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Tighter PKE screening welcomed

31 January 2014

Federated Farmers is pleased 4mm is being proposed as the minimum screening mesh for Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) entering New Zealand.

“From 21 April, when the screening is set to commence, confidence in PKE as an imported animal feed should improve,” says Bruce Wills, the President of Federated Farmers.

“PKE is a recycled waste by-product of Palm Oil production. It does not drive that industry’s demand, just as plastic recycling does not drive demand for petrochemicals.

“If PKE isn’t used as supplementary animal feed, it is otherwise composted, burnt as waste and even sold as fuel for furnaces.

“Being a by-product it is a relatively low value product. This perhaps explains anecdotal reports of foreign objects, like metal shards, being found in feed here. These shards, which could be from harvesting, processing and even shipping, pose an obvious risk to animal health.

“While the product is currently screened overseas and treated to prevent unwanted organisms from entering New Zealand, additional screening here will add confidence.

“Last week, Federated Farmers Wellington staff outlined our biosecurity objectives to several officials from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.

“They key thing for Federated Farmers is absolute assurance that PKE entering New Zealand is what it is on phytosanitary certificates.

“Federated Farmers looks forward to reviewing the draft notice as well as screening results and member feedback on its overall effectiveness,” Mr Wills concluded.

ENDS

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