SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has proposed changes to the Feeds and Pet Food Bill and the Fertiliser Bill, governing the regulation and licensing of facilities that manufacture fertilisers, animal feed and pet food.

Animal feeds, pet food and fertilisers in South Africa are regulated in terms of the Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act (Act No. 36 of 1947).

Since 1947, there have been significant changes in the manner in which the animal feeds, pet food and fertilisers are processed.

These changes have resulted in the consideration of a review of the regulatory framework in order to put more emphasis on food and environmental safety as well as reducing regulatory burden, the department said.

The department has drafted legislations that are intended to replace parts of the current bill.

One of the major changes proposed in the bills is the licensing of facilities that manufacture fertilisers, animal feed and pet food, moving away from the current model of pre-approval of all animal feed products before putting them on the market.

The other change is that, feed manufactured on commercial farms to be regulated, resulting in some farms required to register their manufacturing facilities.

The department has called upon members of the public, including relevant industry stakeholders, farmers, academics and all other relevant stakeholders to participate in consultation workshops. The views gathered from these workshops would be used to improve the draft bills.

According to a report by World Grain, South Africa’s pet food industry recorded an increase in sales since 2014 with the $94.5 million achieved in 2016 being the highest in the last four years to 2018.

The sales volumes were higher than those of 2014 and 2015 when local manufacturers and importers sold $73.7 million and $89.7 million of pet food, respectively.

South Africa’s pet food market comprises of a mixture of imports and domestic products with the country being a major gateway to regional pet food markets, especially of members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

In 2016, South Africa’s value of imported and exported pet foods was estimated at $40 million and $20 million respectively, by the Global Trade Atlas statistics with the United States, France and the Netherlands contributing 75% of the total pet food imports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).