Mathews Company Awarded CSA Certification for New Standards

Mathews Company

Mathews Company

Mathews Company (M-C), a global manufacturer of grain dryers, has been awarded the certification, “CSA Standard for Gas-Fired Equipment for Drying Farm Crops (CSA 3.8-2014)” meeting the new standards for its dryers to operate in Canada. The certification was issued by Intertek, a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), which is an independent laboratory recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to test product safety standards. In October, 2014, the Standards Council of Canada announced a change in certification standards that impacted M-C grain dryers sold in Canada. The purpose of the standards, according to the Standards Council of Canada, is to “…establish accepted practices, technical requirements and terminologies for products, services and systems…Standards help to ensure better, safer and more efficient methods and products, and are an essential element of technology, innovation and trade.” The council announced that all grain dryers must meet the new CSA Standard for Gas-Fired Equipment for Drying Farm Crops (CSA 3.8- 2014) in order to operate in Canada.

Mathews Company’s engineering team worked diligently with Intertek to obtain this certification so that M-C grain dryers could be sold and installed for the 2015 harvest season. “It was a tight timeline as the certification was a process of schematic reviews and on-site equipment inspections,” says Michael Wilke, Mathews Company’s Director of Engineering and Support Services. According to Wilke, the certification covers four of M-C’s dryer series including the Legacy, Infinity, Trilogy, and its 10’ diameter Modular
Tower Series. Approved dryers will carry the official certification mark, as required by the council, to denote that it is a grain dryer that meets Canadian standards.

Intertek confirmed that Mathews Company is one of the first companies to have met the certification standards. According to Wilke, “What this means for our customers is that they can now accept any one of M-C’s approved grain dryers and put them into operation this fall with the confidence that they are designed and built to meet the required CSA standard and they won’t incur the additional costs of having the dryer field inspected and approved to see if they meet the CSA standard.”

Headquartered in Crystal Lake, IL (U.S.A), Mathews Company has been a leading global manufacturer of
high quality innovative agriculture equipment, since 1954, specializing in grain drying. M-C is committed
to “Building for the Future,” striving to provide superior products and unmatched service through
innovation, expertise and quality. M-C dryers are available through authorised dealers worldwide. The
company’s web site is

IDMA 2015 – Bühler demonstrates processing expertise

The Bühler Group is prominently on display at the IDMA technology trade show in Istanbul, Turkey from April 23 until 26, 2015. The Business Area Grain Milling will be showcasing the entire breadth of its processing expertise at its approximately 600 m2 booth (B-17) in Hall 2. Under the motto, “One step ahead in processing grains to food”, Bühler is presenting various new or improved machinery and plants to the technical public. Besides the two roller mills, Dolomit and Antares, Bühler will be demonstrating the innovative plansifter Seginus. With a seamless synchronous processing set-up that is unique worldwide, this plansifter uses a minimum amount of space while maintaining top sanitation and enables flexible sifting and sorting of flour and semolina at a throughput capacity of up to 20% more.



Bühler also showcases its sorting skills with the colour sorter from the Sortex A series that has sophisticated and multifaceted sorting functions. In addition, Bühler is also displaying the newly developed destoner, Combistoner, the latest generation of the moisture control unit MYFE and the water proportioning unit MOZH as well as the flexibly usable, automatic Bühler bagging line for free flowing and non-free flowing products. To round up, the new impact machine Matador for reliably destroying insect eggs in flour and semolina as well as three measuring systems for continuous particle size measurement (Online PSM MYTA), the NIR Multi-Online Analyzer for determining moisture, protein, ash and starch damage (MYRG) and the sensor MYHB for colour and speck analysis will all be on display at the Bühler trade show booth at the IDMA 2015.


IDMA – advert from Milling and Grain



Milling Wheat Challenge 2015

The sixth Milling Wheat Challenge competition was launched on the 12th January with a closing date of 1st May. The Challenge is open to all UK farmers growing bread-making (Group 1 & 2) wheat.

The aim of the competition is to find the UK’s outstanding growers of quality milling wheat and to identify those who have a good understanding of their end market, their business costs and an ability to reflect both in their marketing of milling wheat.



The competition has become established as a way for Britain’s flour millers to formally recognise the value of the country’s best growers to the processing trade.  Millers are committed to working with UK wheat growers and the Challenge aims to identify farmers who combine attention to detail with end-customer awareness and business acumen to create a win: win for the whole wheat chain.

Entry forms are available via the nabim and HGCA websites. The three finalists will be announced at the Cereals Event on 10th June. On-farm judging of the finalists will take place in late June.

The competition judges are Martin Savage from nabim, Richard Laverick from HGCA and Lincolnshire Farmer Mark Ireland.

IDMA 2015 – preview video!

IDMA is the biggest meeting platform and 6th in its history for international flour, semolina, rice, corn, bulghur and feed milling machinery and also incorporating pulse, pasta, biscuit technologies in one exhibition from April 23-26, 2015, 10am to 7pm each day.
It will take place at the Istanbul Expo Center (CNR Expo), Halls 1-2-3 Yesilkoy, Istanbul

See more here:

Mini mill, maximum benefits for Cargill and food security in Zambia

New small maize milling plant supports food security in Zambia
By: Lori Fligge (Originally published at Cargill)

Mini Mill, Zambia

Mini Mill, Zambia

Maize is a staple food in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, including Zambia, which produced about 3.4 million tonnes of the crop in 2014. It is widely used to make mealie-meal – finely ground maize made into flour – that consumers depend on for an array of traditional dishes.
For a variety of production-related reasons – including the cost of milling and transportation – mealie-meal prices are volatile, making it unaffordable for consumers in much of the country. To address this, the Zambian government is encouraging smaller, more localized mills to improve food security by reducing the cost of food.
Cargill has responded to this need with the launch of the first commercial maize mini mill in the Eastern Province of Zambia.
Located in the capital city of Chipata, this accessible mill will provide local rural and urban farmers with a reliable, consistent market for their maize, as well as produce competitively priced mealie-meal for consumers.
“This new maize mini mill underscores our commitment to the economic growth and prosperity of Zambia,” said Lezanne van Zyl, Cargill’s general manager in the country. “It aligns strongly with the Zambian government’s clearly stated desire to develop a thriving agricultural sector.”
According to van Zyl, the mill will produce high quality white and roller maize meal for the domestic market, including Cargill’s in-house brand that will be available in 5kg, 10kg and 25kg bags.
The U.S. $2 million high technology mini mill has a milling capacity of 2mt/hour, and offers a distinct advantage in the maize meal market in Chipata and the surrounding areas.
“As the mill will source local maize and produce mealie-meal right in in Chipata, transport and fuel costs will be reduced and Cargill will be able to offer a competitively priced product,” said van Zyl.
Over the next few years, Cargill plans to build additional mini mills in other rural locations in Eastern and Muchinga provinces.
“By bringing these mills into rural areas where maize is produced, we hope to target high food costs and food insecurity,” said van Zyl. “In addition, the mills will provide the local community with opportunities for employment and access to skills training. It’s a fine example of how a small facility can yield some pretty big results.”

Mehdi Eker – Speaking and touring the 11th TUSAF Congress

Mr Mehdi Eker – Government Minister, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, took to the podium earlier this morning and reiterated the importance of Wheat and Health, emphasising to all the extreme importance of this topic.

Mr Mehdi Eker - Government Minister, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock

Mr Mehdi Eker – Government Minister, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock

Raising once again the topic of not eating any white foods, Mr Eker went on to explain that we have been consuming bread as a product for over 1,000 years, and surely this should have been enough time to have identified if this product should be consumed by humans. Quite the contrary, it has been a stable food of our ancestors and they have all been very healthy.

Mr Eker also continued that Anatolia or Asia Minor as it was known is one of, if not, the richest places on the earth. having over 4,200 plants and species under protection. For 1000s of years humans have farmed this land for wheat for human consumption.

He continued with it therefore being logical to assume that in this case the wheat and various plant variants will have been cultivated and will have entered our genes, and our genes must have over 1000s of years become accustomed to them.

We must remember that Anatolia is the birthplace of wheat and over many years has spread all over the world and in regions like the Americas and Europe it is a basic staple food for millions. There are of course other basic staple foods in other regions which have a different typography or weather system such as rice and maize, however it is well know that if these three; wheat has a much, much higher nutritional value.

Globally, people not only eat the basic food stuffs, they also eat food prepared by others and processed foods. Any new foods produced today are taken to the global market very quickly with advertising and good logistics, this is why we have seen an increase in refined foods being consumed.

What is critical, is we need to synthesise the knowledge at hand with wisdom – if not we will have knowledge pollution, and what we eat will become a burden.

Mr Eker continued, campaigns against specific food stuffs is not wise. In reality we each need different food categories to a certain amount for a balanced diet.

Important of course is the amount of each food stuff you consume.


Mr Zeki from Bastak talking with Mr Eker


Behn + Bates meet with Mr Eker


Wheat and health is the theme of TUSAF this year – which means what we should eat and what we should not eat. Over the years we have seen historical activities against specific food stuffs for example:

  • When margarine came to the market, we were warned off butter, when vegetable and sunflower oil entered the market we were warned against olive oil the same happened with eggs which much mud slinging.
  • We must be careful of the negative campaigns, there is nothing wrong with white bread, butter and olive oil, everything in moderation is good.
  • If you are ill, go to the doctor for a prescription – do not just stop eating a specific food type.

Mr Eker went on to talk about the wheat and flour industry, pointing out that Turkey is now either number 1 or 2 in the world for wheat exports, and in 2002 they were significantly lower. He was keen to point out that this needs and deserves attention.

From 2003 to 2013 Turkey saw huge growth, not only did they grow more, more was processed and significantly more exported being the surplus. In addition to this Turkey imported over 40 million tons of grain worth over $16.5 million, after it was then processed and exported.

In 2005, Turkey was the 11th largest global exporter of wheat/flour with $353,000 tons worth around 48,000. In 2014 this was 2.2 million tons worth $993 million dollars (almost $1 billion).

Mr Ekin announced, we must target 1 billion and exceed this milestone. We are the leaders around the world, I am proud to announce this at such an international conference.

On top of this, our pasta exports have gone up 30 fold, in 2002 we were the 7th largest and in 2013th we were the 2nd largest exporter of pasta, 2014 figures are not in yet but I suspect we will either hold our position at second or jump to number one.

Mr Ekin walks about the 11th TUSAF 2015 trade show

Mr Ekin walks about the 11th TUSAF 2015 trade show

Mr Eker explained a few statistics, 54% of all registered farmers in Turkey are producing wheat with more than 1 million people employed. He was proud to point out the Turkish governments involvement in certifying seeds, some of which are developed by government agencies and some in the private sector. Mr Eker also reminded everyone that the Turkish Government is meeting 22% of all the wheat production cost, through such areas and soil analysis for farmers.

Explains that they are behind 464 projects where they have spent over 100,000,000 Turkish lira of which 213 of these projects are directly related to Wheat processing.

And for the future they are protecting seeds and genes in Ankara, where they have the worlds 3rd largest gene bank. Alongside which they have opened anew biological centre where they can study new seeds and where it used to take 10 to 12 years to bring a new seed to market, they will now be able to do it in 7 years.

Mr Mehdi Eker then went on a longer walk around the exhibition, photos below:–



TUSAF meets Mr Eker


Mr Erkin meets with Parantez

Mr Erkin meets with the Parantez Group, organisers of next month’s IDMA Exhibition

Mr Erker meets with Kett

Mr Vural Kural from TUSAF (centre) today at the 11th TUSAF 2015

Mr Vural Kural (centre) and colleagues from TUSAF today at the 11th TUSAF 2015

TUSAF’s 11th Congress 2015: Wheat and Health begins

Chairman of TUSAF, Mr Erhan Ozmen once again opened the 11th TUSAF (Turkish Flour Industry Federation) Congress this morning.

Erhan Ozmen

Erhan Ozmen

After a moving 1 minute of silence to recognise the many industry members who died in 2014, to bless them and their families, everyone then stood for the national anthem before Erhan Ozman, Chairman of the executive board took the stage for his opening speech. With a focus on Wheat and health there is Mach to cover in regards to the issues taking place regarding the increased movement not to eat white foods including breads. Mr Ozmen continued asking the conference to recognise international women’s day on the 8th March, repelling the story of 1857 on the 8th March, when in New York women campaigned for their rights and 129 lost their lives in the demonstrations. He went on to explain that it is normal to think that:
a) a man is successful until he fails.
b) a woman is a failure until she succeeds
He went on to say, that this is changing and must change faster, it is the women who care for and nurture our young with love and affection just like Mother Earth who has supplied us with wheat which we have been consuming for 1000s of years.

Mr Ozmen continued to talk about the continued momentous growth in wheat yields and the growth in exports and finished of with a reminder to continue the combat against diminishing the importance of bread. His final words were, “We hope the conference will benefit all humanity”.

Erhan Ozmen takes the floor

Erhan Ozmen’s opening speech

Entire TUSAF 2015 Congress hall

Entire TUSAF 2015 Congress hall

TUSAF 2015 - Congress front row

TUSAF 2015 – Congress front row

Flour Mills of Nigeria: Financial Charges a Threat

(Originally published on 4th March 2015 at This Day Live)

Goddy Egene writes that high financial charges as a result of huge borrowings by Flour Mills of Nigeria are big threat to the company’s profitability

Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) Plc is one of the leading companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the clear leader among the flour milling industry.  In the food products subsector where FMN is listed, it is the highest priced at N34.50 at the end of February. The closest to it is Northern Nigerian Flour Mills, which closed at N18.05.  The other two flour milling firms, Dangote Flour Mills and Honeywell Flour Mills closed at N3.53 and N2.98 respectively.

Although the three stocks are trading below their 2015 opening values, FMN has a better performance so far as it closed at the end of February with  a decline of 11.9 per cent. Dangote   Flour Mills   shed 22 per cent, while Honeywell Flour recorded a decline of 14 per cent.

Despite the  better market statistics of FMN,   the shareholders of the company  have every cause to worry given  the company’s nine months  results ended December 31, 2014. Its net profit dipped by about 44 per cent in 2014 compared to corresponding period of 2013.
Corporate Profile
Established in September 1960  as a private limited liability company, FMN commenced operations in 1962 with an installed capacity of 600 metric tons per day.  It became a public limited liability company in 1978 and got listed on NSE. Flour Mills has a mill located in Apapa, Lagos which comprises 10 integrated mills.  The company’s shares are 51.5 per cent held by Excelsior Shipping Company Limited, while the balance of 48.5 is held by other shareholders.  The board of directors of FMN is led by Mr. John G. Coumantaros as chairman and Mr. George S. Coumantaros, who is the founder as chairman emeritus. Mr. Paul Gbedebo is the group managing director/CEO.  Other directors are: Alhaji Abdullah A. Abba; Chief James O. Fagbemi; Prof. J. Gana; Alhaji Rabiu M. Gwarzo; Mr. John Katsaounis; Mr. Thanassis Mazarakis; Mr. Atedo N.A Peterside; Mr. F. O. Philips; Alhaji Y. Olalekan A. Saliu; Mr. Folarin R. A Williams Jnr.

Nine months results
FMN ended the nine months with revenue of N244 billion in 2014, up from N240 billion in 2013. Cost of sales went up from N215 billion to N222 billion, while gross profit fell from N24.3 billion to N22.3 billion. Although other operating income grew from N2.7 billion to N4.8 billion, that growth was moderated by a similarly increase in selling and distribution expenses from N3.5 billion to N4.6 billion. Consequently, operating profit fell from N14.75 billion to N14.32 billion. Investment income fell from N4 billion to N3.4 billion. However, finance income rose from N10.5 billion to N15.3 billion.

Despite reducing income tax from N2.418 billion to N401 million, FMN ended the year the period with a lower profit of N3.29 billion, down from N5.9 billion in 2013.
Analysts’ Assessment
Assessing the results of FMN, analysts at Dunn Loren Merrifield said the revenue growth is not in line with demand for flour and associated products.
According to them, the sustained demand for flour-based products, given their increasing use in staple foods –supported by the increasing consumption of the nation’s youthful population.

“In addition, the fact is that there was no major price increases to induce a slowdown in demand for its products during the period. Given this, in our view, FMN was unable to take advantage of the demand as the firm’s market share appeared to gradually wane given the growing competition in the market – on the back of increased flour supply in Nigeria’s flour market. This may have limited FMN’s ability to drive volumes and influence prices that would have impacted revenue growth,” they said.

The analysts, however, said they maintained  a positive outlook on the company as  they  are optimistic that recent investments in core food and agro-allied business would  propel FMN to deliver optimal returns in the medium-to-long term.

“An indication of this is the company’s diversification into food drink production with the introduction of Kool2GO instant powdered drink which is now available for commercial sales. The Kool2GO instant powdered drink comes in sachet size….. This is in addition to the FMN’s snacks and other range of products, like Marios Cheese Balls, Noodies Sweet Snacks and Golden Bites chinchin. In addition, the firm also planned investments in the production and processing of locally grown rice through the participation of local farmers and other stakeholders in the supply chain. The success of these products and investments will boost the overall revenues of the firm and impact on the bottom line in the medium-to-long increase in operating expense depressed operating profit of the company,” they said.

The analysts added that operating expenses of the company depressed operating profit.

“FMN’s operating expenses (selling, distribution and administrative expenses) increased by 4.34 per cent to N12.83billion from N12.30billion in the corresponding period of the preceding year. As a result, core operating profit declined by 21.41 per cent to  N9.49billion, as against N12.1 billion  the previous period.  The growth in operating expense also impacted the firm’s EBIT which declined by 3.00 per cent N14.32billion  in spite of a 80 per cent increase in other income to  N4.83billion.. We note that the growth in operating expenses was largely due to investments on selling and distribution during the period as the firm attempt to enhance marketing and distribution efforts so as to drive higher sales volume. Consequently, operating margin fell to 3.90 per cent from 5.03 per cent in the same period of previous financial year. The increase in operating expenses coupled with a corresponding increase in COS, resulted in total cost/revenue ratio of 96.12 per cent, which is higher than 94.97 per cent recorded in the previous financial year. This implies that, in generating unit of sales revenue in the review period, FMN incurred additional expenses,” they said.

Increased Financial Charges Depressed Profits
FMN finance charges accelerated by 45.10 per cent N15.34billion, as the firm’s gross debt increased by 26.34 per cent to N192.00billion,  from N152 billion.
“We note, however, that the firm’s investments in agro-allied and core food businesses led to increase in borrowings and consequently to high interest expense. In response to the acceleration in finance charges, profit before and after tax fell below expectations.

Specifically, FMN’s profit before tax fell 55.73 per cent to N3.70billion, from N8.35 billion, with a corresponding decline in pre-tax margin to 1.51 per cent compared with 3.45 per cent in the same period of previous financial year. In addition, in spite of an 83.40 per cent decrease in income tax provision, post-tax profit contracted by 44.46 per cent to N3.30billion from N5.93billion in the prior year. Consequently, post-tax profit margin fell to 1.35 per cent from 2.47 per cent recorded in the prior year,” the analysts said.

Borrowings Increase Leverage Position

The increase in debt has led to an increase in debt-to-equity ratio from 1.82x  to 2.40x indicating growing balance sheet leverage. In addition, debt-to-assets ratio increased marginally to 0.59x from 0.51x in 2014.

“This implies that the company financed 59 per cent of its assets with debt. The debt-to-assets ratio is high but still within acceptable levels. In addition, assets-to-liabilities ratio, another measure of solvency, came in at 1.33x from 1.39x in 2014. The ratio remains at a moderate level in our view and suggests that the firm’s assets can sufficiently cover its total liabilities in the medium-to-long term if effectively utilized. The moderate debt/assets ratio led us to the conclusion that the firm has a moderate risk profile but can repay its long term loans, interests and meet other financial obligations,” they said.


(Originally published on 4th March 2015 at This Day Live)

Flour Mills of Nigeria plc

Flour Mills of Nigeria plc

FAMSUN’s latest achievments and The 2nd Manufacturing Skills Competition

Manufacturing is vital for Muyang’s Flawless Project Delivery (FPD) in providing quality machines and equipment. The manufacture team of FAMSUN Feedmill Solution since moving into the new, state-of-the-art facility in May 2013 has continuously updated their knowledge, skill and standards in machine manufacturing and new tools using, and has made great achievements in the past one and a half years.



By cooperating with leading manufacturing tool companies, FAMSUN introduces advanced production technologies such as CNC machining centers, welding robots, chain assembly systems, lean manufacturing management, etc. in its workshops, to produce extra precision and high quality for every piece of FAMSUN product from material processing to machining, painting and assembly. The manufacturing unit also owns the first grinder assembly line in the industry. It has now been able to produce all machines, spare parts, and pre-fabricated parts for various kinds of feed mills’ production demands. Since moving to the new industrial park, FAMSUN manufacturing team has been endeavoring to improve the efficiency of the production lines and the quality of the products. The on-time delivery of machine exceeded 99% in 2014 and products accepted by Quality Control (QC) Department are at nearly 100%.

The manufacturing team carried out innovations in technological process, general arrangement and logistics so as to deliver the products in time and increase efficiency. At the clearing up of system data, the number of expired orders has dropped dramatically and manual ordering is weeded out. As a result, the accuracy of the data has been increased. In 2014, FAMSUN Feedmill Solution manufacturing team carried out an environmental responsibility plan to eliminating noise and controlling fire risk. By organizing Continuous Improvement Process (CIP), the team has solved 66 product polishing and welding problems and put forward 101 quality
improving suggestions. In carrying out this plan, the team has successfully applied a national patent — Automatic Assembly Device. Through these measures, the product quality has been improved and customer’s satisfaction has been raised.
The 2nd Manufacturing Skills Competition

The second manufacturing skills competition was hosted on November 6th 2014 in FAMSUN’s workshops. This year’s competition is not only participated by Muyang’s FAMSUN Feedmill Solution stuff but also suppliers. Overall, the competition attracted 217 participants, including 87 suppliers. The skill competition includes argon arc welding, gas metal shielded arc welding, lathe machining, painting quality troubleshooting, SAP operation, material identification, forklift truck driving, etc. After fierce competition, one of the local supplier won the Best Group Award, and 57 participants won the first, second and third prizes. The good quality of every Muyang product depends on not only cutting-edge manufacturing tools, but also dedicated workmanship of operators and their knowledge and experience as well as outsourcing parts with same quality standards. The skill improvement, knowledge sharing and training of its stuff
and suppliers’ stuff ensures Muyang to keep growing with a good team by creating quality products and satisfied customers.

The MPE Chain-Vey® for Pet Food

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MPE Chain-Vey®

MPE Chain-Vey®