New pet food protocol to provide US manufacturers greater Chinese market access

Image credit: Craig Nagy on Flickr
(CC BY-SA 2.0)

June 4th, 2020: The American Feed Industry Association has welcomed a new protocol, released this week by the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which paves the way for pet food manufacturers to expand access into the Chinese marketplace.

APHIS created the protocol specifically for exporting US pet food products to the Asian country, signalling a critical step forward in bringing the positive benefits of the US-China phase one trade agreement to bear.

‘For nearly a decade, US pet food manufacturers have been hamstrung in their ability to access the world’s third largest pet population due to China’s unclear and opaque requirements guiding how American-made pet food and treats could be imported,’ said AFIA’s President and CEO Constance Cullman. ‘China’s unscientific demands to remove ruminant-origin ingredients only compounded the problem, forcing US pet food manufacturers to make costly decisions to reformulate their pet food and treats or lose out in this marketplace. We thank the APHIS staff for working throughout the public health emergency to hold up the United States’ end of the bargain in this trade deal and we promise to hold up ours by continuing to produce high-quality, diverse and nutritious food and treat options for China’s pets.’

APHIS’s new protocol, which goes into effect 15th August, creates a transparent process by which US pet food manufacturers can achieve broader access to the Chinese market. This process facilitates the export of products containing ruminant-origin ingredients and removes other procedural barriers, such as Chinese-required facility questionnaires and unnecessary audits.

It also includes provisions on how to safely continue utilising poultry products in pet food in the event of a highly pathogenic avian influenza or virulent Newcastle disease outbreak from unaffected regions of the country – a continued sign of progress between the two countries in implementing the China phase one trade agreement.

Visit the AFIA website, HERE.

Lallemand Animal Nutrition to host webinar on Hyperprolific sows

June 4th, 2020: On Wednesday 24th June 14:00 CEST the webinar ‘Hyperprolific sow: farrowing process, piglet vitality and immunity’ will be available to watch online.

The webinar will be hosted by David Saornil, DVM, Product Manager, Swine applications, Lallemand Animal Nutrition, France. The expert giving the presentation will be Claudio OLIVIERO, DVM, Adjunct Professor of Diseases, Reproduction and Herd Health in Pigs at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

What it is about
The use of hyperprolific sow lines has increased litter size considerably in the last 3 decades. Some litters can reach up to 18-20 piglets being a major challenge for the sow’s physiology. The increased number of piglets born per litter:
– Prolongs the duration of farrowing
– Decreases piglet vitality and average birth weight
– Increases piglet birth weight variations
– Increases competition for colostrum intake
– Has a negative impact on piglet survival

Appropriate management of late gestation, farrowing, and lactation are important keys to improve piglets’ survival and growth.

Following Prof. Oliviero’s lecture, Fernando Bravo de Laguna will present a study conducted in Spain with hyperprolific sows evaluating the benefits of live yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii CNCM I-1079 supplementation around farrowing.

About the expert
Claudio Oliviero, DVM, is Adjunct Professor of Diseases, Reproduction and Herd Health in Pigs at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

His main field of research includes parturition, early lactation, and neonatal piglets’ vitality. Lately, he has been conducting research on the interactions between colostrum, intestinal microbiota, and immunity in sows and piglets.

Claudio Oliviero achieved a Degree in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Perugia – Italy in 2000. In 2010 he defended the Ph.D. thesis titled: ‘Successful farrowing in sow’ at the University of Helsinki – Finland in 2010, and in 2011 he was appointed clinical teacher in swine diseases by this University.

Register for the webinar, HERE.

Visit the Lallemand Animal Nutrition website, HERE.

Ocrim take you for a tour on life after lockdown

June 3rd, 2020: Ocrim have recently released a beautiful video titled ‘refuse to lose, never quit’, presenting a selection of Italy’s high quality goods followed by a montage of each of the company’s departments now back in full swing following the lockdown period.

‘Let’s move from one department to another, giving you also an overhead glimpse of various production sites It is comforting to be back to ‘normal’ again, after feeling like it would never be the same again. We are now running at full operation. Is it the same like before? Apparently it is, and yet something has changed in the heart of each of us. The fear and isolation of the last few months have brought about a new awareness, making us reassess those values that have faded a little over time: family, sharing, friendship, our tricolor. We are experiencing a new start, a new way of appreciating life and every little gesture of everyday life that we used to take for granted. And so we realise that there is always a silver lining, even in the worst situations.’
 – Ocrim

Watch the video, HERE.

VIsit the Ocrim website, HERE.

BIOMIN and ERBER Group support University medical clinic Tulln in COVID-19 testing

BIOMIN Scientists Dr Martin Siller und Dr Sebastian Fruhauf, BIOMIN Research Team Leader Molecular Biology Dr Wulf-Dieter Moll and Ulrike Koschitz (Deputy Laboratory Director, Universitätsklinikum Tulln) at the BIOMIN Research Centre.
Image credit: Biomin

June 3rd, 2020: ERBER Group, a leading group of companies in the field of food and feed safety, has provided technical and scientific support to expand COVID-19 testing in conjunction with the University Medical Clinic in Tulln, Austria.

When the number of coronavirus cases in Austria rose in mid-March, the need for additional testing capacity arose. The ERBER Group was called on to bolster the testing capacity of hospitals in the area.

ERBER Group and several of its divisions (which include BIOMIN, ROMER LABS, SANPHAR and EFB) conduct research in Tulln, within walking distance of the University Medical Clinic. Discussions of a potential collaboration took place almost immediately.

Researchers at ERBER Group use polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a methodology routinely used in molecular biology, as one of many biotech tools to develop novel solutions for a safer, more sustainable food system. PCR testing is also used to test for coronavirus.

After conception and validation of the test system, all described by standard operating procedures (SOPs) in compliance with quality standards, trial operation began. Results and a further agreement were coordinated with the governmental health agency in Lower Austria. 

Since then, scientists and researchers at the ERBER Group research facilities in Tulln have provided time, resources and know-how for PCR testing to conduct nearly 1500 tests for COVID-19 to date. This activity took place all while ERBER Group employees kept research & development activities running by introducing added health and safety measures in the workplace.

In a press statement (in German), the clinic’s management thanked the ‘competent and neighbourly help’ of ERBER Group employees for their support.

‘We are passionate about science. It’s a core part of our organisation. Each day we engage our mental abilities and resources to solve customer problems and improve the sustainability and safety of the farm-to-fork food chain. So it’s only natural that we felt compelled to get involved,’ explained Dr Eva Maria Binder, Executive Board Member of ERBER Group and Managing Director of EFB.

‘We are grateful for the chance to work with the University Clinic staff and management to support the local community,’ commented Franz Waxenecker, Managing Director of BIOMIN.

‘It is important to acknowledge the efforts and dedication of the BIOMIN and ERBER team. In the face of a pandemic they adapted to new ways of working and living, and also were able to contribute to the community,’ added Mr Waxenecker.  

Visit the Biomin website, HERE.

VNU Asia Pacific ready to restart ASEAN’s economy through its exhibition platforms

Image credit: VNU Exhibitions

June 3rd, 2020: On 1st June, the Thai Government announced the third phase easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures which also gives the green light to convention and exhibition centres. The Thai cabinet resolved to extend the enforcement of the emergency decree for one month, effective from 1st June until 30th June, 2020 to ensure that the COVID-19 situation is under control and a potential second-wave infection can be prevented.

However, the third phase is allowing more economic and social activities to operate under strict health and public safety rules and regulations. This includes the reopening of convention and exhibition centres for business with space usage not exceeding 20,000 sqm gross space. This marks a particularly good sign for the exhibition industry to start rebuilding the economy again after the crisis situation.

VNU Asia Pacific has announced its readiness to organise exhibitions in order to stimulate the economy in a variety of industries, including the pet industry, the agricultural and horticultural technology industry, the science and biology laboratory technology as well as livestock business. Also, the company has made significant progress in the preparation of its large scale shows that will happen in the first quarter of 2021.

Heiko M. Stutzinger, Managing Director of VNU Asia Pacific, commented, ‘During the lockdown period in Thailand and around the world, although many trade shows had to be postponed, the VNU teams in Thailand, China and the Netherlands have been working very focused on the development and preparation of the events that are going to take place in Q4 2020 as well as 2021. In addition, we are working on digital and online platforms in order to enhance our customer’s ROI. We believe that the 3rd phase of easement is a strong sign that our exhibitions both in Thailand and Vietnam at the end of this year will be organised.”

Major exhibitions of VNU Asia Pacific will take place from October onwards: Pet Fair Southeast Asia 2020 (the international trade show for the pet business), as well as AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti ASIA 2020 (Agricultural Machinery and Horticultural trade fairs) will simultaneously be organised 14-16th October 2020 at BITEC in Bangkok.

During 28-30th October 2020, Thailand LAB INTERNATIONAL and BIO Asia Pacific 2020 (the trade show for LAB equipment, Life Sciences and Biotechnology) will take place at BITEC.

ILDEX Vietnam 2020 (the trade exhibition for livestock and aquaculture business) will be held between 9-11th December 2020 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Moreover, VNU is gearing up for its mega exhibitions taking place in 2021: VIV Asia 2021 (Asia’s largest exhibition on  livestock from Feed to Food business), together with the new launch of  ‘Free From Food Asia 2021’ (the exhibition for free from, alternative and healthy food industry), will be held between 10-12th March 2021 at IMPACT.

All shows will run under strict preventative measures, supervised by the Thai Ministry of Public Health.

For more details about the VNU Asia Pacific’s event calendar, HERE.

AFIA’s PISC is back with online webinar series

June 3rd, 2020: The American Feed Industry Association’s Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference (PISC) is back this year with a weeklong webinar series. The series provides a great opportunity for feed industry personnel to hear from experts on key issues affecting the animal food industry. The five-part webinar series will take place 20-24th July, for one hour each day at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

‘We are thrilled to be able to provide some of our industry experts the chance to exchange ideas and learn about the issues affecting the industry,’ said Veronica Rovelli, AFIA’s senior director of meetings and events. ‘Because of the value it brings to our industry, it was an extremely hard decision to cancel PISC this past spring. We hope the webinar series will help attendees safely learn about topics still affecting their businesses amid the global pandemic.’

The webinar series agenda includes:
• An update on African swine fever/foreign animal diseases
• A grain outlook
• Updates on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on consumer demands
• A presentation on animal economics
• An update on the impacts the coronavirus has on politics and U.S. trade

The full agenda can be found on AFIA’s website. If registrants cannot attend the live webinar, they will receive a recorded version after the event.

Register by Monday, July 6th, for the PISC webinar series to receive the discounted early-bird rate of $250 for AFIA members and $500 for non-members.

PISC will be back to business as usual in 2021. Save the date for 9-11th March, 2021, Orlando, Fla, USA.

Visit the PISC website, HERE.

Iran’s rice harvest increases almost 50 percent

Image credit: Gagandeep Sapra on Flickr
(CC BY 2.0)

June 3rd, 2020: In a recent report from the Iranian Ministry of Agriculture it has shown that the total rice harvest in Iran has increased over 46 percent on last year, reaching 4,518 million mt.

The ministry also said that the total production for white rice is 2.9 million tons and meets its own needs on a yearly basis, where the per capita rice consumption is 35 kilograms on average.

The increase in rice production has been credited to cultivation areas and the rains in Iran last year. Land used for rice cultivation has expanded by 230,000 hectares, 38 percent increase, and has reached 834,000 hectares across Iran.

The landed dedicated to rice farming has almost doubled in both Golestan and Khuzestan, two provinces in the northeast of Iran. Authorities said the country has met rice needs from other countries, especially India, but this time it will not be needed.

The ministry stated that this increase in production will mean that the country will suffice on its own and that Iran will not have to import 2 million tons of rice as previous years.

Hamlet Protein renews Asian partnership

June 3rd, 2020: Multinational producer of specialty ingredients for young animal nutrition Hamlet Protein announced the renewal of its partnership with Jebsen & Jessen in Asia. The agreement covers Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. The Denmark headquartered company aspires to further grow its presence in Asia, building on the local network and market knowledge of Jebsen & Jessen.

Hamlet Protein continues to focus on bringing its solutions for young animal nutrition and health to Asian customers. With a mix of distribution relationship and local staff operating from China, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand, support by global technical management, Hamlet Protein is able to understand local market dynamics and translate that into practical solutions for feed mills, premixers, integrators and farmers.

‘Hamlet Protein has been investing in Asia in recent months. We have added local technical and commercial resources to be closer to our customers. We are also working in selected markets on introducing our concepts into the poultry segment, building on years of experience and research in piglet and calf nutrition and health,’ commented Hamlet Protein CEO Erik Visser.

While COVID-19 is affecting the animal protein supply chain across the region, ASF continues to be the mayor reason for concern of hog producers that experience outbreaks in their commercial herds. Where large hog farming companies in China are cautiously restocking, in the Philippines ASF continues to spread within backyard farms on the islands of Luzon and Mindanao. In Vietnam 44 of 63 provinces declared themselves ASF free in Q1.

‘These are challenging times for our industry. However we have a long term commitment to producers in Asia and are investing today to strengthen relationships like our partnership with Jebsen & Jessen and build new ones with customers across the region,’ commented Erik Visser.

‘We are pleased to continue our successful partnership with Hamlet Protein and look to the future with confidence,’ concluded Siew Tin Lim, COO at Jebsen & Jessen.

Hamlet Protein produces soy-based protein ingredients for young piglet, poultry and cattle feed at two production plants in Denmark and the US. Hamlet Protein services customers around the world through a network of own sales offices and distributors.

Visit the Hamlet Protein website, HERE.

EU feed industry on the right track for responsible and deforestation-free soy

June 3rd, 2020: Soybean meal used in animal feed production is increasingly sourced in a responsible way including certified ‘deforestation-free soy products. The IDH Soy Monitor 2018, published on 28 May 2020, points to 38 percent of soybean meal equivalent of total European soy consumption to be sourced according to the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines and 19 percent certified deforestation free soy.

The IDH report also refers to FEFAC’s initial risk assessment which estimates that 77 percent of EU soy imports were sourced from low-deforestation regions, based on EU trade statistics and industry expert assessments.

FEFAC wishes to highlight the significant progress made to transform the market in Europe for responsible soy to mainstream since 2015, the year of the ITC facilitated FEFAC’s benchmark system launch for responsible soy sourcing programmes. In fact, FEFAC’s internal estimates show that 49 percent of all industrial compound feed use of soybean meal sourced in 2018 is compliant with the criteria of the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines. This is higher than the 38 percent mentioned in the IDH Monitor Report 2018, as that covers total soybean consumption in Europe (including food use and on-farm mixing).

FEFAC welcomes the fact that the IDH Soy Monitor 2018 acknowledges the importance of assessing the deforestation risk exposure of all soy used in Europe. FEFAC’s internal estimates indicate that 79 percent of all soy used in the EU (i.e. including soy sourced from within the EU) in 2018 came from origins that could be considered as carrying a low deforestation risk (e.g. EU, United States, Canada, Ukraine, Serbia, India, China). FEFAC considers soy supplies from these origins as ‘deforestation-free’, although it is not certified as such. This also means that when the IDH Soy Monitor displays a country percentage for certified deforestation-free soy that is lower than 100 percent, it should not be concluded that the ‘non-certified soy’ use is driving deforestation.

FEFAC would also like to highlight that internal estimates show further increased uptakes of responsible soy and certified deforestation-free soy have been recorded for 2019, with a total industrial usage of more than 10 million tonnes. This increased feed demand was boosted by the commitment made by the top 11 compound feed producers to the Responsible Sourcing Declaration which has now been endorsed by over 250 organisations.

FEFAC’s planned upgrade of its own soy sourcing guidelines, which will include a specific desired criterion on deforestation and conversion free soy, will recommend the use of a robust verification system for soy originating from high-deforestation risk regions. The launch of a renewed benchmarking of schemes against the revised FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines is expected before the end of 2020.

FEFAC President Nick Major, ‘I am proud of the progress on responsible soy sourcing achieved so far by our industry and supply chain partners. The fact that 77 percent of EU soy imports were sourced from low-deforestation regions is significant, but there is more work to do. I am confident that we can achieve the common goal of deforestation free supply chains in a reasonable timeframe with all of our partners in the supply chain working together with retail, IDH and those NGO’s willing to cooperate to identify practical supply chain solutions’.

Visit the FEFAC website, HERE.

Bühler pays tribute to Herbert Max Fraenkel, company stalwart and pioneer of the world’s first SORTEX sorter

Herbert Max Fraenkel
Image credit: Bühler Group

June 3rd, 2020: Former colleagues remember ‘father of optical sorting’ and ‘larger than life’ inventor and engineer Herbert Max Fraenkel who sadly passed away aged 95, at home in London.

Bühler, the global leader in food processing and optical sorting solutions, has paid tribute to inventor and highly-respected engineer Herbert Max Fraenkel, who helped to design the world’s first Sortex Sorter known as the SORTEX G1, launched in 1947.

Having started as an apprentice, who remained at Bühler until retirement, Fraenkel quickly established himself as an instrumental part of the business and many of the early patents, if not all, were thanks to his tenacity and expertise.

Following news of his death, friend and colleague Ben Deefholts, senior research engineer, Bühler Sortex, said during the early days, Fraenkel was ultimately responsible for specifying every machine that went into manufacturing, and could often be found tinkering with the machines for special applications almost as they were being packed.

He took on some big projects during his career, including the development and launch of the 2024 frozen food sorter, which Birds Eye and many other large multinationals installed.

Thanks to his continuous dedication, The Bühler Group paid tribute to Fraenkel in its 60th anniversary Sortex sorting book in 2007, explaining how he started as an assistant to Hungarian scientist, Dr. Okolicsanyl and together they worked to research and find a technological breakthrough to speed up the practice of manually handpicking seeds.

He and the research team at Bühler Sortex gave the world’s first demonstration of sorting, on the SORTEX G1, using a combination of optical inspection and electrostatic deflection. This forerunner to all modern day optical sorters, was extremely versatile and could sort, peas, beans, corn, small grains such as rice, coffee, beans, nuts and other similar sized foods.

World’s first SORTEX G1 sorter, 1947
Image credit: Bühler Group

Hamid Kefayati, head of single machine business, Bühler, said, ‘When I joined Bühler Sortex back in 1997, Herbert had been working for the company for 50 years or so. I was told by colleagues that he was the father of optical sorting as we know it today.

‘Knowing Herbert, his achievements and lifelong commitment to the company, I understand why. He was a true gentleman with a great deal of technical knowhow which is part of the 70 year sorting history of the company.’

Bruno Kilshaw, managing director, Bühler Sortex (1993 to 2011) added, ‘Herbert personified Sortex and he’d been prominent from its beginning until he retired. He was devoted to the company. Physically, and in his demeanour, he resembled a benevolent uncle and a science professor, with a wide face, bearing glasses and topped with white, curly hair.

He continued, ‘When I joined the company in 1993, he had already filled most of the technical posts in the company, from technical director to service manager and patent officer. He worked well beyond pensionable age and Sortex was his life. Everyone knew, respected and relied on his knowledge.

‘He taught me everything I knew about ‘sorting technology’ and I will remember him fondly as a mentor, colleague and friend.’

Other colleagues who paid tribute to Fraenkel include; Kathy Day, his former secretary and personal assistant to the MD at Bühler Sortex from 1995 to 2019, who remembers him ‘as a larger than life character’, who kept in touch with him over the years and sent him a 90th birthday card signed by former employees and Philip Doolan, manufacturing engineer, Bühler Sortex, who said, ‘He was a wealth of knowledge and had many stories, he was held in respect by everyone.’

Michael Picalek, head of sales & marketing, Bühler Sortex, added, ‘I was honored to have met and worked with Herbert when I joined Sortex in 1995. He inspired the passion that I developed for optical sorting – which has lasted for 25 years – and my commitment to contribute to the development of the Sortex brand.’

Lawrence Pettey, engineering records officer, Bühler Sortex, said, ‘He visited customers all over the world to publicise and sell our machines. He was an instrumental part of the business and without him there would be no Sortex.’

Fraenkel, who was of Jewish/German descent, born in 1924 in Berlin, came to Britain with his parents in the 1930s. Sadly he died just before his 96th birthday after neighbours alerted police when he had not been seen around Christmas time at his home in Enfield, London. He had no next of kin and was given a traditional Jewish burial organised by Enfield Council and laid to rest at the United Synagogue’s Waltham Abbey Jewish Cemetery.

Visit the Bühler website, HERE.