Quality Management in Broiler and Pork Supply Chains Aimed at Reducing Risks of Antimicrobial Resistance: an Elicitation Workshop

H.W. Saatkamp, J.L. Roskam, E. Gocsik


Development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is considered to be one of the main human health problems. Livestock production, particularly hog and broiler production, are regarded as sources of human exposure to resistant pathogens. It is envisaged that the issue of AMR will be on the agenda of both policy makers at various levels (e.g. supra-national (EU), national and production organisations) and researchers. In the last decade a large range of (potential) exposure and/or risk reducing measures have become available or are envisaged. Examples are:
− On-farm: reduction of usage of antimicrobial agents, more robust animals, therapeutic alternatives to antimicrobials and increased bio-security;
− Beyond-farm: various cleansing and disinfection measures, cross-contamination reducing logistics within the entire chain, various types of meat processing ways which reduce the prevalence of pathogens and further contamination.
Chain-wide implementation of (sets of these) measures is complex and involves simultaneous consideration of various issues, such as: the potential to reduce microbial exposure to humans, the (economic) impact on livestock production, (cost-)effectivity technology and acceptance by the general public, asymmetry of effects and costs between chain participants, the risk of counteracting risk-reduction downstream the chain, legal and institutional thresholds, compliance and governance. Quantitative risk-based economic analysis of (sets of) measures throughout the supply chain can support decision making in this regard. Such analysis should be comprehensive and focused on optimal (i.e. low risks and low additional costs) and coherent sets of measures.
Given the complexity of the matters, a conceptual framework was developed to facilitate subsequent quantitative analysis. This framework describes qualitatively all possible factors and aspects that influence both human exposure to pathogens and economic performance. Two levels are considered: (1) the on-farm level and (2) the beyond-farm level up to consumer. Moreover, the issue of (economics of) (non-) compliance is included. Furthermore, the framework includes a rather complete list of risk reducing measures and their direct and indirect relations with human exposure and production costs.
Because (1) the range of potential measures, and (2) the range of various criteria each (set of) measures can be characterized by and on which they can have positive or negative impacts on, analysing all options together is quite laborious. Therefore, it makes sense to elicit a set of promising measures for subsequent quantitative analysis.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18461/pfsd.2016.1624

ISSN 2194-511X


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