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Photo report: 25th Fefac Congress in Hamburg

Fefac staged its 25th Congress in Hamburg, Germany. Around 250 delegates from the European Feed industry gathered in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg to listen to opinion leaders which discussed the theme: Sustainable competitiveness of the EU livestock and feed sector.

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  • Fefac staged its Congress in Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg was a member of the Hanseatic League, which was an economic alliance of trading cities and their guilds that established and maintained a trade monopoly along the coast of Northern Europe. It stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland, during the 13th – 17th centuries.

    Fefac staged its Congress in Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg was a member of the Hanseatic League, which was an economic alliance of trading cities and their guilds that established and maintained a trade monopoly along the coast of Northern Europe. It stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland, during the 13th – 17th centuries.

  • The Hanseatic cities had their own law system and furnished their own protection and mutual aid, thus having a sort of a political autonomy and in some cases creating political entities of their own.

    The Hanseatic cities had their own law system and furnished their own protection and mutual aid, thus having a sort of a political autonomy and in some cases creating political entities of their own.

  • The German organisation of feed manufacturers DVT hosted this year’s congress. Chairman Helmut Wulf welcomed the delegates. He noted that the feed industry is working more on sustainability than is visual in practice. Wulf also emphasised that sustainability only can be strived for if there is profitability.

    The German organisation of feed manufacturers DVT hosted this year’s congress. Chairman Helmut Wulf welcomed the delegates. He noted that the feed industry is working more on sustainability than is visual in practice. Wulf also emphasised that sustainability only can be strived for if there is profitability.

  • Residing president Pedro Corrêa de Barros pointed to the real challenge for European agriculture: “We must produce more and better whilst realising the full potential or Europe’s agricultural resources in a sustainable manner, allowing us the use of modern technology to raise our production efficiency.”
Corrêa de Barros mentioned the deep frustration on the ability as joint feed and food chain partners to convince the public authorities on the need to urgently adopt a technical solution for solving the zero-tolerance policy on GM-contaminated products. “doing nothing is probably politically correct, but I am sure it is not the most irresponsible solution as our livestock farmer are the ones that have to pay the bill”, he said.

    Residing president Pedro Corrêa de Barros pointed to the real challenge for European agriculture: “We must produce more and better whilst realising the full potential or Europe’s agricultural resources in a sustainable manner, allowing us the use of modern technology to raise our production efficiency.” Corrêa de Barros mentioned the deep frustration on the ability as joint feed and food chain partners to convince the public authorities on the need to urgently adopt a technical solution for solving the zero-tolerance policy on GM-contaminated products. “doing nothing is probably politically correct, but I am sure it is not the most irresponsible solution as our livestock farmer are the ones that have to pay the bill”, he said.

  • Dr Walter Töpner of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer protection (BMELV) and head of Unit 32 (Food safety) elaborated on the developments in the pig sector in Germany, where profits are made again, but the piglet producer still suffers from low margins. Töpner said that the BSE-effects of the eighties needs reviewing and that use of animal protein in the feed has the support of BMELV if cannibalism is avoided. “Current detection methods allow us to distinguish the proteins in the animal proteins,” he said.

    Dr Walter Töpner of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer protection (BMELV) and head of Unit 32 (Food safety) elaborated on the developments in the pig sector in Germany, where profits are made again, but the piglet producer still suffers from low margins. Töpner said that the BSE-effects of the eighties needs reviewing and that use of animal protein in the feed has the support of BMELV if cannibalism is avoided. “Current detection methods allow us to distinguish the proteins in the animal proteins,” he said.

  • Can the EU livestock stay compatible when sustainability is a prerequisite? This subject was discussed by Herman Versteijlen, director Agri Markets (DG Agri) of the European Commission. Versteijlen notices that the price gaps between world market and EU market are closing. He elaborated also on the future milk policy in the EU, noticing that market power of the producers, the farmers, is becoming less and less. “The answer is to set up producer groups to negotiate prices with the dairies and make an exception in agriculture competition law to allow this,” he said. A futures market for dairy product was another suggestion to mitigate price volatility.

    Can the EU livestock stay compatible when sustainability is a prerequisite? This subject was discussed by Herman Versteijlen, director Agri Markets (DG Agri) of the European Commission. Versteijlen notices that the price gaps between world market and EU market are closing. He elaborated also on the future milk policy in the EU, noticing that market power of the producers, the farmers, is becoming less and less. “The answer is to set up producer groups to negotiate prices with the dairies and make an exception in agriculture competition law to allow this,” he said. A futures market for dairy product was another suggestion to mitigate price volatility.

  • Udo Folgart, vice president of the German Farmers Union expressed a farmers opinion on German competition in the EU. “Although prices are high at the moment, the EU cannot do without some sort of safety net in times of crisis, for example extended bank credits or temporary export subsidies.” Folgart also objects the zero-tolerance policy on GMOs. “To stay competitive an unlimited access to the world feed markets is necessary. Economically we cannot afford us to rely on expensive rest markets when minimal traces of GMOs are found in regular feed raw materials.”

    Udo Folgart, vice president of the German Farmers Union expressed a farmers opinion on German competition in the EU. “Although prices are high at the moment, the EU cannot do without some sort of safety net in times of crisis, for example extended bank credits or temporary export subsidies.” Folgart also objects the zero-tolerance policy on GMOs. “To stay competitive an unlimited access to the world feed markets is necessary. Economically we cannot afford us to rely on expensive rest markets when minimal traces of GMOs are found in regular feed raw materials.”

  • When talking about developments in the European market for grains Klaus-Dieter Schumacher, head of the market department of grain trader Alfred C Toepfer International is the man to listen to. Schumacher concluded in his presentation that there not a lot of reasons to see price raises in commodity markets. Also the weaker euro to the dollar implies lower commodity prices. Schumacher criticized speculators on the commodity markets. “Index funds do not need to operate under the same regulations as the commercial parties. This is not a level playing field,” he said.

    When talking about developments in the European market for grains Klaus-Dieter Schumacher, head of the market department of grain trader Alfred C Toepfer International is the man to listen to. Schumacher concluded in his presentation that there not a lot of reasons to see price raises in commodity markets. Also the weaker euro to the dollar implies lower commodity prices. Schumacher criticized speculators on the commodity markets. “Index funds do not need to operate under the same regulations as the commercial parties. This is not a level playing field,” he said.

  • John Wray, director at the United Soybean Board, talked about US soybean production and sustainability. From 1960 to 2000 the EU was the number one market for US soybean exports. More recently US soybeans represent less than 40% of total EU soybean imports. “The main marketing opportunities to expand and sustain our exports of US value-enhanced soy products are IP non-biotech and food grade soybeans, soy concentrates and isolates and high-value and by-pass soybean meal,” Wray said. He also explained why GM-soybeans are sustainable and more environment friendly than non-GM, especially in terms of pesticide use and soil erosion.

    John Wray, director at the United Soybean Board, talked about US soybean production and sustainability. From 1960 to 2000 the EU was the number one market for US soybean exports. More recently US soybeans represent less than 40% of total EU soybean imports. “The main marketing opportunities to expand and sustain our exports of US value-enhanced soy products are IP non-biotech and food grade soybeans, soy concentrates and isolates and high-value and by-pass soybean meal,” Wray said. He also explained why GM-soybeans are sustainable and more environment friendly than non-GM, especially in terms of pesticide use and soil erosion.

  • Fefac invited Keith Kenny, director European supply chains at McDonalds, to highlight what the hamburger chain is doing to enlighten the environment. Rather than People, Planet and Profit McDonalds drives business on Ethical, Environmental and Economic values (see next photo). “Often these values are conflicting with each other,” Kenny admits. McDonalds is increasing its website www.flagshipfarms.eu to show best practices of suppliers that follow the three E’s.

    Fefac invited Keith Kenny, director European supply chains at McDonalds, to highlight what the hamburger chain is doing to enlighten the environment. Rather than People, Planet and Profit McDonalds drives business on Ethical, Environmental and Economic values (see next photo). “Often these values are conflicting with each other,” Kenny admits. McDonalds is increasing its website www.flagshipfarms.eu to show best practices of suppliers that follow the three E’s.

  • McDonalds tries to source and market products following the three E’s.

    McDonalds tries to source and market products following the three E’s.

  • Manager pork of one of Scandinavia’s largest processors Danske Slagterier talked about the perspectives of the European meat sector on the influence of climate change on meat demand. He signaled that the issue of climate change has had an impact on all three levels (global, EU and national), mostly in relation to framework conditions, changed behaviour among key actors and various initiatives that had been started. “However, it has not affected production and consumption – yet!”, he said. “In the near future the issue of climate change will impact differently across the different regions due to framework conditions. It is likely that at some point the issue will alter production and consumption pattern as well.”

    Manager pork of one of Scandinavia’s largest processors Danske Slagterier talked about the perspectives of the European meat sector on the influence of climate change on meat demand. He signaled that the issue of climate change has had an impact on all three levels (global, EU and national), mostly in relation to framework conditions, changed behaviour among key actors and various initiatives that had been started. “However, it has not affected production and consumption – yet!”, he said. “In the near future the issue of climate change will impact differently across the different regions due to framework conditions. It is likely that at some point the issue will alter production and consumption pattern as well.”

  • Anna Flysjö is a PhD student at Arla Foods & Aarhus University in Denmakr. She is a member of the International Dairy Federation and studied the greenhouse gas emissions in milk production and dairy cow feeding. She concluded that in order to improve the carbon footprint of dairy farming the industry needs to get together with scientists. “They should identify areas where it is profitable to work together,” she said. Furthermore the group should follow what internationally happens in standard developments and develop a common methodology and specification for product groups. “On my wish list is also a common feed database, so that everybody works with the same data,” Anna said.

    Anna Flysjö is a PhD student at Arla Foods & Aarhus University in Denmakr. She is a member of the International Dairy Federation and studied the greenhouse gas emissions in milk production and dairy cow feeding. She concluded that in order to improve the carbon footprint of dairy farming the industry needs to get together with scientists. “They should identify areas where it is profitable to work together,” she said. Furthermore the group should follow what internationally happens in standard developments and develop a common methodology and specification for product groups. “On my wish list is also a common feed database, so that everybody works with the same data,” Anna said.

  • Arla Foods climate target is to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% in 2020 and also reduce GHG emissions at agriculture, but it does not know yet by how much.

    Arla Foods climate target is to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% in 2020 and also reduce GHG emissions at agriculture, but it does not know yet by how much.

  • Hugo Stam of raw material trader and supplier Cefetra (turnover 2009: €3 billion, 15.5 million tonnes of which 6 mio tonnes of soy)presented a trader’s view on the round Table of Sustainable Soy. To achieve a sustainable value chain Stam advised to use the knowledge that was accumulated in the GMP+ process. “We need to increase our knowledge and awareness, select the right partners with the right mentality and the right mindset. Furthermore use existing tracking and tracing tools and.... get going. Too often we get stranded in discussions.”

    Hugo Stam of raw material trader and supplier Cefetra (turnover 2009: €3 billion, 15.5 million tonnes of which 6 mio tonnes of soy)presented a trader’s view on the round Table of Sustainable Soy. To achieve a sustainable value chain Stam advised to use the knowledge that was accumulated in the GMP+ process. “We need to increase our knowledge and awareness, select the right partners with the right mentality and the right mindset. Furthermore use existing tracking and tracing tools and.... get going. Too often we get stranded in discussions.”

  • Germany’s largest poultry processor, Paul-Heinz Wesjohann, explained how his company took several efforts to reduce emissions to the current level of 3.2 kg CO2 per kg of broiler meat. “But you have to put that into perspective,” he said. “If the consumer takes his car to go shopping to buy that chicken, the reduction in the production process is offset by the CO2 emission of the car.”

    Germany’s largest poultry processor, Paul-Heinz Wesjohann, explained how his company took several efforts to reduce emissions to the current level of 3.2 kg CO2 per kg of broiler meat. “But you have to put that into perspective,” he said. “If the consumer takes his car to go shopping to buy that chicken, the reduction in the production process is offset by the CO2 emission of the car.”

  • Wolfgang Heer, president of the organised European food and drink industry (CIAA) and also CEO of sugar manufacturer SüdZucker. His subject regarded ensuring competitiveness in the food and drink industry. “There are many firms in the EU that are too small to come up with innovations. Europe is stagnating. Investments go to Asia and the USA.” The EU food and drink companies only invest 0.37% in R&D. He also noted that market share of the three largest retailers per country varies from 40 to 75%. “they have enormous market power, which is detrimental to the bargaining power of farmers,” Heer said.

    Wolfgang Heer, president of the organised European food and drink industry (CIAA) and also CEO of sugar manufacturer SüdZucker. His subject regarded ensuring competitiveness in the food and drink industry. “There are many firms in the EU that are too small to come up with innovations. Europe is stagnating. Investments go to Asia and the USA.” The EU food and drink companies only invest 0.37% in R&D. He also noted that market share of the three largest retailers per country varies from 40 to 75%. “they have enormous market power, which is detrimental to the bargaining power of farmers,” Heer said.

  • In a dynamic and interactive presentation Nutreco CEO Wout Dekker explained how his company anticipated on changes in the market on sustainability. “We used to have a common enemy in food safety, but that subject is pretty much solved. Now society perception and social issues are our common enemy, but these are difficult to tackle,” Dekker said. “Keeping a license to produce is essential. We have to feed and will keep feeding the people, but local commitment is fading. Keeping a local license is the challenge.”
Dekker also noticed that the world would be better off “if all food was produced in Europe, in terms of efficiency.”

    In a dynamic and interactive presentation Nutreco CEO Wout Dekker explained how his company anticipated on changes in the market on sustainability. “We used to have a common enemy in food safety, but that subject is pretty much solved. Now society perception and social issues are our common enemy, but these are difficult to tackle,” Dekker said. “Keeping a license to produce is essential. We have to feed and will keep feeding the people, but local commitment is fading. Keeping a local license is the challenge.” Dekker also noticed that the world would be better off “if all food was produced in Europe, in terms of efficiency.”

  • Jacques du Puy talked about sustainable competitiveness of EU agriculture from the Bayer CropScience perspective. One of the values of Bayer CropScience is to provide a sustainable income to farmers. “But I realize that this income is lower compared to other professions in the EU and also is very volatile.”

    Jacques du Puy talked about sustainable competitiveness of EU agriculture from the Bayer CropScience perspective. One of the values of Bayer CropScience is to provide a sustainable income to farmers. “But I realize that this income is lower compared to other professions in the EU and also is very volatile.”

  • Ron Moore is director of the American Soybean Association and a soybean farmer. Since he uses no-till and herbicide tolerant soybeans on his farm sustainability has increased. “We use less pesticides now and no-till conserves moisture and reduces soil erosion. More nutrients and carbon are kept in the soil.” Moore also said that it is inevitable that GM-soybeans dominate and will further dominate markets. “Reduced development of non-biotech varieties will further diminish good yielding non-GM crops,” he said.

    Ron Moore is director of the American Soybean Association and a soybean farmer. Since he uses no-till and herbicide tolerant soybeans on his farm sustainability has increased. “We use less pesticides now and no-till conserves moisture and reduces soil erosion. More nutrients and carbon are kept in the soil.” Moore also said that it is inevitable that GM-soybeans dominate and will further dominate markets. “Reduced development of non-biotech varieties will further diminish good yielding non-GM crops,” he said.

  • Willem Pening of the EU commission D2 (animal feeds) of DG Sanco is a regular contribuent to Fefac meetings. Penning elaborated on the European Feed regulation 767/2009. Penning said among other things that “if something is fit for human consumption it is also fit for feeding to animals” referring to the animal protein ban.

    Willem Pening of the EU commission D2 (animal feeds) of DG Sanco is a regular contribuent to Fefac meetings. Penning elaborated on the European Feed regulation 767/2009. Penning said among other things that “if something is fit for human consumption it is also fit for feeding to animals” referring to the animal protein ban.

  • The new President of FEFAC is Patrick Vanden Avenne. He is partner and C.E.O. of Vanden Avenne Group in Ooigem, Belgium.

    The new President of FEFAC is Patrick Vanden Avenne. He is partner and C.E.O. of Vanden Avenne Group in Ooigem, Belgium.

  • On the occasion of the XXVth Congress of the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation in Hamburg, the Fefac General Assembly elected its new Praesidium. From left to right: Marek Kumprecht, Trouw Nutrition (CMSO, Czech Republic); Giordano Veronesi, Veronesi (ASSALZOO, Italy); Helen RAINE, ABAgri (AIC, UK); Patrick Vanden Avenne, President (Bemefa, Belgium); Dietrich Schwier, Deutsche Tiernahrung, Cremer Group (DVT, Germany); Aurelio Sebastiá Aguilar,  Deputy President (CESFAC, Spain) 
Not on photo: Adolphe Thomas, Treasurer (SNIA, France), Ad Hectors, Cehave (NEVEDI, The Netherlands) and Torben Harring, DLG (DAKOFO, Denmark)

    On the occasion of the XXVth Congress of the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation in Hamburg, the Fefac General Assembly elected its new Praesidium. From left to right: Marek Kumprecht, Trouw Nutrition (CMSO, Czech Republic); Giordano Veronesi, Veronesi (ASSALZOO, Italy); Helen RAINE, ABAgri (AIC, UK); Patrick Vanden Avenne, President (Bemefa, Belgium); Dietrich Schwier, Deutsche Tiernahrung, Cremer Group (DVT, Germany); Aurelio Sebastiá Aguilar, Deputy President (CESFAC, Spain) Not on photo: Adolphe Thomas, Treasurer (SNIA, France), Ad Hectors, Cehave (NEVEDI, The Netherlands) and Torben Harring, DLG (DAKOFO, Denmark)

  • In the afternoon of Friday 11 June the delegates had the opportunity to take an excursion to either the feed mill of HaBeMa in the Hamburg harbour or go to the plant of feed equipment manufacturer Amandus Kahl in Reinbek, close to Hamburg.

    In the afternoon of Friday 11 June the delegates had the opportunity to take an excursion to either the feed mill of HaBeMa in the Hamburg harbour or go to the plant of feed equipment manufacturer Amandus Kahl in Reinbek, close to Hamburg.

Dick Ziggers

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