Leading Eastern European pasta producer invests in new mill

Image credit: Ocrim

22nd May, 2020: Makfa, one of the leading pasta producers in the world and top brand in Eastern Europe is preparing for a new investment project: the installation of an additional and new mill for grinding durum wheat. The particularity of the project is that it must be carried out within the context of the global coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

For Ocrim, it is the first contract after the official and total reopening, which took place on May 4th due to this emergency. An agreement reached during a conference call that ended with a virtual handshake.

Ocrim is Makfa’s historical partner: in the last 10 years two durum wheat mills (having respectively a capacity of 330 and 360 T/24h) have been set up in the Roschino mill complex (Chelyabinsk Region) and a 400 T/24h soft/hard wheat mill in the Kurgan mill complex. The new 250T/24h mill will be installed in the existing building in Chelyabinsk.

The new contract includes the supply of a complete durum wheat range with quality and reliability characteristics that Makfa has always sought and found in Ocrim. ‘To be one of the Top pasta producers in the world’, said Anton Belousov, Managing Director of Makfa, ‘it is necessary to have high-quality semolina, which is the result of high-quality cereal, and processed with the best machines and modern technologies on the market today’.

In turn, the CEO of Ocrim, Alberto Antolini, commented on the imminent joint project ‘Ocrim has been the official supplier of the major durum wheat plants in Russia for many years. We are therefore proud to have been chosen again by one of the top players in pasta production in Russia and worldwide. In an emergency like what we’ve gone through, this important milestone represents a great sign of optimism”.

Visit the Ocrim website, HERE.

Check out the latest varieties at Cereals LIVE

Image credit: Cereals

22nd May, 2020: Informed variety selection is key for arable farmers; whether looking for peak yield potential, disease resistance or many other select traits, the right characteristics can set a crop up to flourish.

Though achieving the highest treated yield has been the main driver for a lot of growers, untreated yield and disease resistance are coming to the fore of variety selection as efforts are made to optimise pesticide usage and increase gross margins.

So what new and exciting varieties will be on display at Cereals LIVE? Using video from the Cambridgeshire site as well as plots around the UK, visitors will be able to see a large range of treated and untreated varieties. ‘Being able to see the crops over video will give growers a real feel for how they look and what might suit their own systems,’ says event director Alli McEntyre. ‘Additionally, there will be experts on-hand to answer questions and provide detailed information on the varieties, so growers can find out anything they want to know.’

Comparing treated and untreated yields can help farmers to optimise pesticide use efficiency, explains Bill Clarke at NIAB. ‘Historically, the highest yielding varieties were always dirty and susceptible to septoria,’ he says.  ‘This meant growers had to put a big fungicide programme on, but now we have high yielders which are quite resistant to disease and have a much lower fungicide requirement.’

Some varieties with similar treated yields demonstrate a difference in untreated yield of anywhere from 0.5t/ha to 6t/ha. Producers could therefore make big savings by selecting the right variety to combat disease pressures.

With a range of choice across the board, Simon Oxley at AHDB picks out six top performers to look out for.


KWS Firefly is a quality Group 3 biscuit wheat from KWS. It has the highest yield of the Group 3s.  It is a short stiff variety, which has the highest rating for resistance to septoria tritici for a Group 3 variety of 7.0. It is also resistant to orange wheat blossom midge. It has performed well on heavier soils and in a first-cereal position.

SY Insitor is a new Group 4 hard feed wheat from Syngenta. It is very high-yielding and has a high specific weight. It has given very high treated yields throughout the UK, as well as across a range of soil types and rotational positions. It has high resistance to septoria tritici (6.6).

Theodore is a new Group 4 hard feed wheat for the West region only from DSV. The variety has a high resistance to septoria tritici (8.2), but has a low specific weight. It is a short and relatively stiff-strawed variety. It has given high untreated yields in UK trials

Winter barley

Jordan is a new two-row feed variety from Elsoms Ackermann Barley. It has performed particularly well in the East and West regions, as well as on heavier soils. Jordan has given the highest yields in untreated UK trials for a two-row feed variety. It has high resistance to brown rust and rhynchosporium.

KWS Hawking is a new two-row feed variety from KWS. It has performed particularly well in the East region and on heavier soils. It has shown no major weaknesses in disease resistance.

SY Kingsbarn from Syngenta is a very high-yielding six-row hybrid feed variety with a high specific weight. This variety has performed well across all regions, as well as across a range of soil types. It responds well to plant growth regulators, has given good yields in untreated UK trials and has no major weaknesses in disease resistance.

Visit the Cereals Live website, HERE.

FEFAC responds to farm-to-fork and biodiversity strategies

22nd May, 2020: FEFAC has welcomed the EU Commission’s willingness to strengthen food security at both global and EU level and the resilience of EU agriculture and food systems in its communication on FTF and Biodiversity. The EU feed industry has proven its capacity to secure essential feed and food supply chains for the provision of products of animal origin to EU consumers during the COVID-19 crisis, under very challenging conditions and in close cooperation with key supply chain partners and the EU Commission.

FEFAC fully agrees with the Commission analysis of the central role of the Common Agricultural Policy as the key policy delivery mechanism to provide safe, sustainable and affordable food to EU Consumers. As world leaders in animal nutrition efficiency, we also share the high level of ambition of the EU Commission to meet climate change targets, providing opportunities for EU agriculture and livestock production by providing incentives to produce “more with less”.

No food system can be sustainable without the production of farm animals, due to their essential role in transforming low value human inedible feed materials into high-value nutritious food via milk, meat and eggs to consumers. At the same time farm animals provide highly valued organic fertilisers to arable crops, making them a key component of sustainable food systems based on the Circular Economy principles. The feed industry’s role is to provide optimised animal nutrition, reduced nutrient losses, improved animal health and welfare and increasing environmental performance of animal production systems, via precision feeding systems and the adoption of new technologies.

FEFAC is however deeply concerned about the potential adverse impact of some of the key policy orientations included in the FTF and Biodiversity strategy setting conflicting targets which may actually reduce the EU’s food production capacity. We therefore stress the importance of a thorough inception impact assessment, prior to any specific legislative measures, in line with better regulation practices. We believe this approach to be crucial to ensure policy coherence at EU and national level, in particular regarding the EU’s objective to raise the production and competitiveness of home-grown vegetable proteins.

The EU feed industry has not waited for the FTF Communication in developing new tools for its members and livestock farmers to increase the sustainability and competitiveness of feed and livestock production. It has developed an LCA based methodology for measuring the environmental performance of compound feed (the PEFCR Feed for Food-Producing Animals), validated in 2018 by DGENVI and EU 28 Member States. The FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines have made a significant contribution to facilitate the transformation of the EU soy supply chain. A new module on deforestation-free soy supplies is currently under preparation. FEFAC member companies are offering tailor-made animal nutrition solutions to reduce the need for therapeutic antibiotics at farm level, as part of a farm animal health & welfare management system.

FEFAC President Nick Major said, “The EU feed industry is a key driver for the development of sustainable food systems for farm animals and aquaculture. We therefore share some of the overall objectives of the FTF/Biodiversity communication on sustainable food systems. We do however fear that conflicting policy targets and measures announced in the EU Commission communication, may actually undermine the EU’s food production capacity and global leadership role in developing resource efficient sustainable and circular food production systems. We do fully support the new priority setting on food security, resulting from the lessons of the COVID-19 crisis and would strongly recommend to carry out in-depth inception impact assessment before taking any specific legislative measures, preventing any “unintended consequences” by denying farmers access to proven technology, without providing tangible, effective alternatives.”

VIsit the FEFAC website, HERE.

Hamlet hosts seminars on leadership and nutrition

22nd May, 2020: Hamlet Protein, global producer of specialty ingredients for young animal nutrition, has hosted a series of online events to engage with customers and business partners on topics ranging from animal nutrition and health to change management. The sessions saw record attendance and were much appreciated in times where travel restrictions have brought physical meetings to a standstill.

In China, Hamlet Protein hosted an online event for the Chinese feed industry. Dr Eugene Li, Technical Director APAC for Hamlet Protein, presented on a range of topics related to piglet feed formulation. Following an online poll in preparation of the event, several topics was selected for discussion. There was a clear interest in learning about novel ways to address the upcoming ban of AGP-s in China. The experience of Hamlet Protein in Europe in general and Denmark in particular, proved to be valuable for the participants. With more than 20,000 attendees, the Hamlet Protein reached a record crowd.

Following the huge success, Hamlet Protein will present a series of online seminars and meetings in China in the coming weeks, with topics ranging from feed management of Danish breeds, sow milk replacer formulation to the impact of anti-nutritional factors in soy products.

A completely different focus was on display when bestselling author and behavioral scientists Dr Ben Tiggelaar presented a lecture titled ‘From good ideas to real results.’ Dr Tiggelaar highlighted that changing behaviour of people is key to successfully changing an organisation. The variety in questions and observations during the sessions clearly reflected the different cultural backgrounds of the participants. The drive to successfully implement changes was the common denominator.

In the US, Hamlet Protein organised a webinar addressing the current market situation and outlook. In a discussion facilitated by Joseph Kerns a variety of topics were addressed. Guest speaker Dr Tim Fakler provided insights on feed ingredient availability in the market, where Hamlet Protein presented an update on its supply chain and manufacturing outlook.

Hamlet Protein CEO Erik Visser commented, ‘We want to keep close to our customers, also during these unprecedented times. Online events, whether for group sessions or smaller meetings, have proven very effective in continuing our technical support to customers around the world. At the same time, we want to be more than a partner on nutrition and health alone and provide some new insights to our business partners, when most of them are working from home. Seminars on leadership and change management have been very much appreciated as an interesting diversion in this challenging period.’

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.

ADM announces aggressive new goals to reduce water intensity and landfill waste

22nd May, 2020: ADM has recently announced commitments to reduce water intensity by 10 percent and achieve a 90 percent landfill diversion rate by 2035 as part of an aggressive plan to continue to reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

The commitments were announced as part of the company’s Corporate Sustainability Report, which also includes updates on ADM’s overall sustainability journey.

‘The importance of these commitments becomes even clearer amid an unprecedented challenge such as the COVID-19 pandemic,’ said Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano. ‘Companies like ADM are playing a critical role in supporting and maintaining the global food chain. And while we are focused on operating safely and effectively today, we cannot lose sight of tomorrow. Even amid these global challenges, we are continuing our work to ensure that ADM and the natural resources on which we depend remain strong and vital in the years to come.’

Earlier this year, ADM announced plans to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and energy intensity by 15 percent during the same timeframe. In addition, ADM will develop water reduction plans for high-risk and water-scarce areas.

The new targets align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and will be achieved through reusing and recycling water, and finding alternative uses for waste. They follow ADM’s original ’15×20′ plan, unveiled in 2011, in which the company committed to per-unit improvements in energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste to landfill by 2020. As detailed in the Corporate Sustainability Report, ADM achieved all of these benchmarks ahead of schedule.

‘We know that the health of our natural resources is critical to our future, and that our commitments to sustainable practices will result in a stronger ADM and a better world,’ Luciano said. ‘We are proud to be the go-to sustainable sourcing partner for our customers, and more widely, we are committed to driving change through good practices, progressive solutions and mindful actions that make a positive impact.’

For a more in-depth look at ADM’s plans, as well as progress against goals, view the full Corporate Sustainability Report, HERE.

Wheat supply target description of Pakistan Punjab province

May 22nd, 2020: The Punjab Food Department has reached 32% of its wheat supply target, according to a statement from an Pakistani state official. In addition, it was reported that wheat purchases in all segments are continuing and the government has set the wheat purchase target more than 158 billion Rs and farmers are given 1,400 Rupees per 40kg of wheat.

Stating that the country’s economy is under pressure due to the coronavirus epidemic, the authorised government informed that those who struggle in the front line had up to 8 million Rupees of life insurance and that they were strictly struggling.

It was also reported that those who kept the basic commodities had to face serious penalties and strict steps were taken against wheat stocking in Punjab. While it is informed that 436 places have been raided and 33 thousand tons of wheat have been seized so far, it has been said that there will be no tolerance in this regard.

Alltech ONE Virtual Experience opens to global audience, offering insights for agriculture and beyond


May 18th, 2020: The Alltech ONE Virtual Experience launched today with more than 21,500 registrants from 126 countries, uniting for a unique exploration of the future of agriculture, business and the world around us the Alltech ONE Virtual Experience is the transformation of Alltech’s flagship event, ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE), which typically attracts more than 3,500 attendees from more than 70 countries to Lexington, Kentucky, USA, each May.

The virtual experience provides on-demand focus sessions, streaming keynote presentations and live Q&A chats with select speakers. Attendees can now exchange innovative ideas and find inspiration in way that is accessible to everyone from anywhere. 

‘Welcome to the new ONE,’ said Dr Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, in his opening remarks. ‘This is a journey of discovery and renewal. For the first time in the 36-year history of our conference, we are connecting virtually. This is an opportunity to shape the future of agrifood — together.’

Cady Coleman, former NASA astronaut and Air Force Colonel, was the opening keynote speaker on Monday. Having spent 180 days working on the International Space Station, she shared her inspiring experience with fostering teamwork and staying focused on the mission amid the most challenging circumstances. It is a timely message that resonates with viewers as the world grapples with a global pandemic.  

‘I think the world understands missions in a different way because of this pandemic,’ said Coleman. ‘COVID-19 has created this need to solve problems together and be on the same mission. People are coming together, helping each other. It’s hopeful.’

Cady Coleman
Image credit: Alltech

Mr Lyons and Ms Coleman had an insightful conversation during her presentation, in which Ms Coleman conveyed the importance of inclusion in creating innovative and productive teams. 

‘It’s a proven fact that diverse groups are more successful, but that doesn’t mean they’re always comfortable,’ she said. ‘Put that on the table. Recognise there will be challenges and help each other through them.’

During launch week, the Alltech ONE Virtual Experience will feature a new keynote speaker and special presentations each day. 

Tuesday, May 19
9:00 a.m. EST
Keynote: David McWilliams, Economist and Adjunct Professor of Global Economics
Topic: Currency and Confidence in an Uncertain Market

Wednesday, May 20
9:00 a.m. EST
Keynote: Jessica Adelman, CEO, ESG Results
Topic: In the Market: How the New Consumer Checks Out

11:00 a.m. EST
The Next Normal for Agri-Food
Panel discussion moderated by Professor Damien McLoughlin, Anthony C. Cunningham Professor of Marketing, University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

Thursday, May 21
9:00 a.m. EST
Keynote: Jack Bobo, CEO, Futurity
Topic: Farming, Food and the Shifting Horizon

11:00 a.m. EST
Science: The Source of Our Strength
A conversation with previous Alltech Medal of Excellence winners about a new era of innovation.

Friday, May 22
9:00 a.m. EST
Keynote: Dr Frank Mitloehner, Professor and Air Quality Specialist, Animal Science
Topic: Clearing the Air: Debunking the Myths of Agriculture

11:00 a.m. EST
Keynote: Dr Mark Lyons, President and CEO, Alltech
Topic: Planet of Plenty: We’re in This Together

Live Q&A chats with select speakers are also featured daily, giving attendees an opportunity to ask questions in real time. 

Additionally, 40 on-demand focus session topics explore challenges and opportunities in agri-business, aquaculture, beef, crop science, dairy, pig, poultry and sustainable agriculture.

Registration for the Alltech ONE Virtual Experience will remain open, offering attendees 24/7 access to all on-demand content, including keynote presentations and focus session topics, until May 2021.

To learn more about the Alltech ONE Virtual Experience and register for access, visit the website, HERE.

American Feed Industry Association’s Board Chair shares message of support during COVID-19

May 15th, 2020: Tim Belstra of Belstra Milling, the American Feed Industry Association’s board chair, delivered a short video message recently to members detailing how the animal food industry is supporting local communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In it, he talks about how the industry is supporting the healthcare community, ‘the real heroes’, through to feeding Americans to supporting pet owners, some of whom have recently lost their jobs.

He said the AFIA Board will be examining the industry’s response to the public health emergency at its meeting this week and looking for ways to best represent the industry moving forward.

Watch the three minute video, HERE.

IFEEDER board charts path forward at annual meeting

Tim Belstra of Belstra Milling Co. will serve as the 2020-21 chair of IFEEDER’s Board of Trustees
Image credit: IFEEDER

May 15th, 2020: This week, the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) held its annual Board of Trustees meeting to review the public charity’s accomplishments over the past year, set new priorities for the upcoming fiscal year, as well as install new trustees and Board leadership. In addition, the Board approved the launch of a strategic planning period to evaluate how IFEEDER can continue meeting the research and education needs of the animal food industry for the next three-to-five years.

‘As anyone working in agriculture can attest right now, the novel coronavirus has changed the landscape for the animal food industry – both from how it is operating today to how the industry will continue feeding America’s livestock, poultry and pets into the future,’ said Robert Cooper, IFEEDER’s executive director. ‘To successfully navigate this uncharted territory and emerge even stronger than before, the IFEEDER Board committed to identifying compelling projects that address the animal food industry’s research and knowledge gaps as well as looking for opportunities to boost stakeholder engagement.’

Trustees Chad Risley, Ph.D., of Berg+Schmidt America, LLC, and A. Wayne Rod, of The F.L. Emmert Company, along with IFEEDER’s Marketing and Education Committee, will lead the planning effort to strategically position IFEEDER for the future. In addition to this effort, the Board approved three new research projects, including:
• Updating the 2016 U.S. Animal Food Consumption Report to reflect the industry’s current production and provide expert economic analysis on how the COVID-19 public health crisis will shape future production.
• Launching a research project that will examine how swine diseases could spread through the movement of feed or feed ingredients through the use of a dynamic transmission model.
• Issuing a request for proposal to better define the industry’s sustainability efforts, in partnership with American Feed Industry Association leadership and the AFIA Sustainability Oversight Committee.

As part of the business meeting, the trustees recognised Bruce Crutcher of Micronutrients USA, LLC, for his leadership as chair for the 2019-20 fiscal year and tapped Tim Belstra of Belstra Milling Co. as the 2020-21 chair. Several new AFIA members joined the IFEEDER Board of Trustees, including: Scott Druker of Church & Dwight Company, Inc.; Kevin Halpin, Ph.D., of International Ingredients Corporation; Steve Lerner of Chr. Hansen Animal Health and Nutrition; and Joe Lucas of CJ Bio America, Inc. The Board also thanked several outgoing trustees for their service: Dean Warras of Phibro Animal Health Corporation; Cathy Bandyk, Ph.D., of AB Vista, Inc.; and Ross Hamilton, Ph.D., of Darling Ingredients Inc.

Visit the IFEEDER website, HERE.

Overwhelming response leads to prolonged Bühler Virtual World access

May 15th, 2020: Due to the positive response and over-subscription of virtual meetings, Bühler has decided to keep the Bühler Virtual World open at least until the end of May. Over the three days, more than 12,000 people from 132 countries visited the digital platform, around 500 private meetings are ongoing. ‘We are amazed by this level of engagement and positive feedback,’ says Germar Wacker, CEO of Bühler’s Consumer Foods business.

Image credit:  Bühler Group

In just six weeks, Bühler transformed its physical interpack program into a fully digital experience, which was planned to be open until May 15. The positive feedback from customers and the market has now prompted Bühler to extend the digital show. ‘This is one of the key benefits of being digital. We are always available, continuously addressing customer needs,’ says Germar Wacker. The platform will be accessible until end of May and Bühler invites everyone who has not yet experienced the Bühler Virtual World to use the opportunity to join and sign-up for a virtual meeting with Bühler experts. 

The Bühler Virtual World, a unique platform consisting of a fully interactive visitor experience, with solution spaces, virtual meeting rooms and a live program with a wealth of insightful material and know-how sharing to address the following key topics:
• Resilience in the current environment, e.g. by digital customer services to maximise utilisation of the existing asset base
• Bouncing back by the ability to quickly commercialise consumer and market trends by highly flexible, integrated solutions and equipment
• Sustainability and how to turn the many challenges into good business. 

The content from the live program, held on 12-13th May, is fully available on the platform, with speeches of Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President (EVP) at Microsoft, Henning Hartnacke, President Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME) at Givaudan, and Paul Beck, Head of Production and Logistics at Maestrani, to name a few. Bühler experts explain how to increase capacity, yield, reduce plant downtime, energy and waste consumption through intelligence services. They introduce fantastic food creations from Bühler’s global application centers and new solutions, for example ChocoX, that will unlock the innovation capability of the industry. ‘This is a unique platform that combines inspiring knowledge on new products, Bühler’s leading processes and solutions, market trends and business disruption,’ says CTO Ian Roberts.

Bühler’s Virtual World is accessible, HERE.