Photo: GMP+ International

GMP+ compliance – what hauliers need to know

A lack of compliance during animal feed transportation can lead to cross-contamination and have serious consequences, says Roland van der Post, Managing Director of GMP+ International.

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Recent events have illustrated the importance of the agricultural sector in Europe and the scale of its activities. According to Eurostat, farms managed two-fifths (38.4 %) of the total land area of the EU in 2020, while agriculture contributed €215.5 billion to the bloc’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022.

Hauliers seeking business in this sector nonetheless have to be aware of the various standards expected of them. The transport of animal feed is no exception.

Here, the GMP+ Feed Certification scheme (GMP+ FC scheme), and all of its requirements, need to be taken into account.

Who is GMP+ International?

For those unfamiliar with GMP+ International, it refers to ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’ and dates back to the 1990s, when the Dutch organisation ‘Productshap Diervoeder’ developed its own feed production standards.

The scheme is now recognised across the globe and complies with both the regulatory requirements and the operational features of the feed production chain. All companies involved in the feed chain can be certified – including transportation companies.

So how important is it for hauliers to achieve GMP+ certification and comply with its standards?

Why is compliance important?

According to Roland van der Post, Managing Director of GMP+ International, “living up to a GMP+ standard is vital from a business perspective”. As he puts it, “more and more people are aware of the importance of safe and sustainable feed”.

“Companies value the GMP+ FC scheme for their assurance of feed safety, and this gives confidence in the market,” said van der Post.

Besides the downsides of business ignoring GMP+, non-compliance also has wider consequences for society, including risks to food safety and the possible spread of disease.

Mistakes to avoid

According to GMP+International, “The basic principle for every transport company is that the products are transported in such a way that risks are controlled and the products are handled with the same safety levels before loading, during transport and at the moment of delivery.”

van der Post told trans.iNFO that by following the regulations, hauliers can avoid the consequences of a load not being accepted:

“Road transport is vital in the whole feed chain and this for feed safety. It is therefore vital that feed is handled properly and that transporters are aware of what they are doing, and also acknowledge their role in the feed chain. We call it the ‘feed safety culture’. If feed is not properly handled, and contamination is determined, the buyer won’t accept or has to make extra costs. This will lead to extra costs for the transport company or maybe lose a customer.”

What mistakes can some road transport operators make with feed transportation?

van der Post warned that complacency with regards to cleaning can lead to cross-contamination:

“If you know what you’re transporting, you should also know how to clean. If you don’t do it properly, the risk of cross-contamination is present. In the same truck, not only are raw materials for animal feed transported but also other items. You don’t want unwanted substances in your animal feed. Therefore we have an International Transport Database for Feed (IDTF). There you can see how to clean for both road transport and inland waterways,” said Van der Post.

van der Post added that cross-contamination can be prevented via an independent Load Compartment Inspection (LCI) before any feed is loaded.


Regarding the checks or audits conducted to ensure compliance with GMP+ FC scheme, van der Post told trans.iNFO:

“Every year an auditor of a Certification Body does an audit with the company. This is to determine that the company still operates according to the GMP+ requirements . This way, as a company, you get the information on what to improve. On top of that, for rail transport and transport by ship, a Load Compartment Inspection must be carried out before the feed is loaded. The control organisations must be instructed according to the GMP+ requirements.”

Getting clued up on rules and procedures

Naturally, responsibilities here also extend to the drivers, who have to follow strict guidelines. van der Post maintains that it is “very important that they are aware of what they transport and what the risks are.”

In order to facilitate the delivery of this knowledge, van der Post told trans.iNFO of how GMP+ International had developed an e-learning module on the GMP+ Academy. Furthermore, the GMP+ Managing Director stressed the importance of having paperwork, whether digital or physical, up to date.

“This way the receiver of the goods knows that this is according to the GMP+ requirements and the feed safety risk is mitigated,” said Van der Post.

Besides the e-learning referred to above, GMP+ International runs a helpdesk, provides services to help companies to work on feed safety, and also offers a GMP+ Academy platform that includes training exercises.