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.

Russia provides humanitarian support to North Korea in the form of 25,000 tonnes of wheat

May 15th, 2020: According to a recent report from Reuters, Russia has sent 25,000 tonnes of wheat in humanitarian aid to North Korea after last year’s drought hit its rice production, the Russian embassy to North Korea said on social media on Thursday.

The vessel Polina delivered Russian wheat to the country from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, it said. Its crew had been put in quarantine amid the global coronavirus outbreak.

The vessel was being unloaded in an isolated zone of a North Korean port and the process would be completed on 26-27th May as rains are expected to arrive soon, the embassy added.

Defra Minister and NFU President to speak at Cereals LIVE 2020

May 15th, 2020: Do you want more clarity on the likely impact that coronavirus and Brexit will have on UK farming, food security and global trade? Join Cereals LIVE to hear Defra Minister Victoria Prentis discuss the Government’s plans and support for coronavirus and get the lowdown on where Brexit negotiations currently stand.

The webinar is chaired by Jane King, AHDB and speaking with Mrs Prentis will be NFU president, Minette Batters, who will review the opportunities and challenges for UK arable farmers.

In addition, Professor Tim Benton from the Chatham Organisation will examine how food security has taken on a new imperative. Dr Ludivine Petetin from Cardiff University will also review how Coronavirus and Brexit are impacting and informing the UK’s food security and trading position.

With the Cereals Event going online, the comprehensive seminar timetable will be delivered via live webinar for BASIS & NROSO CPD points.

Register for this online edition, HERE.

See the webinar schedule on the Cereals LIVE 2020 website, HERE.

Five more ICU proning beds in Italian hospitals thanks to Ocrim’s generous donation

May 14th, 2020: Ocrim have generously donated €100,000 euro which has enabled the purchase of five proning beds which are now being used in hospitals in Cremona and Crema. Italy has been one of the countries worst effected by COVID-19, currently there have been over 220,000 cases.

‘These are very special beds that assist in the treatment of patients with severe respiratory failure. They are in fact actual therapeutic tools that promote the patient’s recovery in a shorter time. They make the work of healthcare professionals easier, promote patient comfort and reduce the risk of bedsores to a minimum. State-of-the-art equipment that will be useful to everyone,’ said Marina Zanotti, Head of Arco Onlus Fundraiser.

Matteo Tedoldi, chairman of Arco Onlus thanked Ocrim, ‘I wish to thank Ocrim, which responded to our appeal and made a very substantial donation that allowed us to donate these very sophisticated beds, not only in Cremona but also in Crema. COVID-19 has hit our area very badly, and it has reacted with tangible, extreme generosity and this is an example.’

Ocrim CEO, Alberto Antolini, commented, ‘We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish together. In an emergency like this, the least we could do was support our healthcare system and the incredible work carried out by our doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals. Thanks to the strong bond that the Arco Onlus association has with the region, we have managed to make the donation immediately accessible’.

Visit the Ocrim website, HERE.

AGI launch virtual showroom featuring 360-degree virtual products and digital facility tours

May 14th, 2020: Ag Growth international (AGI) has launched a Virtual Showroom features 360-degree virtual products and digital facility tours from AGI brands – offering easy access to equipment solutions.

The virtual showroom allows you to explore product categories such as portable handling,. Storage, permanents handling, conditioning, technology, processing, structures, and much more.

Visit the AGI virtual showroom for yourself, HERE.

Register now for the Bühler Virtual World Conference, supporting the food industry during challenging times

May 11th, 2020: In just six weeks, Bühler has transformed its physical Interpack program into a fully digital experience which runs from Monday, May 11 through to Thursday, May 14, 2020

It has certainly been a very steep learning curve for the company, but one that will give Bühler’s partners and customers access to new services for operational efficiency and capacity improvement, new product proposals to delight consumers, and inspiration to ensure the long-term sustainability of our global food supply. All of this from the safety and convenience of their own homes and offices. The publicly accessible Bühler Virtual World, with its content-rich program, will open its digital doors from May 12-15. Register for the Bühler Virtual World conference, HERE.

The Virtual World addresses three key questions Bühler has asked itself for 2020:

How does Bühler increase its contribution to the business resilience of its industry in the next 24 months?
‘In today’s world, we see it as our responsibility to ensure the continuity of food supply chains, but also to keep business afloat by enabling close collaboration among industry partners and with our customers,’ says Germar Wacker, CEO of Bühler Consumer Foods. With digital capabilities underpinning a service portfolio increasing yield and capacity, ensuring consistent product quality and reducing unplanned downtime, waste, and energy consumption Bühler can contribute to support its customers to deliver the strong demand they experience today while securing their operational results. Bühler’s digital platforms myBühler and Bühler Insights will support business resilience by enriching the physical world with the capability of digital solutions.

Germar Wacker, CEO Consumer Foods, presenting at Bühler Virtual World
Image credit: Bühler Group

How can Bühler support its industry to bounce back strongly once the new normal is established?
Relevant differentiation is the key to unlock consumer demand and is transforming the food industry at an extraordinary rate. Natural, clean label, on-the-go, regional origin, increasing varieties, bite size, healthy, organic, and local are all trends of importance. Bühler food technologists will present a variety of products that address these trends, from savory wafer products, low fat products, filled wafer pillows, eatable coffee cups, vegan chocolates, to plant-based chicken pieces, to mention but a few. ‘A combination of flexible assets, higher operational efficiency and differentiated offerings will support our industry to return successfully to the new normal’, says Mr Wacker.

How can we build a sustainable food industry to nourish and delight 10 billion people in 2050 within the planetary boundaries?
Everyone including Bühler must embed sustainability in all their decisions. Economy, nature, and society must be considered equally. ‘We are convinced that our sustainability goals will produce good business models, and we will make this case at the Bühler Virtual World,’ says Stefan Scheiber, Bühler Group CEO. Bühler focuses all research and development spendings on its targets of reducing waste, energy, and water consumption in its customers’ value chains by 50 percent.

Stefan Scheiber, CEO Bühler Group
Image credit: Bühler Group

New solutions such as the modular moulding line ChocoX deliver the flexibility needed for high innovation rates with the efficiency of a mass production line. The new SWAKT-Eco wafer oven reduces energy consumption by 30 percent. Bühler’s service portfolio for chocolate mass has increased Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) by up to 30 percent in some cases. The company’s SnackFix and ChoCoat solutions reduce changeover times to only minutes. Bühler’s cross-value-chain capabilities in plant protein processing provide nutritious options to meat with a CO2 footprint that is less than half of chicken or 15 times less than beef.

Additionally, Bühler estimates that Virtual World saves around 10,600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions compared to the physical event, equivalent to the compensation output of 175,000 trees. Bühler will create a sustainable food industry.
The highlights of the Bühler Virtual World
As a solution provider, Bühler has grouped the innovations of its Virtual World into four key topics:

•  How to capitalise on market trends with high flexibility, fast changeovers, and integrated solutions.
•  How to reach the highest efficiency with best Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).
•  How to manufacture products reliably with documented food safety.
•  How to improve sustainability with reduced consumption of energy, water, and waste.

ChocoX is Bühler’s new moulding line with a “plug-and-produce” concept.
ChocoX can be installed on site within a week,
reducing implementation time by 80 percent.
Image credit: Bühler Group

ChocoX: Highly flexible, modular solution for moulding
Following a ‘plug-and-produce’ concept, the new moulding line, ChocoX (pronounced ‘Choco Cross’) marks a breakthrough in the industry with its consistently modular approach. ChocoX can be installed on site within a week, reducing implementation time by 80 percent. ChocoX slashes the time for a line expansion by half, compared to previous solutions. Its modular structure allows for great flexibility. Modules can be changed or cleaned in as little as 30 minutes and rearranging the process chain only takes between 30 to 120 minutes. Bühler will communicate more on ChocoX during this week.

Customer services at the click of a button
The myBühler portal offers customers 24/7 access to all the information relevant to their technologies and equipment. myBühler streamlines the purchasing process with pricing and material information and online ordering. Customers operating former Haas solutions will soon be able to connect to myBühler as well. It is far more than a standard customer portal. It is the starting point and the one-stop-shop for all digital solutions, including product information, eMaintenance, e-Training, and eService such as Bühler’s Remote Guidance. Smart glasses enable Bühler’s specialists to instruct professionals at customer sites remotely. And Bühler guarantees first-level-support within two hours.

myBühler is the one-stop-shop for all digital solutions, including product information,
eMaintenance, e-Training, and eService.

Image credit: Bühler Group

Saving energy, water, and waste
Bühler is presenting a wide range of innovative product formulations, from chocolate mass to enrobed baked products, from moulded products to wafers and biscuits. All of them will be displayed with experts explaining their sustainability and production benefits. Bühler’s aim is to reduce energy use, water consumption, and waste in customers’ value chains by 50 percent by 2025. ‘We are convinced that our sustainability goals will produce good business models, and we will make this case at the Bühler Virtual World,’ says Mr Scheiber.

Among the sustainable solutions that will be presented during the virtual fair is the Franz Haas MTA. It can produce eatable and biodegradable packaging made from wafers and helps lower the use of single-use plastic. An estimated 20 billion disposable coffee cups are used and thrown out every single year. And, the SWAKT-Eco wafer-baking oven reduces emissions by 90 percent. It also uses 30 percent less energy. These are just a few of the innovations to be unveiled.

Food safe designs incorporate new concepts and latest technology such as laser cleaning for SWAKT-Eco or the new batch roaster Solano that combines three process steps in one solution: pasteurising, roasting, and drying. Bühler guarantees a bacterial reduction of at least 99.999 percent with the Solano.

Heralding a new era with the Bühler Virtual World
Equally innovative as the new solutions and services is the way Bühler will showcase them and communicate with its customers and partners during the Bühler Virtual World. This virtual trade fair combines a live event program, a virtual solution space, and video conferencing features. ‘Today, with greater urgency than ever, the world is relying on food industries to run like clockwork,’ says Mr Scheiber. ‘It has to ensure solid production chains and reliable output. The industry also needs to adapt and learn how to innovate together as partners, even when it is physically impossible.’ Bühler developed the Virtual World to deal with these challenges in a collaborative manner and bring important industry stakeholders together. ‘We want to show our customers that they can rely on us even in times of crisis, be it for new product developments, for servicing their solutions, or when digitalising their plants for the new normal we are now learning to live in,’ says Mr Scheiber.

Customers and visitors can look forward to exploring the virtual booth. They are free to attend the livestream program featuring keynotes on digitalisation and sustainability and delve deep into service solutions and special application areas that will be presented by expert food technologists.

Visit the Bühler Virtual World website, HERE.
You can view the Bühler Virtual World live program, HERE.

Alapala to host grain milling technologies webinar series

May 14th, 2020: Alapala’s Webinar Program aims to present the latest technologies and processing solutions for grain milling professionals all over the world. They are bringing the experts of milling technologies together to introduce the new trends and developments in milling industry. The following four webinars are set to take place over the coming months:

28.05.2020, 15.00 (GMT +3), 45 min, English
Pneumatic fan calculations in flour handling systems, and advantages of frequency inverters on power saving
Register, HERE.

28.05.2020, 15.00 (GMT +3), 45 min, English 
Importance of semolina and flour quality for the manufacturing of pasta
Registration will be available soon

25.06.2020, 15.00 (GMT +3), 45 min, English 
Pasta production and processing technologies
Registration will be available soon

30.07.2020, 15.00 (GMT +3), 45 min, English 
Stone Milling: Timeless Technology
Registration will be available soon

27.08.2020, 15.00 (GMT +3), 45 min, English 
Alapala: Where the tradition meets innovation
Registration will be available soon

Alapala Machine builds turnkey plants of any desired capacity and is one of the top 500 exporters in Turkey, exporting 95 percent of its production. It has a considerable number of turnkey references in over 100 countries in all the four continents including developed and industrial countries such as Germany, France and the USA.

For more information visit the Alapala website, HERE.

AIC appoints Catherine Barrett as new Head of Arable Marketing and Seed

Catherine Barrett
Image credit: AIC

May 6th, 2020: The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) – the leading UK trade association representing agricultural supply chain sectors including arable marketing, crop protection, agronomy, feed, fertiliser and seed – has announced the promotion of Catherine Barrett as its new Head of Arable Marketing and Seed.

In her new role, Catherine will lead her sectors in representing Members’ interests with Defra and other government and non-government bodies and organisations. Her responsibilities will involve actively working to improve the competitive position of Members within the agri-supply chain.

The change has come following Paul Rooke’s departure, after nearly 30 years of service. Catherine worked closely with Paul and is well-placed to bring her wealth of knowledge and experience to her new role.

‘I’m delighted to assume this new position for AIC, an organisation that always strives to represent and promote Member interests. AIC truly is the voice of the UK agri-supply chain,’ says Catherine Barrett. ‘At a time of huge disruption and uncertainty, AIC’s role is more vital than ever. My role will focus on working closely with Members involved with the Arable Marketing and Seed sectors, making sure that Member interests are represented with Government, and that we keep working together towards continued success and new opportunities.’

‘Catherine will be excellent in her new role,’ says Robert Sheasby, Chief Executive of AIC. ‘In her time with AIC, she has been consistently dedicated and diligent when promoting Members’ interests. As we move forward during such an unprecedented time, it is leaders like Catherine who will provide the vision and guidance needed.’

Visit the AIC website, HERE.