The Marina Bay Sands and adjacent conference complex in Singapore was chosen for the fifth Biomin World Nutrition Forum, held from 10-13 October. It was the first time the event was organised outside of Europe. Close to 800 participants from 75 countries found their way to South East Asia to be informed about animal nutrition.
By Dick Ziggers (*written shortly before his untimely death)
In the exotic environment of Singapore, Austrian company Biomin succeeded in attracting a diverse mix of executives from the feed industry and animal husbandry business, as well as from the academic field and members of the press from all over the world. The theme for the conference ‘NutriEconomics – Balancing global nutrition & productivity: People – Performance – Profit – Planet’. Characterising the World Nutrition Forum (WNF) from the start were the talks about the future and not products.
For the first time in the history of Biomin, a life cycle analysis was conducted for the entire WNF event. All emissions produced by the participants’ travel, consumption of electricity and food, and local transportation, were included. The company has become the first in the feed additive industry to receive the ISO 14040 certification, which certifies the amount of CO2emitted due to its industrial activity. With this strict external certification process, the organisation aims to reduce the carbon footprint over time. “This certification does not include the level of carbon reductions from the use of our feed additives,” said Biomin’s founder and owner Erich Erber. “Thanks to the NutriEconomic metrics, we can demonstrate the reduction of carbon and at the same time, the economic returns possible from the use of these products. Through this, we can prove that the feed industry can earn profits and be good corporate citizens at the same time.”
Rising prices of raw materials
“The cheap times are over,” said Erber in his opening speech. It is foreseen that raw materials remain higher priced. “We are entering a new era called the ‘age of scarcity’. This means that low cost and readily available commodities will be a thing of the past. The answer to this change lies in the innovative use of materials as well as better utilisation. This can be achieved through smart feed additives such as enzymes, and improved genetics in crop commodities as well as in animals. The name of the game is ‘feed efficiency rate’ or FER, where more output should be produced from any given level of input,” he said.
Corresponding with the four P’s, the forum was subdivided into four themes covering People, Performance, Profit and Planet. Each theme was elaborated with a number of speeches. On the People subject, Doris and John Naisbitt, of the China Institute in Tianjin, China, said that there will be a new bi-polar world order of dominance of the US and China. They also estimate that annual global consumption in 2025 will reach $30 trillion from just $12 trillion now. On the Performance subject professor Ravi Ravindran of Massey University in New Zealand elaborated on the genetic potential of broilers, which due to several reasons still has not been reached. As an example he mentioned the Ross 308 broiler which in 2022 will grow to 2.3 kg in 34 days with an FCR of 1.37. Currently in New Zealand male broilers already reach 2 kg bodyweight in 28-30 days with an FCR of 1.4.The Profit subject was covered with presentations on mycotoxins and their detoxification possibilities.
Planet was covered with a presentation by Franz Waxenecker, Biomin’s director of development and innovation, who explained the NutriEconomics, a strategy that brings together the concepts of nutrition and life sciences with business and profit, for a sustainable future in animal production. The forum was further enriched with 110 poster presentations, which gave an overview of the current level of science accompanying the company’s products.