On my way to a prestigious meeting of the LSEMS


Tomorrow I will board a National Express cash and wend my way down to London for the annual general meeting of the London and South East Milling Society. I’m not sure what to expect but I do know this society is one of the most respected industry groups in milling. It has been going since 1947 and has remained a constant in a challenging and changing industry.

The variety and quality of the work of LSEMS means it attracts people from all sections of the milling world in a convivial and hopefully not too technical manner. In time I am sure I will pick up on the technical side of milling but for tomorrow I just hope to meet some of the people behind Britain’s biggest and best flour mills. It will give me a chance to grill them about what challenges are facing the flour milling industry as we near 2019. As well as challenges I am hoping to hear about any innovations which may be coming up and generally to just make some contacts.

I will let you know how I got on in future blogs.



A university professor has been recognized for his work at the World Nutrition Forum in Cape Town, South Africa.


Professor Konrad Domig of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) was awarded the biennial B.R.A.I.N. award on the second day of the 2018 World Nutrition Forum.

The award selection committee cited his ongoing lifetime achievement in the field of research in food and feed safety, with a strong focus on antibiotic resistance.

On the final day of the scientific conference at the 2018 World Nutrition Forum, Dr Eva Binder, Chief Research Officer at Erber Group, Dr Gerd Schatzmayr, Research Director at BIOMIN Research Center and Franz Waxenecker, Vice President for Development and Innovation at BIOMIN, presented Dr Domig with the B.R.A.I.N. award and a check for $10,000.

Established in 2006, the BIOMIN Research and Innovation Network (B.R.A.I.N.) Award seeks to foster ground-breaking innovation relating to livestock health and nutrition. It is awarded biennially at the World Nutrition Forum hosted by BIOMIN.

“Dr Domig is a very positive, knowledgeable and supportive person. I appreciate the encouragement and guidance he provided during my PhD work that allowed me to learn and grow,” said Nataliya Roth, Development Scientist at BIOMIN.

Dr Domig’s achievement and longstanding work with BIOMIN has earned him esteem throughout the research and development functions of BIOMIN, seated at the BIOMIN Research Center in Tulln, Austria. He has also supervised the thesis work of several BIOMIN scientists.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr Domig for eight years. When I started my PhD at BOKU in 2011, Konrad accepted me into his lab and introduced me to microbial ecology,” commented Mahdi Ghanbari, Scientist at BIOMIN.

“He has challenged me to ask scientifically-driven questions, draw connections between my research and the “bigger scientific picture”, and explore new concepts and methodology, which is how I ended up becoming a computation biologist. His assistance, support, and advice have not only improved my research, but also made me a stronger, well-rounded scientist,” Dr Ghanbari added.

Past B.R.A.I.N. Award winners include:

  • Dr Rudolf Krska, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Austria – 2016
  • Dr Isabelle Oswald, French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) – 2014
  • Dr David J. Caldwell, Texas A&M, United States – 2012
  • Dr Todd Applegate, University of Georgia, United States – 2010
  • Dr Kostas Mountzouris, University of Athens, Greece – 2008

Biography of Priv.-Doz. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.nat.techn Konrad Domig


  • Head of the Food Microbiology Laboratory at the Institute of Food Science at the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU).
  • He has penned over 70 publications in internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals.
  • Awarded several national and international prizes for research and innovation topics.
  • Editorial board member of the International Journal of Food Microbiology
  • Member of the K1 Center Austrian Competence Centre for Feed and Food Quality, Safety and Innovation (FFoQSI).






BIOMIN says mega trend of sustainability will set trajectory for future protein economy

BIOMIN says the ‘mega trend’ of sustainability is going to set the trajectory which will shape the future protein economy.

“Producing affordable food, generating employment, reducing the environmental footprint of farm animals, ensuring their health and welfare, along with the responsible use of antibiotics can all be seen as a move toward greater sustainability,” said Jan Vanbrabant, CEO of ERBER Group and Managing Director of BIOMIN, shortly before the official opening ceremony of the 2018 World Nutrition Forum in Cape Town, South Africa.

“At the same time, both climate change and technological innovation have begun to have a greater impact on agriculture in recent years—introducing new opportunities and challenges for the feed and livestock industry where scientific advancement can play a role,” he added.


Since its inception in 1983, BIOMIN has embraced natural ways to support animal nutrition using technologies that benefit animals, producers and the environment.

BIOMIN is a part of ERBER Group, which has committed to sustainability by setting a goal to be carbon neutral by 2023.

“Our goal has always been to support sustainable agriculture, now and in the future,” said Mr Vanbrabant.

Achieving this vision has involved decades of investment into scientific research and development, conducted by an in-house team of over 100 scientists and researchers.

This has resulted in a full portfolio of innovative, proprietary solutions in the fields of enzymatic mycotoxin deactivation and farm animal gut performance that deliver return on investment for customers.

“Our main contribution to sustainability is the application of our solutions in livestock,” said Mr Vanbrabant.

With a customer base situated in 120 countries, BIOMIN expects to grow its business and expand customer support as it deepens its contribution to sustainable livestock and aquaculture.

Recent initiatives include:

  • Investments in additional production capacity in Europe and China
  • Creation of regional business units in China and Africa
  • Launch of a new mycotoxin detection service, Spectrum Top 50®

“Bringing scientific innovation to feed and livestock producers throughout the world follows our value proposition, the 3 S’s, which stand for Science, Service and Speed,” said Mr Vanbrabant.

With Africa projected to be home to a quarter of the global population by 2050, agriculture and food production will continue to play a major role in the region’s economics and development.

The 8thWorld Nutrition Forum in Cape Town, South Africa provided the appropriate setting for BIOMIN to expound upon its business activities on the continent.

BIOMIN South Africa began operation in 2011, and has recently expanded its scope to support feed and animal producers throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are committed to Africa, and supporting sustainable livestock in a way that benefits all stakeholders,” said Albert Van Rensburg, Regional Director Africa and Managing Director of BIOMIN South Africa, adding “Our commitment to Africa means bringing the full value proposition of ERBER Group –Science, Service and Speed— to South Africa and beyond.”

On October 2, 2018, BIOMIN hosted the kick-off meeting of MycoSafe-South, a research project to tackle mycotoxin-related food safety issues in sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition, the creation of a new regional business unit that encompasses Africa and the Middle East is expected to provide further focus and enhanced customer support.

“We have set high ambitions for ourselves—not just for sales but also for successful customer outcomes and stakeholder engagement,” said Mr Van Rensburg.

He sees considerable room for growth in terms of product and service offering, as well.

“As a part of ERBER Group, we are in a position to bring a broader set of solutions to the feed and food sectors, such as premixes, mycotoxin detection and more,” Mr Van Rensburg said.



About the World Nutrition Forum


First held in Salzburg in 2004, the World Nutrition Forum hosted by BIOMIN has become the leading opportunity for industry practitioners to share ideas and exchange knowledge.

The biennial summits are consistently well rated by attendees.

Each iteration draws upon the uniqueness of the location, speakers and participants while maintaining the highest quality standards for both content and organization. For more information visit: www.worldnutritionforum.info

Hovis to close loss-making Southampton mill



Hovis is to close a loss-making flour mill in Southampton with the loss of up to 70 jobs.

The warehouse and logistics operations in DHL Bawtry, DHL Southampton and DSV Belfast will also cease at the end of the year, the company said in a statement.

Nish Kankiwala, Chief Executive Officer of Hovis Ltd said: “The proposed Southampton Mill closure is part of the process to futureproof our core baking business in the competitive market.

Whilst we never take decisions such as these lightly, we firmly believe this is the right decision for the business and ensures Hovis will continue to grow and prosper as a great UK brand and bakery manufacturer Ina very competitive market place.”

The statement from Hovis said: “Following the creation of Hovis Ltd in 2014, the Board has focused on driving sustainable growth and profitability across the group by investing in our core bakery business and cementing our reputation and position as a leading UK manufacturer of bakery products.

“The Milling business has undertaken a detailed strategic review to identify the best way forward in an economically challenging environment within a highly competitive market.

“The review has identified that Southampton Mill is significantly loss-making and following the consideration of a number of options, including a review of the competitive marketplace and the current and anticipated costs of operating the site, we propose ceasing operations at the end of 2018 and closing the site.

“This would result in the loss of up to 70 jobs in Southampton Mill (including Central Laboratory) where the consultation process will now commence.

“This proposal would also see the warehouse and logistics operations in DHL Bawtry, DHL Southampton and DSV Belfast cease at the end of the year.”

Nish Kankiwala, Chief Executive Officer Hovis Ltd said: “Hovis has succeeded in building a strong and successful business that reflects our heritage as a UK family favourite while also adapting to future opportunities.

“We have a clearly defined strategy to invest in and continue to grow our bakery business and to be a leading, quality manufacturer.

“The proposed Southampton Mill closure is part of the process to futureproof our core baking business in the competitive market.

“Whilst we never take decisions such as these lightly, we firmly believe this is the right decision for the business and ensures Hovis will continue to grow and prosper as a great UK brand and bakery manufacturer Ina very competitive market place.

“Our priority now is to work with affected Milling colleagues and customers to minimize the impact on them.”

U.S. Grains Council welcomes new agreement with Mexico and Canada

The United States of America has reached a new agreement with Mexico and Canada.

A statement from U.S. Grains Council Chairman, Jim Stitzlein said he was now looking forward to approving the new agreement.

He said: “The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is very pleased to see the United States, Mexico and Canada have reached a new agreement. 
“No trade agreement has had more impact on our sector than NAFTA which prompted explosive growth in our export sales to both countries as well as the development of a fully-integrated grains and livestock supply chain within North America.


Jim Stitzlein

“Over the past two decades, this agreement has proven beneficial for the producers, agricultural sectors and economies of all three countries. 
“We appreciate the dedicated, hard work of our negotiating team to achieve this outcome with our neighbors and customers and look forward to fully examining the new text as the process of approving the new agreement begins a new phase.”
For more information about the USGC visit:  www.grains.org.

U.S. talks announced with Japan, second largest buyer of U.S. corn

Leaders of the United States and Japan, one of the largest U.S. grain customers, announced Wednesday the two countries would pursue trade talks.
The announcement followed a meeting of U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in association with the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City.
“Positive movement with Japan related to trade and our countries’ relationship as a whole is critical to the U.S. grains sector,” said Tom Sleight, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) president and chief executive officer. “Japan is one of the largest and most loyal buyers of U.S. grains, and our relationships with our Japanese customers run deep.

“We are pleased to see this development in the work between our two countries.”

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer indicated the Trump administration would notify the U.S. Congress of the talks,the first step toward eventual passage of a trade agreement under Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and a sign of the seriousness of the effort.

In a statement, the two countries “affirmed the importance of a strong, stable and mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship between the United States and Japan.”
The talks are expected to come in two tranches, the first on goods and “other key areas including services, that can produce early achievements” and a second on other issues.
The impact on agriculture is to be determined in the talks. In the announcement, the United States agreed “outcomes related to market access as reflected in Japan’s previous economic partnership agreements constitute the maximum level.”
Japan was the second largest buyer of U.S. corn in the 2016/2017 marketing year, after Mexico, with sales of more than 12.7 million metric tons (501 million bushels). Based on data from September 2017 to July 2018, Japan will also be the second largest buyer of U.S. corn this year.
The country is also a strong purchaser of sorghum, barley and distiller’s dried grains with solubes, and the Japanese government recently modified its national biofuels policy in a way that could open the door for sales of U.S. ethanol-based additives or ethanol for fuel use. The Council, which partners with local industries and governments to develop markets for grains products, has worked in Japan since 1961.
Additionally, Japan and the United States said this week they would work together with the European Union on issues of global importance, including at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The United States and the European Union have also been preparing for talks; Lighthizer met his counterparts in New York this week as well, following efforts started earlier in the year between Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Future discussions are planned throughout the fall, and Lighthizer has indicated USTR could also notify Congress of the U.S.-EU effort.

International Association of Operative Millers call for papers for the product showcase for annual EXPO


Millers are being asked to submit their products for the 123rdannual IAOM Conference and Expo in Denver.

Organisers of the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) say they are looking for approximately six products that are either new and innovative or that have a new application.

Companies submitting their products must be exhibiting in the 2019 EXPO.

The IAOM Annual Conference & Expo is the premier educational event for grain milling and seed processing professionals.

The annual event gathers milling and allied trade professionals from around the world for three days of education, networking and fellowship.

Educational and technical programs presented at the conference assist millers in improving yields, productivity, customer satisfaction and safety.

The Expo takes place in Denver Colorado between April 15-19, 2019.

A spokesman for the Program Committee said: “Again this year, attendees at all six of the Product Showcase events will vote on “Best of Show” a highlight of last year’s Expo.”

The deadline for Product Showcase submissions is December 7, 2018. Product Showcase presentations are ten minutes long and occur at the companies Expo Booth.

For more information please apply online

Nutriad pursues growth in China

Global feeds additives producer Nutriad is targeting China with an updgrade of its production facilities and an investment in people and product development.

Nutriad, which is a leader in palatability, mycotoxin management and gut health solutions, was present at VIV China in Nanjing where it interacted with customers, distributors and key opinion leaders.


“We can see clear trends in China that are shaping the demand for feed additive solutions like the ones Nutriad provides,” said Nutriad CEO Erik Visser.

“A reduction in the use of antibiotic growth promotors, driven by both consumers and government, will enhance the need for an alternative approach to gut health. Furthermore, the increasing pressure on farmer’s profits will demand an increased production efficiency, which can partly be obtained by an improved diet composition.

“Finally, the trade tensions between China and the USA put pressure on soybean pricing and might drive the producer to finding alternative protein sources.

“Our palatability product offering helps producers ensure feed intake even when taste and/or quality of raw material in feed changes.”

Nutriad’s portfolio covers all species as well as the various life stages of each species. Traditionally strong in swine in China, the integration with Adisseo will increase its penetration in the poultry segment. Ruminant and aquaculture offer further opportunities for the multinational company, as its product range is backed by scientific research from leading universities.

“Not only because of the size of the market, but also because of the challenges Chinese producers face, we are confident that we can accelerate our growth in China with the practical solutions we offer and the local technical support available through our direct interaction with customers as well as via our extensive distributor network,” said Visser.

Nutriad delivers products and services to over 80 countries through a network of own sales offices and distributors. Supported by 4 application laboratories and 5 manufacturing facilities on 3 continents.  Find out more at www.nutriad.com

Novel – Omics Technologies and nutrition becoming key to understanding and reducing antibiotics in farm animal

As consumer demand and regulatory scrutiny further restrict the use of antibiotics in farm animals worldwide, new understanding enabled by gene sequencing-based technologies and a new approach to animal rearing will be crucial.

“The resistance of bacteria against antibiotics is a growing worldwide concern in the field of animal husbandry, and more importantly in human medicine,” said Dr Mahdi Ghanbari, Scientist at BIOMIN Research Centre.

Industry practitioners face a set of challenges when it comes to maintaining high performing, healthy and profitable animals while at the same time using fewer or no antibiotics.

“Nutrition has a crucial function in animal performance as well as in the maintenance of optimal animal health and welfare status. Specialty feed ingredients used in feed and pet food are pivotal contributors to ensuring adequate nutrition and optimal animal welfare,” said Joerg Seifert of FEFANA, the EU Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures.

The effects of novel feed additives –such as growth promotion, nutrient quality preservation, mycotoxin mitigation and pathogen prevention contribute to a preventive approach that reduces the need for antimicrobials.

“A holistic, 360-degree approach to antibiotic reduction based on prevention involves looking at the entire set of factors that can contribute to animal health and performance, including management, nutrition, biosecurity, hygiene and health,” said Nataliya Roth, Development Scientist at BIOMIN.

“Maintaining animals in optimal health contributes to the prevention of veterinary treatments and connected antibiotic use in livestock production,” added Mr Seifert.

The rapid advancement of gene sequencing technologies have recently made it possible to investigate a number of related questions regarding antibiotics, such as the prevalence and transmission of antibiotic resistance, as well as the mode of action of antibiotics and feed additives.

Next Generation Sequencing allows for the analysis of the genome as well as the transcriptome –the expression of all genes– at a given biological moment.

“Novel methods to study antibiotic resistance genes have been developed, enhanced by emerging Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies,” said Dr Ghanbari.

“It is important to understand the cellular mode of action of AGPs in order to develop suitable alternatives and optimize animal nutrition,” said Dr Bertrand Grenier, Scientist at BIOMIN Research Center.

“By using RNA sequencing, we have confirmed that beyond their antimicrobial effect, AGPs interact with the host tissue and modulate the anti-inflammatory response. A more sustainable method of growth promotion would, for example, modulate the same anti-inflammatory response without contributing to antibiotic resistance,” added Dr Grenier.

Several categories of novel feed additives can play a role in an AGP-free or antibiotic-free feeding program.

“BIOMIN scientists and researchers have evaluated the effects of organic acids-based products, phytogenics and synbiotics on antibiotic resistant bacteria and genes in recent years,” explained Ms Roth.

A minimum criterion for success is that an antibiotic reduction strategy maintains high performance levels and does not contribute to antibiotic resistance (AMR). Fortunately, the latest results suggest that this is achievable.

“Several scientific trials provide the confirmation that replacing antibiotics by novel feed additives provide similar levels of performance while reducing the prevalence of antibiotic resistance,” Ms Roth concluded.

These experts will delve into further detail on the application of –omics technologies and the understanding of antibiotic resistance at the Gut Performance Session of the 2018 World Nutrition Forum in Cape Town, South Africa from 3 to 5 October, 2018.



Commonly known as the ‘Mother City’ and recognized as a top global destination, Cape Town offers a vibrant, multicultural setting and modern infrastructure well suited for meetings and conventions. Attractive sights, unmatched hospitality, an eclectic mix of cuisines and the world-class Cape Town International Convention Centre are just a few of many attributes that will make the 2018 World Nutrition Forum experience both eye-catching and eye-opening.

Visit http://www.worldnutritionforum.info or contact your local BIOMIN representative for more inform

BIOMIN breaks ground on new ERBER Group production site in Haag am Hausruck, Austria

Getzersdorf/Lower Austria, September 20, 2018 – BIOMIN, an affiliated company of ERBER Group that develops sustainable, antibiotic-free and top-quality animal nutrition products for healthy and profitable animal production, recently broke ground on a new production site.

Located in the state of Upper Austria, the facility is scheduled to begin operating in December 2019 and marks the firm’s further expansion and growth.

“We have decided to invest in Austria in a sustainable and forward-looking way. This is proof that ERBER Group’s significant international growth is also manifest in Austria. The new BIOMIN production site is only one of several big steps in the years to come,” said Jan Vanbrabant, PhD, ERBER Group CEO at the groundbreaking ceremony for the production site in Haag am Hausruck, Upper Austria.

The new production site will produce natural, antibiotic-free mineral feed and premixes, which help to increase the performance of swine, poultry, and dairy and beef cattle in an economic way. The construction phase will take 12 months and production at the new site will be fully operational from December 2019.

Markus Edlinger, MBA, Managing Director BIOMIN added, “We are very happy that construction will start soon. The new site will only be 20 minutes by car from the existing production facility. We are building one of the world’s most modern mineral feed production sites here in Upper Austria, and it will be the basis of ERBER Group’s strategy for the future.”

Member of the Austrian National Parliament, Manfred Hofinger, who came to the groundbreaking ceremony on behalf of Upper Austrian Governor Thomas Stelzer, and Konrad Binder, Mayor of the Upper Austrian municipality of Haag am Hausruck attended the ceremony.

They expressed their pleasure about the start of the construction, “We are proud that an international group of companies like ERBER and its affiliate BIOMIN are investing a euro amount in the double-digit millions in a site here in Haag am Hausruck. This permanently safeguards jobs and strengthens added value for the entire region on a long-term basis.