Asia Pacific feed event bigger than ever

by Meyer Sosland
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At 10 a.m., March 5 the first visitors walked through the doors of the biggest Victam Asia show ever organized since its launch in 1991. More than 100 exhibitors showed equipment and ingredients as a new event, Feed Ingredients and Additives Asia Pacific (FIAAP), joined Victam Asia in the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

It was a huge success according to the general manager of the two co-located exhibitions, Henk van de Bunt. "We had over 20 percent more visitors than two years ago," he said. "The first day was good, particularly in the afternoon, but the second day was really the best with everyone happily exhausted at 6 p.m."

As usual at trade shows, the number of visitors was smaller on the third day, but van de Bunt said the quality was high. The Thai feed association held its conference on Friday morning, so in the afternoon Thai feed industry decision-makers were at the exhibition.

"We had important visitors on the last day, such as senior management from Charoen Pokphand (CP), which is the world leader in feed with 22 million tonnes," van de Bunt said.

In response to growing demand from the feed industry in Asia and the region’s increasing affluence, supply companies invested in bigger booths than in 2006, when the last Victam Asia was held, which gave them the opportunity to exhibit more equipment. They also invested in greater staff presence, as more than 900 people were in the trade show booths.

The feed and grain industries are booming in Asia Pacific, and Victam Asia is the only exhibition dedicated to feed, petfood, aquafeed and grain storage and handling. In 2006, the avian flu outbreak cast a shadow over the event, but the feed industry is recovering. Shining examples are Indian poultry production, which is projected to grow 12% to 15% annually and the aquafeed industry, which is trending upward, notably in Vietnam.

The growth of this sector was reflected in the show, where many exhibitors were dedicated to aquafeed production technology and feed ingredients for aquatic species. Extruders were displayed by Wenger, Extru-Tech, Clextral and the Muyang Group, which showcased its 15-tph, 400-kW extruder – the biggest of them all, according to Dr. Wu Jinpu, the company’s chief engineer.

Apart from floating fish feed, extruders can now also be used successfully for sinking feeds for shrimp, as Joe Kearns, aquafeed manager for Wenger Manufacturing, told delegates at the third Aquafeed Horizon Conference, an event organized by that was held alongside the exhibitions.

Strong interest in this sector was evident in the registration numbers for this specialized meeting. Close to 160 delegates heard Dr. Juadee Pongmaneerat from the Thai Department of Fisheries explain that Thai aquaculture has become more sustainable, environmentally friendly and hygienic. She detailed exhaustive measures that have been undertaken to ensure quality production from the country’s 155 aquafeed mills and the entire aquaculture production chain.

Asia Pacific is heavily dependent on imported raw materials such as fishmeal and other animal proteins. The large variability of the sources of raw material and the demand for more sustainable production for both export and domestic markets explains the strong demand for analysis, and thus laboratory and on-line systems to control quality.

All of this translated into a strong interest in companies such as Foss, NIROnline and Perten showing qualitycontrol products and free conferences on quality that were well attended. Norvidan’s solution for measuring pellet temperature at the die drew much attention as did mycotoxin control products.

Ingredient companies have always exhibited at Victam shows, both in Asia and the Netherlands, but equipment has traditionally held the spotlight.

FIAAP strongly encouraged more ingredient and additive suppliers to attend this year’s event. They represented a broad cross section: from raw materials, such as fish meal for aquafeed from Sopropeche and Omega Protein, to commodities at Agniel Commodities, to additives from companies such as Advanced Enzyme Technology, Biomin and Angel Yeast from China.

This development was supported by a one-day conference about feed ingredients and additives. More than 200 delegates filled the conference room to capacity, and in compliance with safety regulations, the organizers,, reluctantly turned people away at the door. "We must have had a hundred people who had hoped to register on-site," a spokesperson from said

Delegates heard that the strict regulations applied in the European Union are starting to impact Asia, both for exporters like Thailand’s poultry sector and domestically, where biosecurity is much needed in this time when avian flu is a threat.

Market analysts Frost & Sullivan concluded that the future of the animal feed additives market in Asia will be in nonantiobiotic growth promoters. Some new ingredients may be seen in the region to cope with the higher demand for protein, such as krill derivatives, as presented by Dimitri Sclabos, general manager, Tharos Ltd., Chile, or ento-protein, made from insects, as explained by Ernest Papadoyianis, co-founder, president and CEO of Neptune Industries, Inc.

And here again technology will help. To face the shortage and thus the increasing price of animal proteins, Amandus Kahl and Hosokawa Alpine announced their first joint development.

For Alexander Auer, sales manager-Asia for Hosokawa Micron, and Olaf Naehring, Kahl’s senior area manager-Asia/Pacific, it was natural to exhibit together and, for the first time, to explain how to purify each important fraction of peas and other vegetables rich in protein.

"We use a technology that is already well known in bakery production: fine grinding and classification. As raw material prices climb higher and higher, it is important to explore every solution to utilize their full potential," Auer said.

Kahl and Hosokawa are working together to exploit each of their competencies. "The two parts (of the cereal or pulse) will find their market; the starch is in strong demand in chemical, paper and biofuel production. The proteins will find their natural way into aquafeed," Auer said. This system, which was presented for the first time at an exhibition, is already under development in Europe, and Auer is confident it will find its industrial place in Asia in the next 12 months, since a lot of very good contacts in aquafeed production were made by the companies during the show

Storage and handling solutions were not forgotten and booths were also well attended. Miguel Smurawski, area sales manager for Spain-based company, Prado, explained: "We came back to Victam Asia after eight years of absence. We are very conscious of the enormous Asian market and our return has already proved itself to be a very good one. We have made a lot of contacts and taken the decision to create a more organized presence in the region, with a distributor.

"We hope we will be doing as much as the 320,000-tonne-capacity silos we built three years ago for rice storage some 1,000 kilometers north of Bangkok."

The same optimism was found at the Vigan booth. For Jocelyne Levêque, sales manager of the Belgian firm specializing in port equipment and ship loaders/unloaders, Asia is the place to be, the real place for expansion. The firm exports nearly 98% of its production.

One of the questions facing international companies is whether its best to have distributors or their own offices in Asia. Buhler AG, Uzwil, Switzerland, announced that it is now building its machines for Asian markets in Asia. Stolz (now part of De Smet group) also has a joint venture to produce part of their machines in Asia. Whatever the strategy, the general opinion is that you need to move faster. Even in the ingredients sector, the ideas are numerous. For example, Novus announced two agreements to expand in Asia Pacific: one in aquaculture, with the building of an aqua research facility in Vietnam’s Nong Lam University campus, the other in poultry, with a joint research agreement with Bombay Veterinary College.

Victam Asia and FIAPP closed their doors at 5 p.m. March 7. It is hoped that the meeting will return in two years, but the Asian industry must wait for that decision to be announced.

Yanne Boloh is a freelance journalist based in France and a writer for Ku’upau Consulting, a specialist technical and communications consulting company for the feed industries. Suzi Fraser Dominy is Ku’upau’s principal and is also president of For more information, contact