The Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association is currently working on the following issues:
Due to Northern Ireland's dependance on imported feed materials NIGTA is working with its parent organisation, Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), lobbying in Europe to ensure that EU approvals of GM materials is in line with that in other countries throughout the world and that there is an increased tolerance level for unapproved GM events in imported materials.
NIGTA is continuously updating and reviewing sampling plans at all stages of feed production to try to avoid incidents like the dioxin scare, and is carrying out this work in conjunction with the Irish Grain and Feed Association and Queens University.
NIGTA members have made major investments in quality assurance schemes and environmental improvements, and do not wish to see any gold plating of these standards. Also economies of scale will not be realised in the pig and poultry industries if these regulations are implemented. NIGTA conitinues to lobby on this matter.
NIGTA is lobbying to ensure that eggs from countries which have not complied with the regulations will not be imported here and that derogations will not be awarded to these countries.
NIGTA members have agreed an average level of phosphorous in ruminant feed in order to assist farmers to meet the requirements of this directive. The Association has also had discussions with the Fertiliser Manufacturers Association, the Ulster Farmers Union and DARD regarding a united industry effort on this Directive.
Discussions with Ulster Farmers Union with a view to facilitating cereal growers to become audited to EN45011 standard, which is required by the Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS).
NIGTA is continuing to update the food industry on the future prospects for GM free materials.
NIGTA has instigated extra sampling to ensure that any problem with imported cargoes is detected on arrival in port.
NIGTA has recently revised its Articles of Association in order to expand its membership base, and thus increase its lobbying powers.