information on new research and technology that was formerly provided by government extension agents.
Ensuring Animal Health and Food Safety
The public has become increasingly concerned about food safety. In response to this the feed industry has developed Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs in order to meet the needs and requirements of producers and processors. Although the feed industry has always worked to ensure the safety of meat and poultry consumed by the public, these new programs set out policies and procedures on the operation of feed manufacturing facilities that further ensure a high quality, safe food supply.
Some animal feeds have medications added to them to help prevent or treat disease, and to promote growth. Including medications in feed is an efficient and painless way to ensure the health of animals. The production and sale of livestock and poultry feed is regulated under the Canada Feeds Act, and is enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Only ingredients that have been thoroughly tested, and approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency can be used in animal feed. Feed manufacturers ensure that the appropriate levels of medications are added, and properly mixed into the feed.