Members Standards Committee
Your WBFI Standards Committee includes these WBFI Members:
• Dave Netten, All Seasons Wild Bird Store, Co-chair
• Karen Burns, Cosmed Group, Co-chair
• Mike Dunn, Duncraft
• Crystal Hiatt, Hiatt Mfg.
• Bill Meadows, Mountain States Oilseeds
• Ken Johnson, D&D Commodities
• Marc Audet, Agritel Graiin
The Standards Committee recommended adoption of the first group of definitions to the WBFI Board of Directors on February 15, 2005. As the industry and agriculture change, our WBFI Standards Definitions adapt to continue to meet the needs of the industry. The most recent update to the definitions was in November 2015 when the WBFI Board of Directors voted to add the definition for Grit to the program and to amend the feed standards to require that an ingredient identified in the product name must be present in the mix.
The WBFI Board of Directors votes to adopt the recommended seed definitions for the WBFI Standards program. Those definitions are presented here for your information.
Click here to review the WBFI Seed Definitions as adopted by the WBFI Board of Directors.
WBFI Standards Development History and Objectives
Overall Objective of WBFI Standards: To help the consumer have a good experience so they continue to feed wild birds.
WBFI Standards are one part of an overall program to gain the confidence of the consumer to help expand the 2nd largest hobby in the US.
In 1994, WBFI adopted its own Arbitration Rules and Guidelines, which are patterned after the National Grain & Feed Association (NGFA). These WBFI arbitration procedures have been available to WBFI Members since that time. The goal is to provide a basis for covering contract disputes, not to set trade rules.
At the Spring 2001 Board of Directors meeting, the WBFI Board of Directors and guests discussed the need for industry standards for seed products and for feeder products. A committee of volunteers from the Board and the WBFI membership agreed to pursue standards development, with an initial target date for completion of 5 to 7 years.
To help WBFI move forward, Dr. Ron Pardee attended WBFI Annual Meetings in 2001 and 2002 and led the membership through some exercises in concept development. Ron has been available in the background, assisting when needed, ever since.
Standards for Feeders, Baths, Houses and Accessories
Feeder Standards were the first to be developed. At the 2003 WBFI Annual Meeting, Mike Dunn presented the committee’s recommendation to the membership. The membership voted unanimously to ratify the feeder standards.
The missing piece to the implementation of this set of standards was a logo to be used on products meeting the WBFI industry standards. The WBFI Standards Logo was adopted by the Board of Directors on November 4, 2004, at their meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The WBFI Standards Logo was presented to the membership at the WBFI Annual Member Meeting on Saturday, November 6, 2004.
As Ron Pardee told us would happen, the Board of Directors asked the Committee to develop more detailed guidelines in November 2004. The Feeder Standards Committee (Mike Dunn, Duncraft, Chairman) has worked to meet the Board’s directive. The list of proposed feeder standards was reviewed and further refined by the WBFI Board of Directors at their Spring 2005 Board meeting.
On April 12, 2005, a group of industry members and WBFI members met in Chicago. As a result of this meeting, a set of 6 points have been identified as the proposed WBFI Standards for bird feeders. These 6 points are under review by the WBFI Board of Directors in April 2005, and will be submitted to the industry for their review and comment prior to adoption.
Seed Product Standards
The identification of the individual seeds that are components of seed mix products has resulted in a comprehensive list of seed definitions. As this list has been defined, WBFI has paid close attention to and followed the AAFCO standards when available.
Until February 1, 2005, the industry had the opportunity to view the definitions of approximately 40 individual seeds used in bird feeding. Comments submitted on the proposed definitions were reviewed by the Committee on February 14, 2005. Definitions, including some revisions, were recommended to the WBFI Board of Directors for adoption on February 15, 2005. The WBFI Board of Directors moved to adopt the seed definitions.
Definitions of mixed products, suet products, fruit and nut blends; premium, deluxe, standard, and economy blends; natural foods; mealworms and other products have yet to be discussed by the Committee.
The Seed Products Standards Committee is currently chaired by Dick Hebert of D&D Commodities. Also serving on the Committee are representatives from other WBFI membership categories, including packagers, feeder/accessories, retailers and distributors.
Development of the WBFI Seed Definitions has been a good time to provide the FDA required information regarding the possible existence of allergens in packaged products to WBFI Members and the industry. WBFI developed the following Allergen Statement, which should be used on all applicable packaging:
ALLERGEN INFORMATION: The ingredient label on this product accurately
reflects the contents of this package added by design. This product is processed, packaged and/or stored in facilities that also may process, package and/or store peanuts, tree nuts of all types, wheat, eggs, milk products and soy and thus may also contain particles of one or more of those ingredients.
6 Steps to Turn Your Backyard into a Sanctuary for Birds
In December 2002, the industry received a wake-up call in the form of negative press printed in the Wall Street Journal right before Christmas. To address what the industry needed to do to be prepared for negative press in the future, industry representatives met in Atlanta during Birdwatch America 2003. As a result of that meeting, WBFI spearheaded a symposium of birding organizations and WBFI Board of Directors in July 2003.
During the one-day session, these industry experts from the not-for-profit or government agencies identified the key issues of which consumers should be aware to protect the birds visiting the feeders in their backyards. This brochure is available to the industry on CD-ROM or pmt, and the copyrighted layout may be customized to include your company information.
Representatives from Cleveland MetroParks, Aurora University, and Muhlenberg College, as well as the following organizations contributed to the development of this brochure: American bird Conservancy, American Birding Association, Bird Conservation Alliance, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Massachusetts Audubon Society, National Audubon Society, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, The Wildlife Society, US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Wild Bird Feeding Industry and its members.
How Can You Help?
As a member of the industry, your business will be impacted by WBFI Standards in the future. Those companies that adhere to industry standards generally see an increase in business as consumer recognition of the standards increases because consumers want to know the quality of a product they are buying. More definitions are in development now, and these, too, will be submitted to the industry for consideration prior to adoption by the WBFI.
Click here to go to the list of WBFI member companies enrolled in the WBFI Quality Standards Program.