Algae and Berlin – Olmix takes it on tour

Innovative company Olmix held its Breizh Algae Tour 2018 in Berlin with experts from around the globe in animal nutrition.

Brittany-based Olmix Group’s annual symposium shed light on the company’s algae-based biosolutions to produce more and better in a changing world.

Delegates included 400 customers and partners from 51 different countries at the tour which took place between the 11th and 14th November, 2018.

The 2018 edition focused on how to boost natural defences of animals, plants and humans through natural, innovative and environmentally friendly solutions, and on how to move towards a low carbon agri-food chain by reducing the use of food chemicals, chemical fertilizers and pesticides and antibiotics.

After a warm opening speech by Mr Hervé Balusson, Olmix Group’s CEO & Founder, the conference programme counted on the participation of several international speakers to discuss some of the major concerning issues and challenges for sustainable agriculture and sustainable husbandry.

“There is a need to go from linear agriculture to circular economy and that is only reachable if we reduce the carbon footprint.

“For instance, we can produce top level fertilizers not only in terms of agronomy but also in terms of carbon production. These could be based on natural resources such as algae”, Mr Marc Le Mercier, from Liger (France), said at the first lecture of the morning.

However, even with the best fertilizer in the world, humanity might not be able to face issues such as climate change. Indeed, according to Mr Le Mercier, there is a clear necessity to use a new crypto-currency that creates value while respecting the earth as well as ensuring a low-carbon economy:

Decarbonating our life is the key for an alternative economy. We have to bet on energy that is renewable, bio-friendly, and to produce from local resources. Nowadays producers agree with that approach and they are committed to that integrated production that creates local wealth.

“To achieve this, they will be using a transparent and digital currency known as “clean coin”. This will guarantee products origin while stimulating low-carbon economy”.

The long way that producers have to face to move towards economical sustainability requires new respectful strategies, natural alternatives and a clear communication flow between producer, consumer and society.

When it comes to sustainable farming and plant care growth, there is no way that would be ever possible without placing soil fertility in the centre of the industry:

“Sustainability can only exist when there is economical sustainability and sustainable farming can only exist with a sustainable soil.

“Nowadays we are using more chemicals for the same production, we are dealing with many environmental and climate issues, there is less biodiversity and a clear resilience of the soil… We have to feed the plant in the centre! Let’s move from linear thinking to circular thinking”, Mr Henk Westerhof (Skylark Foundation, the Netherlands), advised the second presentation of the Breizh Algae Tour.

And the same rule can be applied to livestock: reducing the use of antibiotics and bet on natural alternatives is the way to be followed thus opening the path to circular economy. Dr. Ho Hoang Dung, from Viphavet (Vietnam), was clear on this matter:

“In Vietnam antibiotic resistance is an issue of major concern. It is very easy for us to get antibiotics. In Vietnam there are from 50-70% of backyard farms.

“Farmers just go to the pharmacy and get the medicines they think they need. However, people are now more worried about food safety and they are literally looking for a clean label when they go to the supermarket. Antibiotic-free production is not an option, but a must”.

And talking about sustainability, that was also the main topic that Mr Wagner Macedo (Brasil Central Negócios Agropecuários, Brazil), the last speaker of the morning, introduced to the audience; with a particular focus on animal protein: ‘How can we use animal protein to feed people with responsibility?’:

“We have to be responsible with consumers and use the feed to grow animals with responsibility.

“We are responsible for the consumer and we have to make a good and honest appointment between both sides. Healthy environment means healthy animals and healthy animals means healthy humans; it is all about one health.”

On the day where Olmix Group aimed to present its latest innovation of its Immunity range, Algimunthe Breizh Algae Tour offered several high-quality speeches within the afternoon’s technical programme on the complexity of the immune system from theory to practical consequences.

First, it was Dr. Bernd Kaspers, from the University of Munich, Germany, the one to shed light on the two arms of the immune system –innate and adaptive immune system– and how to develop its efficient response against pathogens:

“Immune system has to be faster than pathogens. That’s why the innate response is so quick. Adaptive will take more time to build but has a memory to act quickly the following time”.

Then, Dr. Maarten de Gussem discussed impaired immunity and its practical implication in the field by highlighting the necessity to always quantify the cost of activating the immune system:

“To have a good performance we need to quantify what the cost of activation is. Immune organs are known to be important and their functioning too, and now we are more interested in the cost of immunity and in how to grow animal faster.

“So, the rating of the important organs is changing and the gut and its health is more and more looked at”, he said.

After a presentation on extraction technology to get the biologically active sulfated polysaccharides from algae (Olmix’s MSP®) by Ms Pi Nyvall Collen, Olmix Scientific director and a short reminder on the first product for immunity to be used in drinking water (Searup, launched in 2013) by Mr Matthieu Le Goff (Olmix Group), Algimun® was officially launched.

Recent research between Olmix Group and INRA (French national public institute for agronomic research) led to the demonstration of MSP® effect on immune mediator modulation in cellular models, including the identification of the metabolic pathways involved in this activation. (Berri et al. 2016 and 2017).

This specific extract, originated from green algae was then namedMSP®IMMUNITY.

Then, another research study conducted at IBD (Intestinal Biotech Development, France), allowed to identify a red algae extract able to improve gut epithelium integrity by triggering the production of mucins and reinforcing tight junctions.

The extract, now named MSP®BARRIER strengthens the first line of defence of animals against pathogens. These two MSP® extracts are included in Algimun®.

“Algimun® has a long-term protection, supports the shift between innate and adaptive immunity and its efficacy has been demonstrated in several scientific trials made in broilers.

“Its aim is to boost animal defences during the whole cycle and it is to be used for home-mixers, feed millers, integrators and pre-mixers”, Ms García said.

The delegation enjoyed an exclusive tour of Berlin and a lunch at the impressive Reichstag building which is home to the German Parliament.



  • Incorporated into feed.
  • Reinforces animals’ natural defences.
  • More resistance to everyday challenges.
  • Optimizes growth performance and improves profitability.




EuroTier – leading trade fair for animal production

More than 155,000 visitors descended on Hanover in Germany for EuroTier, Europe’s leading trade fair for the animal production market.

Described as the innovation engine for livestock farming, the show featured 2,597 exhibitors and the focus was very much on animal welfare.

“With 2,597 exhibitors and 155,000 visitors, including 46,500 from outside Germany, EuroTier 2018 demonstrated its importance as the world’s leading trade fair for animal production,” said Dr. Reinhard Grandke, CEO of DLG (German Agricultural Society).

The show featured digital solutions based on electronics, control system technology, data management and innovations in the areas of livestock housing, feeding, husbandry and genetics and breeding set new trends for efficient production and animal welfare.

It was a truly international show with visitors from 130 countries. About 30 percent of all visitors came from outside the host country, with the highest-represented nations being the Netherlands, China, Russia, Poland, Italy, Spain, Austria, Ukraine, France, Turkey, Belgium and Denmark in that order.

The proportion of visitors from outside Europe increased significantly. Registered visitor numbers from North and South America, and the Middle and Far East were higher than ever before.

EuroTier’s visitors constituted professional animal producers from all sectors. This is also reflected in the particular area of interest expressed by the livestock farmers visiting: Some 65 percent of visitors focused on the solutions on offer for the cattle species including dairy and beef, with 39 percent focusing on the pork sector and 32 percent on the poultry offering.

EuroTier 2018’s special feature, “Digital Animal Farming”, attracted the attention of visitors through the many practical demonstrations that were on offer. These new digital solutions have the potential to significantly improve farm management, and also ensure the health of animals and enable transparency along the entire value chain.

EuroTier’s technical program was organized by the DLG and numerous partners from industry, engineering, science and consulting. More than 200 events, which comprised special features, conferences and forums, focused on concepts and perspectives that ultimately benefit animal health.

The range of feed and animal health products, with about 750 exhibitors, was particularly noteworthy this year. Recent drought conditions in many European countries mean farmers are looking for feed sources from other regions that offer alternative feed formulations.

EuroTier 2018 presented innovative solutions and practical concepts in the dairy, beef, pork and poultry sectors. These livestock industry solutions tie in closely with the needs of consumers. The 26 winners of the EuroTier 2018 Innovation Award are ideal examples of such solutions. For the first time this year, two award-winning innovations that specifically meet the requirements of higher animal welfare standards also received the additional distinction “Animal Welfare Award”. These products were selected in conjunction with the Federal Association of Practicing Veterinarians (bpt).

EnergyDecentral, which takes place at EuroTier, firmly positioned itself as the leading trade fair for bioenergy and decentralized energy concepts this year. This was clear not only from the extensive range of products presented by exhibitors, but also through the technical programs: The BIOGAS Convention organized by the German Biogas Association, the new conference “European Bioenergy Future” hosted by the Bioenergy Europe organization, and a variety special features and discussion forums.

The next EuroTier, including EnergyDecentral, in Germany, will take place from 17th to 20th November 2020 in Hanover, Germany


EuroTier 2018 here I come


I am looking forward to going to EuroTier 2018 next week which promises to be another massive agricultural fair along the lines of Space 2018. It was a bit of an eye opener going to Space and one which I won’t forget.

I met lots of our advertisers there and it was good to make contact and find out what their businesses are all about. Before driving to Hannover I will be spending a couple of days with Olmix which is a fascinating company specialising in age-based solutions. One of their major drives is to try and reduce the amount of antibiotics used in feed and food which is something that Perendale   (publishers of Milling and Grain Magazine and International Aquafeed Magazine)  is passionate about. I will be fascinated to hear exactly how Olmix plan to utilise algae based products to reduce antibiotics.

In addition to visiting Olmix and EuroTier 2018 I will of course really be looking forward to immersing myself in German culture once again. Germany is a country I am very fond of I find the nation to be very friendly and welcoming. The food is also among my favourites.

So I will be telling you all about Olmix and EuroTier on my return.

The GRAPAS Innovations Awards

The GRAPAS Innovations Awards are once again open and we need your entries by  31st March, 2019.
Milling and Grain magazine, the oldest milling magazine still in print – and first published in 1891 – is once again holding the GRAPAS Innovations Awards at Victam International 2019 from June 12-14th, 2019 in Köln, Germany.
The award will be made to the most innovative and economically beneficial equipment, process or service in the milling of grains and cereals for food production at GRAPAS Germany 2019.
All GRAPAS Innovations Award recipients will be published in an edition of Milling and Grain magazine along with a review of the event itself. This issue will not only reach MAG print readers, but will be promoted widely through the magazine’s social media to ensure maximum awareness of the Award winner within the milling industry globally.
Nominations are being called for from all sectors of food milling and from non-exhibiting and exhibiting companies alike. Those shortlisted for the award will have the opportunity to display their product in a special award’s area at the entrance to the Victam International exhibition hall for all visitors to view. Visitors will have an opportunity to vote for the most appealing nomination.
A panel of independent, international industry experts will judge the entries. Their selection will account for 60 percent of the final vote. Delegates attending the one-day GRAPAS Conference on June 13, 2019 and visitors attending the Victam International Exhibition from June 12-14, 2019 will be able to vote on the award and their combined vote will account for 40 percent of the final vote. The Award will be announced during Victam International 2019.
How to enter
To participate a nomination must be an innovation, process or service and comply with the following:
1. Have been introduced to the market after January 2017
2. Be new
3. Make a contribution to efficiency and/or safety
4. Demonstrate significant practical value
5. Applications can be made by both exhibitors and non-exhibitors
As the shortlist of nominations will be displayed at Victam International 2019 for final voting, please be prepared to supply a small display (details of size and dimensions to be forwarded following application submission) to be set up in the Awards Area at Victam.
For further information please contact:
Milling and Grain magazine
Attention: Miss Rebecca Sherratt
7 St George’s Terrace
St James’ Square
Gloucestershire GL50 3PT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1242 267700

Attracting young people into flour milling

I have been in post for around two months and one thing has become clear – there is a real challenge in encouraging a new wave of younger millers into the industry.

Milling is a very forward thinking and exciting industry to be involved with with lots of opportunities but how do we get that message across to young people? When I was going up my first experience with milling was with Windy Miller. He was the iconic traditionalist who ran Colley’s Mill in Camberwick Green and he appeared in every episode of the hit children’s show.

Windy Miller – image by Gary Woodburn on Flickr

While it may not seem that significant Windy Miller at least put milling into my world at a young age – I had an awareness of what milling was all about and as such it put the industry firmly into my psyche. I am not suggesting that inventing a new cartoon character would solve the problem of attracting young people into the industry but it might help. A modern day Windy would have a whole host of new challenges to deal with and a whole host of new technologies to get to grips with. It would not be enough for him to still be using a windmill to grind his flour – he would have lots of options and computer technology to boot. Infra red colour sorters and tools to measure how much protein there is in wheat would all be part of Windy’s day.

How would he deal with the demonisation of gluten? How would he get his wheat to market – all challenges the modern day miller has to face every day. If anyone has any ideas about how we attract a new generation of millers I would be very interested to hear about them – email me on

Irish Halloween Bread

Happy halloween everyone. It’s that time of year when we are all searching for festive treats to eat. It seems society comes up with new ways of making us spend our money whatever the season. For the milling industry it is a time of year when special festive bakes take centre stage so I thought I would share an old recipe with you for Irish Barm Brack.

Barm Brack – photo courtesy of Saving Room for Desert

Barm Brack is a traditional Irish recipe served around Halloween. Barm Brack is a little sweeter than sandwich bread, but not as rich as cake. The Irish bake items into the bread as a game of fortune-telling. Sometimes there is a ring indicating an impending marriage or a coin foretelling good luck or riches.

  • 4-3/4 cups unbleached bread flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cup milk (heated to 95-100 degrees on an instant read thermometer)
  • ⅓ cup water, plus extra as needed
  • ⅓ cup Irish Whiskey, such as Bushmills or Jameson
  • vegetable oil for the bowl and pan
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¾ cups mixed golden raisins, raisins, and dried currants
  • 1 -2 tablespoons milk for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar for garnish
  1. Place the raisins, currants and golden raisins in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add the whiskey and ⅓ cup water. Soak the fruit for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. When ready to start the bread, drain the raisins reserving the liquid. Add enough water to the soaking liquid to measure ⅔ cup. Set aside the fruit and liquid.
  3. Sift the flour, allspice and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Stir in the yeast and granulated sugar. Turn the stand mixer on the lowest setting and add the warmed milk, water and whiskey mixture. Mix until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl, becoming slightly sticky but soft.
  4. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly for one minute. Add the butter and soaked fruit and work them in until completely incorporated. Return the dough to the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the bread to rise again – for about 30 minutes.
  6. Oil or grease a 9″ spring-form or cake pan. Form the dough into a neat circle and press into the prepared pan. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm place until it has risen again, about 1 hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the top of the loaf with milk and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes then cover with foil. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a rack and cool.
  8. Serve sliced spread with butter.

Annual International Milling Directory Survey

Hello, we are about to start production of the in-print version of the International Milling Directory and I need your help. Every year we produce a printed version of the International Milling Directory which is a handy go to resource for everyone involved in milling but how can we improve it?

Shortly I will be sending emails to a number of companies listed in the IMD asking for their views on the directory both the online version and the printed version. So please fill it in and please feel free to email me with any questions you may have about the IMD or any suggestions as to how it could be improved. It is a fantastic resource for those within the industry and one which we hope to improve every year. If you would like to be involved please email me on:


Wheat figures on track for decline

Naveen Thukral for Reuters:

Chicago wheat futures were on track for their biggest weekly decline since early September on Friday, as stiff competition from the Black Sea region and higher output in China weighed on the market. 

Soybeans were headed a third straight weekly loss, while corn was down for a second week on U.S. harvest pressure and disappointing exports. 

“Wheat has come under a bit of pressure this week on forecasts of higher supplies from Russia and IGC has raised its outlook for the Chinese crop,” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. 

Ole Houe

“But the latest drop (in wheat prices) is unwarranted as supplies are likely to tighten next year. Overall production in Russia and Australia is lower and global demand for wheat remains strong.” 

The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract has lost 4.5 percent this week, the biggest decline since the week ended Sept. 7. The market was up 0.9 percent at $4.91-3/4 a bushel by 0242 GMT on Friday.

Expectations of higher wheat exports from Russia, the world’s biggest supplier, are adding pressure on U.S. wheat prices. 

An improved crop outlook in China led the International Grains Council on Thursday to raise its forecast for world wheat production in the 2018/19 season. 

The IGC put global wheat production at 728.8 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 716.7 million tonnes, although still well below the prior season’s 767.1 million tonnes. 

A stronger dollar, which makes the greenback-priced commodities expensive for buyers holding other currencies, weighed on wheat futures.

Wheat by Flickr user Murtaza

Still, some Asian flour mills are looking to lock in wheat supplies until well into the middle of 2019, potentially shaking off a years-long trend for hand-to-mouth buying as global output is set to drop for the first time in six years. 

Pressure from harvest of bumper soybean and corn crops in the United States kept a lid on prices. 

Soybeans have declined 1.5 percent this week, while corn has lost 1.2 percent. Soybeans rose 0.2 percent to $8.43-3/4 a bushel and corn added 0.4 percent to $3.62-1/2 a bushel on Friday. 

The CBOT soybean futures sank on Thursday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly report showed 212,700 tonnes of export sales, well below trade expectations for a third week in a row.

Weekly U.S. corn export sales were similarly disappointing, at 377,500 tonnes (old and new crop years combined). 

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat, soybean, soymeal and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday, traders said. Estimates of net fund selling in corn ranged from 17,000 to 35,000 contracts.



Royal British Legion needs our support


The Royal British Legion today launches its Poppy Appeal for 2018. It is vital that we support this incredibly important fundraising drive and remember those who sacrificed so much for us.

In this, the centennial of the end of World War 1 it is perhaps even more important for us to wear a poppy with pride and remember those who gave so much for the freedom we enjoy today.

The Mills Archive tells us a bit more about the role of flour millers during the war:

During the First World War the production and distribution of flour came under government control, a situation that lasted until 1921.

With de-control came a period of competition and reorganisation.  Some companies had lost trade during the war and were now seeking to regain it, but others gained new customers during the war and increased their production as a result.

Over-production and imports of foreign flour added to the mix.

Two of the main players continued to be Spillers and Ranks.  By 1924 Ranks had the controlling interest in at least eight other sizeable companies, in addition to its own mills, while Spillers controlled seven, manufacturing not only bread flour but also a range of other cereal products including dog biscuits.

In 1929 the Miller’s Mutual Association was formed through which flour output quotas were fixed and funds raised to buy out and close redundant mills.  This resulted in the larger milling companies acquiring smaller milling concerns and taking over their quotas.  By the end of 1933 Ranks controlled some 15 to 20 companies including the Associated London Flour Millers (ALFM), which had seven London mill members.

Things have changed significantly since then – and some times not for the better. The Daily Mail is reporting an old story abut gingerbreadmen being renamed gingerbread person.

So as we enter this year’s Poppy Appeal lets remember the sacrifices those before us made and forget the PC brigade who want us to change the name of childhood favourites..


South American, Chinese feed grain importers visit Southern states to forge relationships with U.S. suppliers

Two teams of feed grain industry importers – from South America and China – are in Minneapolis for Export Exchange before heading to the southern United States to meet with suppliers and exporters of U.S. corn, its co-products and sorghum. 

Export Exchange is a biennial educational and trade forum for U.S. feed grains that will host approximately 200 international buyers and end-users organized into 21 USGC trade teams. Both teams will meet with U.S. suppliers and get a chance to learn about current supply and demand for U.S. feed products.
The Council is working with the teams in cooperation with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP).

“We are excited to host the upcoming trade teams and grow our network at Export Exchange 2018 as sorghum exports have represented a large portion of the U.S. sorghum marketplace over the last few years,” said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. “The Sorghum Checkoff is dedicated to building strong relationships between buyers and sellers, resulting in continued sorghum sales.”
Export Exchange is sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy, allowing these buyers to meet with U.S. sellers of corn, sorghum, barley, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten meal and corn gluten feed.
“At a time when the U.S is looking to create new trade agreements, highlighting the importance of international trade can be no better illustrated than by Export Exchange and the trade team visits before and after the event,” said Tom Sleight, USGC president and chief executive officer.

“It is essential for us to strengthen the bonds between suppliers and partner countries, and the connections made at this critical event will not only help propel our industry this year, but for years to come.”
In addition to networking opportunities, these attendees traveling to Export Exchange will be briefed on the global supply and demand situation, transportation issues and challenges, the global grains outlook, new advances in DDGS and poultry, food safety regulations, and agribusiness, the current U.S. policy environment and more.
Export Exchange also highlights the importance of strong trade policy and market development to U.S. agriculture. The Council, in partnership with USCP, works in more than 50 countries and the European Union to market U.S. grains and their related products and build long-term demand from loyal customers.
After Export Exchange, the South American team will visit Louisiana and Texas and the Chinese team will visit Missouri and Arkansas to learn more about the U.S. marketing system for feed grains and co-products and for specialized crop tours of the 2018 corn harvest.
Over the course of their trade team activities, the members of the South American delegation will visit export facilities in New Orleans and an ethanol plant and corn and sorghum farms Texas. The Chinese delegation will visit corn and sorghum farms in Missouri, Arkansas and Texas as well as an ethanol plant, local elevators and transloading facilities. While visiting Export Exchange and these respective states, individuals on the teams have opportunities to directly do business and make connections to facilitate future sales.

This work is a critical piece of market development programs operated by the Council in more than 50 global markets, with funding from organizations like USCP, the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program in the U.S. farm bill.
“Our growers need the farm bill to cross the finish line as momentum is vital in farming and markets,” said Wayne Cleveland, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers executive director. “Farmers need to know the farm program rules for financing and planning intentions going forward, and continual funding of MAP and FMD are key to increasing market opportunities.”