Erik de Graaff joins Van Aarsen International as new Sales Director

Van Aarson has appointed Erik de Graaff as a new Sales Director.

Erik de Graaff

Erik de Graaff

Erik developed from Salesman to General Manager and Sales Director, with both national and international responsibilities.

During his career he worked in different industry fields, both national and international, but the majority of his working years he has been active in the area of solids handling and processing in several industries like (pet-)food, plastics and the chemical industry. The last decade he has been in the area of pelleting, grinding and conditioning in, amongst others, the animal feed industry.

This specific knowledge and his broad experience has given the Van Aarsen management team enough confidence to appoint him as the new Sales Director.

Erik intends to strengthen the global position of Van Aarsen as one of the leading companies in feed mill design and construction. By strengthening the agent network, creation of partnerships with customers and further development of the sales team, his aim is to secure the continuous growth of Van Aarsen

He is proud to be part of an experienced group of experts, and is always striving to serve our global customers in the compound feed industry to his best abilities.

Van Aarsen International is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of state-of-the-art machines and complete feed mill solutions for the production of compound feed and premixes.

Stand bookings underway for new “EuroTier Middle East” trade fair


By Matt Holmes, 24 December, 2018

EuroTier Middle East to debut in the United Arab Emirates from 2nd to 4th September 2019

Exhibition stand bookings are now being taken for “EuroTier Middle East”, the new event’s organisers, the DLG (German Agricultural Society) and its local partner of the new show in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), have announced.

Taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital, from 2nd to 4th September 2019, the new trade fair will be one of three new EuroTier-branded events to take place next year outside Germany, where the parent exhibition – EuroTier – is held.

The agreement to jointly host the EuroTier Middle East exhibition was announced in November this year at EuroTier, the leading trade fair for animal production, which attracts about 2,600 exhibitors and some 155,000 visitors.

The new event will benefit from the EuroTier brand, which offers a comprehensive overview of global topics and trends in modern animal husbandry in the poultry and dairy sectors, and species relevant to Europe and their corresponding cross-species inputs such as feed.

According to a recent report commissioned by Gulfood, Middle East North Africa (MENA) has the fastest and highest meat market growth rate of any region in the world at almost 30 percent. Between now and 2021 the livestock products market is expected to reach US$6.6 billion.

“We recognise the high growth momentum in MENA and the importance of the livestock industry to the wider region. We will place the ADFCA and the UAE at the centre of this growth, and through EuroTier Middle East 2019 we will facilitate sustainable and commercial development of the meat market,” said His Excellency Saeed Albahri Salem Alameri, Director General of ADFCA.

“In the MENA region, consumers spend the highest proportion, 24 percent, of their food budget on meat. This is driving the growth and momentum of the industry. We want the global meat industry to take notice of this consumer demand and react by bringing their best market-driven ideas and innovations to EuroTier Middle East 2019,” added Mr. Alameri. “Breeding and farming animals that match consumer quality expectations, and processing facilities that deliver what the customer demands are critical to meeting the growth predictions for the region.

“EuroTier has a reputation for bringing the latest innovations and technologies to the industry, and we are 100 percent behind making sure that the world’s best innovators and experts exhibit and attend EuroTier Middle East.”

“At from EuroTier 2018 in Hanover we met with a range of exhibitors to discuss the new EuroTier Middle East trade fair,” said Saskia Zuleger, Show Director, DLG International. “There is a definite interest in this region. Many of the exhibitors want to bring technical solutions to the MENA market and present them directly there,” added Zuleger

Figures from the United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) suggest there are now about 143 million sheep, 73 million goats and 49 million cattle in MENA countries, while the UN’s Comtrade database reveals that the UAE imported live animals worth $204 million and meat and edible offal worth $1.63 billion in 2016.

At the same time, there are a number of challenges facing livestock farmers in the region. These include a lack of official channels to help producers sell their produce; a focus on meat production that tends to ignore milk production and other animal products; a lack of outlets for co-products such as wool and dung; different regulatory environments in MENA nations; and a lack of governmental investment in biosecurity across the region.

“This environment for animal farming in the MENA area makes EuroTier Middle East the perfect platform to pull the livestock sector together and point the way for its development in the future,” said Jens Kremer, Director Business Development, DLG Exhibitions. “Animal husbandry professionals will be provided with a comprehensive insight into the various production and marketing segments for both specific species and across all product categories. And this will be supplemented with technical programmes that will be tailored to regional topics by the DLG in cooperation with international and national partners.”

The first EuroTier trade fair – the name literally translates from German as “Euro animal” – was launched by DLG in 1993 at Hanover’s Exhibition Grounds and now takes place every two years. Trade fairs have been an important part of the DLG’s activities since it was founded in 1885. Its portfolio also includes the world-leading farm machinery exhibition Agritechnica, as well as 40 other exhibitions and events in numerous countries worldwide.

The DLG is a non-profit, politically independent, international organisation with a global network in agriculture and the food industry. Together with its subsidiaries, it offers internationally recognised platforms for the discussion of agricultural topics, trends and strategies, as well as leading business marketplaces for companies to tap into new markets and customers.

More information can be found by visiting or


Algae 2050 – a challenge for us all

By Matt Holmes, 21 December, 2018


As we come to the end of 2018 and look forward to 2019 the challenge of feeding 9.5 billion people by 2050 looms ever closer and is still a target to aspire to. I have met many wonderful organisations over the past few months who share in the responsibility of feeding the world without trashing it.

One of the best is Olmix who have seen the potential in algae to meet this challenge. Algae is a wonderful resource with genuine scientific research behind it which we should all look to. Olmix has released a video all about the challenge which I have shared below. Please enjoy the video and have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.


Olmix launch of Algimun video

13 December, 2018, By Matt Holmes



I recently returned from Berlin where I was hosted by French Algae company Olmix to launch their new Algimun product. It is a very technical product based on algae from Brittany which claims to improve the health of the gut.

Olmix has helpfully produced this excellent video to mark the launch.


Bühler focus on Consumer Foods with new segment

December 11,2018, by Matt Holmes

Germar Wacker

Bühler is combining its chocolate, nuts, bakery and coffee business to launch a new segment called Consumer Foods.

As of January 1, 2019, Bühler will combine them with its Haas business to “support customers even better in these global markets through simplified interfaces, integrated solutions, innovation, and services.”

Germar Wacker, now CEO of Haas, will lead the new segment and join Bühler’s Executive Board. For Bühler Group, the creation of a new segment is a milestone in its over 150 year history.

“With this move, we can create significant value for our customers and position ourselves as clear leader in the growing consumer foods market,” said Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber.

The new segment will produce wafers, biscuits, baked goods, chocolates, pralines, filled products, nuts, coffee and more.

Recently the company has operated two businesses, Advanced Materials and Grains and Food but with the acquisition of the Austrian Haas Group, Bühler is aligning its set up and forming a new business focused on consumer foods and confectionary.

Haas has been operating as a separate Bühler business since its acquisition in 2018 with the two companies working together on many customer projects.

The new organisation combines all consumer foods related technologies and solutions in one segment.

Stefan Scheiber

“With this new, strong business pillar in the field of processing technologies in consumer foods, we can offer specialised knowledge as well as research and development to the needs of our customers in that sector,” said Germar Wacker, who is currently CEO of Haas and will lead the new segment.

The new organisation will become effective January 1, 2019.

EU wheat prices buoyed by US rally

December 10, 2018 By Matt Holmes

Reuters reported this week that Paris wheat futures rose on Friday to their highest in almost two weeks, tracking a rally in U.S. wheat, but doubts over export demand for EU wheat helped keep a lid on prices.

Benchmark March milling wheat on the Paris-based Euronext exchange was up 1.75 euros, or 0.9 percent, at 203.75 euros a tonne by 1715 GMT.

It earlier rose to 204.00 euros, its highest since Nov. 26.

Photo: Maxpixel

Dealers said an expected pick-up in EU exports had yet to materialize, partly due to larger-than-expected Russian supplies.

“The main hope remains that Russian and other Black Sea region supplies will start selling out after months of enormous exports, and that demand will be transferred to west Europe,” one trader said.

“But there is no real sign of this and Russian wheat continues to dominate export markets, as seen in the Egyptian tender on Thursday,” the trader added. Egypt’s state grain buyer bought 350,000 tonnes of wheat – 290,000 tonnes from Russia and 60,000 tonnes from Ukraine.

French wheat exports in October were little changed from September and continued to be dominated by shipments to Algeria, monthly customs data showed.

German exports remained sluggish, with more imports of feed grains into the country from the Black Sea region helping to meet feed demand.

“A ship with about 65,000 tonnes of wheat sailed from Germany this week for Saudi Arabia, but this is not enough to excite the market,” one trader said.

“German feed wheat imports continue and another ship with about 27,000 tonnes of feed wheat from Bulgaria is due to arrive in Germany in coming days.”

Weekly French crop data, usually published on Friday morning by farming agency FranceAgriMer, was delayed due to a technical issue.

In Germany cash premiums in Hamburg were little changed. Standard bread wheat with 12 percent protein for December delivery in Hamburg was offered unchanged at 1.0 euro over Paris December.

Feed wheat prices remained firm despite feed grain imports in Germany. Feed wheat in the South Oldenburg market for December delivery was offered above milling wheat at around 215 euros a tonne, with buyers seeking 214 euros.

“Farmers are having to buy feed supplies after the drought this summer caused so much damage to their own hay and straw harvests,” the trader added. “Imports of feed wheat from Bulgaria and corn (maize) from Ukraine are helping to supply the market.”

Two more ships with Ukrainian corn are set to arrive in Germany in coming days with about 49,000 and 30,000 tonnes, he said, in addition to two ships with 50,000 and 40,000 tonnes arriving in Germany from Ukraine in early December.



Stern-Wywiol Gruppe opens new facility in Malaysia


07 December, 2018 By Matt Holmes


Stern-Wywiol Gruppe from Hamburg is adding to its production and sales network in
south-east Asia by establishing a new production facility in the Iskandar economic zone, Malaysia.

The new production facility for its subsidiary, SternMaid Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd, is the third food industry facility that the family enterprise has opened in Asia after the plants in Suzhou (China) and Mumbai, and its sixth outside Germany.

Clients in the ASEAN region will benefit from more rapid deliveries, secure supply chains and applications advice from a consultant nearby.

The state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the development and production of food ingredient systems to improve the functional qualities of food.

The facility has three completely separate production lines; initially work will focus on enzyme-based ingredients systems for bakers and millers plus micronutrient mixes to fortify a wide variety of foods and beverages.

The Group has chosen a strategically-placed site. Located in the Iskandar economic zone within the Nusajaya Tech Park, Malaysia, it is ten minutes from the Singapore border and only fifteen minutes from the international container port Tanjung Pelepas.

At the beginning of September Stern-Wywiol Gruppe officially opened this high-tech production hub for the ASEAN region; its neighbours in the industrial park include famous multinational companies in industries such as aviation and aerospace, car electronics, precision engineering and data centres.

The decision to build the facility was essentially a response to the enormous growth potential now apparent in Asia’s emerging countries, whose food manufacturing is marked by an ongoing process of industrialization.

Being present in this part of the world will allow the Group to pursue its “make-to-order” strategy in the ASEAN region. The objective is to provide the greatest possible flexibility when customizing products and to offer on the spot applications advice.

Customers in the region benefit from shorter throughput times, excellent logistics and unbroken supply chains.

Torsten Wywiol, CEO of Stern-Wywiol-Gruppe, declares the opening of the facility to be “an important cornerstone of the firm’s growth strategy for Asia and beyond”.

He goes on to say: “Being so close to customers will allow us to satisfy their need for shorter deliver times and superb logistics even better than before.”

Hendrik Mögenburg, general manager of Stern Ingredients Asia-Pacific, said: “This facility has gross floor space of some 4,000 square metres and three completely separate production lines with total annual capacity of up to 5,000 tonnes; from its very first day in operation the plant will be making a vital contribution to the overall sales and production network that the firm operates in the region.

“Currently our facility is in the process of becoming Halal certified and soon, with FSSC 22000 certification, will be in a position to meet all relevant quality management standards for food manufacturers.”

The basic concept is that of modular, lean production, whereby capacity can be rapidly and easily scaled up or down.

The powder manufacturing systems were made by MATCON, which is treating the new Stern-Wywiol Gruppe plant as its reference model for efficiency.

Indeed, all of the plant machinery was sourced in Europe, parts of the blending system were supplied by the German engineering firm Lödige.

A total of 3.5 million euros has been invested in the facility, which can produce batches varying in size from 100 to 3,300 litres.

In the quality assurance lab, fitted out in accordance with the latest standards and covering several hundred square metres, food technologists conduct microbiological assays, test for heavy metals and perform applications trials.

The methods and quality criteria are based on the Group’s global standards; these are defined and monitored by the Stern Technology Centre in Germany.

The laboratory instruments were all supplied by well-known German manufacturers such as Brabender, the leading company in the international market for rheology equipment.

The Malaysian government has welcomed the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe investment as part of a strategic cluster of international producers, and facilitated the firm’s establishment in the economic zone of Iskandar.




Wheat growers need to keep their eye on climate change


December 6, 2018, By Matt Holmes



The heatwave in 2018 had a devastating effect on crops across Europe.

The searing weather forced countries that usually export food to import it for the first time in decades.

The Guardian reports that according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), wheat output in the European Union is expected to be millions of tonnes down on last year, with much greater losses in southern Europe than in the north.

France has also been severely hit, and is expected to lose more than 20% of its grain harvests. Italy is expected to lose 13% of its wheat, and Britain 12%. Across the EU as a whole, wheat production is down 10m tonnes, or about 10%.

In Ukraine, once known as the breadbasket of the former Soviet Union, the wheat crop fell to 5m tonnes this year, a 75% decrease on normal years.

A study carried out by the Met Office, released yesterday, suggests climate change has boosted the chances of having heatwaves in the UK.

The record-breaking heat seen in 2018 was made about 30 times more likely because of emissions from human activity.

Greenhouse gas levels are at a new record high and American President Donald Trump has taken a hard line on climate change, pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement.

He said: “The Paris accord will undermine economy,” and “puts at a permanent disadvantage.”

The Paris Agreement was an addition to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC), initially agreed to by all 195 countries present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conferencein December of that year, including the United States then under the presidency of Barack Obama.

Due to the status of the United States and China as the greatest emitters of carbon dioxide, Obama’s support and his cooperation with China  were seen as major factors leading to the convention’s early success.

For wheat farmers, the changing climate means a whole new way of doing things.

Bernice Notenboom, a climate journalist has written a book called Arctica, published last month, aimed at financiers, CEOs and entrepreneurs.

She said: “The realisation of the effect human beings are having on the world makes some people emotional: we’ve had CEOs break down and become teary-eyed.

“Everyone is torn between seeing the beauty of the landscape and wanting to save it and recognising the huge scale of the challenges the world faces and the simple fact that the easy way out is to do nothing and enjoy what we have.”

While wheat farmers may cherish the land they farm and we all do too, unless something is done about climate change we may not be able to enjoy it much longer.




Markus Dedl – keeping the Phytogenic family tradition

The interview: Markus Dedl, Delacon CEO


Markus Dedl, CEO Delacon


Milling and Grain spoke to Markus Dedl, CEO of phytogenic feed-additive company Delacon, at EuroTier in Hanover.

Since its beginning in 1988, Delacon has followed the vision of founder Helmut Dedl to pioneer a natural way to keep animals performing and healthy. With investment in research and development of plant-based feed additives, Delacon started to replace belief with fundamental knowledge. For this new category of feed additives, Delacon created its own market and coined the term ‘phytogenic feed additives.’

Today Helmut’s vision is being continued by his son, Markus who is CEO of Delacon since 2010.


What is Delacon’s ultimate goal and vision, for the industry? How have Delacon helped shape the industry into what it is today?

I can remember smelling the garlic and onion and pepper in our hallway at home – my father had been an industrial chemist working for a local company and he had a strong vision to reduce the use of antibiotics. It was a scientific product and it needed a scientific name – phytogenics.


Going in the direction of phytogenic feed additives hadn’t been done before. The sheer fact that we are dealing with natural ingredients has its charm and a good feeling. Also, it is extra motivating because it has a positive impact in the world.It is essential to continue to follow the vision to pioneer a natural way to keep animals healthy and performing because it has carried us to where we are today.The vision has become a reality, but we are still not done working to replace antibiotic growth promoters in animal nutrition in the whole world.


What is your personal approach with getting young people interested and involved in the food industry? Do Delacon offer opportunities for young people to get involved and learn more about additives?

Consumers have the power to change every aspect of the animal livestock industry. Their concerns, their acceptance of production methods, should be critical in how our customers and how we ourselves organise our businesses.

Millenials outnumber Generation X and are far more influential than the baby boom generation. Millennials,born between the early 80s and mid 90s, are the most highly educated and culturally diverse group of all generations, closely connected to their social and environmental surroundings they are expected to make up approximately half the workforce by 2020.

They are the consumers of today and will be the big spenders of tomorrow. It is this group of people, highly involved with what they eat and how it is produced, we need and want to communicate with.

We think there is a tremendous opportunity to connect with millennials with a story about animal wellness, good management practices and natural plant-based feed ingredients.


Do these connections with your consumers also reflect Delacon’s own personal philosophy of transparency and honesty?

It’s essential to know what makes the world go around on a consumer’s level. Yes, we develop and manufacture additives, our customers make feed and their customers produce animal protein.

That said, there is a great potential to interact with consumers and educate them about the way we cater to their protein needs. We have to be honest, agriculture has a dilemma to some extent when it comes to consumer trust and communication. We want to be transparent, in order to do that we have to communicate and above all, have an honest story to tell.


Delacon have grown incredibly quickly in the past few decades. Has this been challenging for the company, in any way?

Growth is, of course, a double-edged sword. In the last 10 to 15 years, we have had annual growth of 20 percent on average. We know 20 percent is a figure where we can grow comfortably without compromising our integrity. When you grow much faster than that, we think it gets difficult to maintain the culture and level of service for our customers.


Tall oil – a feed for the 21st century

A FINNISH company says resin from pine trees is the key additive for healthy animal feeds.

Exhibiting at EuroTier 2018, Eija Volkonen, Manager (R&D) at Suomen Rehu spoke about the wonder ingredient which has performed successfully in different countries.

The idea of Progres® comes from an old Finnish folklore tale  which says if you rub pine oil into wounds, they will heal faster.

Progres® is a novel patented feed innovation – the only resin acid product in the global feed market. It supports the gastrointestinal integrity and function of animals in a scientifically proven way.

It is a sidestream of the paper industry. It needs just 500g per tonne of animal feed and costs

“We are the first company in the world to use Tall oil in animal feeds and it really does have an effect,” said Eije.

“Our field trials show it can help to heal animals.”

Due to its unique mode of action, Progres® has shown consistently excellent results in different countries and production conditions.

The product demonstrated a statistically significant effect in 70% of the trials completed by independent institutes. In both institutional and field trials Progres® has constantly improved:

  • the growth and feed conversion of broilers
  • the final slaughter weight and feed conversion of veal calves
  • sow’s and piglets’ performance

Progres® is based on rosin, the natural defence mechanism of coniferous trees. It is produced from tall oil, a co-product of pulp production, using a specific refining process. The bioactive compounds of the product is measurable and heat stable.

Finland has plenty of trees to produce Progres®. Around 74 Per cent of the country is covered in pines.

Proges® is a very Finnish product – a fact the company is very proud of. The website says:

“Pure nature, high standards in animal welfare and good performance of animals in production systems are making Finland very interesting place for companies around the world.

“We are very proud to tell our customers Finnish philosophy in animal production and we have been taking in small groups of people to Finland to show them the Finnish way of doing things.

“Our collaboration with domestic agricultural companies is very good and we are very happy, that together with them, we can take people to see farms to show in practice how it’s done.

“We believe that approaches practiced routinely in Finland, are required and achievable for other countries also.

“Global responsibility in animal protein production forces companies to find new solutions and concepts to meet the challenges of the future, demands from consumers and retailers and to utilize in optimal ways the genetic potential of animals.”

Progres® directly supports intestinal integrity and favourably modifies intestinal microbiota. This results in improved performance and welfare of animals in different production conditions.

Progres was discovered by Juhani Vuorenmaa who wanted to know if he could use pine oil resin as he had heard about it through Finnish folklore.

Woodsmen would rub the resin into open wounds and watch it heal the cut.Progres® has been awarded with the Prize for Innovations, which is bestowed biennially by the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland.

The Federation said: “Progres®, a feed ingredient developed by Forchem and Hankkija from tall oil, may be used to replace antibiotics in feed to improve the sustainability of livestock production and food purity. Progres® has already been awarded several patents and it is extensively used to address the global need to replace feed antibiotics in livestock production.”

Proges®also won Best Idea for 2017 taking 43 per cent of all votes on the Netherlands Association of Veal Farmers’ website.

Juhani Vuorenmaa (R & D Director) said: “On a personal level, this was a remarkable acknowledgement of our persistent work for replacing feed antibiotics and for producing more sustainable and safer food.”