Victam Asia 2006

by Arvin Donley
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Three-day conference offers educational, business opportunities for members of the region’s feed and grain industries.

Victam Asia 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand attracted nearly 4,000 visitors from the Asia/Pacific region and beyond, eclipsing the previous attendance record of 3,000 set at Victam Asia 2002.

The region’s leading grain and feed industry convention, held March 8-10, was highlighted by educational sessions that addressed issues relating to aquafeed, feed safety and food hygiene policy in the livestock industry and using tapioca as a feed ingredient.

A technical conference organized by the Thai Department of Livestock and Development and Thai Tapioca Trade Board drew about 180 delegates.

During the event’s opening ceremony, Dr. Chaweewan Leowijuk, deputy director general of the livestock and development department, said having the event in Thailand showed the importance of the country’s agriculture industry as an exporter and a center of excellence for feed and food production.

In addition, technical seminars were conducted by the following equipment manufacturers:

•Brilliant Alternatives Inc., which talked about automatically moving NIR generated data into a feed formulation database
•Wenger Manufacturing, Inc., which discussed processing considerations for producing premium pet foods and treats via extrusion
•Van Aarsen International, which shared information about flexible feed production.

On display at the trade show were new products used in the production of animal feed, aquafeed and pet foods, as well as ingredients and additives. Equipment, services and ingredients for rice and grain processing, flour milling and material handling and storage were also showcased.

The trade show at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok featured 128 exhibitors, more than twice the number that exhibited at Victam Asia 2002.

Victam organizers have announced that the event will be held again in Bangkok during the spring of 2008.

Held in conjunction with the Victam event was the Optimize for Profit Feed Technology Workshop.

Dr. Juadee Pongmaneerat, senior expert on aquatic animal nutrition at the Thai Department of Fisheries, told the more than 153 workshop attendees that the number of feed mills in Thailand producing aquatic feeds has increased by 21 since 2002.

Pongmaneerat said the increase in aquatic feed manufacturing has been driven by the bird flu epidemic, which has raised demand for aquatic animals. In addition, because of drug and chemical residue problems, farmers who culture freshwater shrimp have turned to using more commercial feed instead of on-farm mixed feed.

Nearly 150 feed facilities have been registered as meeting the Feed Quality Act for aquatic feeds with the Department of Fisheries, including premix, supplemental feed, concentrate feed and complete aquafeed. There are 64 complete feed manufacturing plants: 31 shrimp feed mills, 15 fish feed mills and 18 mills that produce both fish and shrimp feed.

The Department of Fisheries has developed a system using Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) standards, Pongmaneerat said. As of March, six aquatic feed mills in Thailand had been accredited according to the GMP standard and three according to the HACCP standard. She noted that the Codex Alimentarius Commission is in the process of establishing a Code of Practice for Good Animal Feeding and is encouraging Thailand, a food exporting country, to use the same standards.

Pongmaneerat said Thailand must inevitably develop and enhance its competitive capability to eliminate trade barriers.

"Feed and materials must be qualified and safe for consumption," she said. "Therefore feed should be manufactured according to established hygiene and quality standards."

About 330,000 tonnes of marine shrimp are expected to be produced in 2006, down slightly from 340,000 tonnes in 2005. Freshwater shrimp and Nile tilapia are Thailand’s main and most important aquatic animals.

Pongmaneerat estimated that 30-40% of Thai aquaculture expenses come from the cost of feed.

"While commercial feed normally used in intensive and semi-intensive culture systems is cost effective, they reduce profitability," she said. "All feeds need profiled and inexpensive ingredients to reduce production costs."

Victam International 2007 will be held May 8-10 at Jaarbeurs Halls in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The theme for next year’s event is "Optimize Profit Through Nutrition and Technology."

For registration and hotel information, visit