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Focus on Feed at EuroTier 2012

18 October 2012, at 2:56pm

GERMANY - Visitors to EuroTier 2012 will, for the first time, be able to see the variety and range of the raw materials used in the animal feed industry, located in a special focus area.

Accounting for some 60 to 70 per cent of animal production costs, feed plays an indisputably significant role in animal production. Among the range of inputs required for livestock production, quality feed is by far the single most important variable determining the success and profitability of milk, meat and egg production.

European regulations require that feed should fulfill certain quality requirements which include full traceability and accurate labelling. Feed manufacturers must operate according to harmonised feed hygiene standards. This requires that good hygiene practices are carried out across all levels of agricultural production, starting from feed production at the farm level. The availability, quality and value for money of feedstuffs exert a major influence on the cost efficiency of animal husbandry, animal health, and the product quality of products of animal origin. Moreover the conversion of feed nutrients into animal products impacts considerably on the environment.

Feed Gallery at EuroTier 2012

Visitors to EuroTier 2012 will, for the first time, be able to see for themselves the variety and range of the raw materials used in the animal feed industry, located in a special focus area. The most important 600 feed ingredients listed in the EU feed law and the German positive list will be presented in a “Feed Gallery” where their quality and origin will be portrayed.

In addition, selected current questions concerning feed security, feed quality and feed safety of raw materials will be examined in depth.

A further segment of the focus area will demonstrate how the nutrient availability of raw materials can be improved by means of hydrothermal treatment to give improved animal performance, and how with the aid of data, information processing and processing technology, tailor made and customized feed rations and complete diets can be made from the broad ranging feed ingredients data base.

The Feed Gallery Special will allow knowledgeable visitors to become acquainted with new and unusual feedstuffs, as well as to find answers to their own questions regarding the quality and suitability of certain feeds and feed ingredients.

Topic areas

The Feed Gallery are divided into three main topic areas:

  • Feed materials are listed according to their content.
  • Feed security and supply in Europe are presented along with strategies and feed alternatives
  • Processing of feed through hydrothermic treatment and fermentation is presented. It wil also be possible to see how feed rations and mixed feeds are produced from basic feed sources and ingredients

As the world’s foremost international trade show focused on animal production and nutrition, EuroTier 2012 warmly welcomes all practitioners to explore the world of feed, its nutritional value, efficiency and welfare and ecological impact, at the Feed Gallery Hall 17 stand 17.B02.

The Feed Gallery will focus on raw materials. Elsewhere at EuroTier additives and other feed issues are addressed through exhibitors in the feed area located in halls 14/15, 16 and 17. The following background information provides an insight into current topics within the area of feed additives.

Growth enhancers

With the ban on antibiotic growth promoters for non-prophylactic uses in the EU, research focus has increasingly shifted towards the antimicrobial role of feed additives in keeping animals disease-free and healthy. Research has uncovered the prophylactic properties of micro-organisms and plant-derived compounds that improve the health status of animals. Some of these, such as probiotics, improve and strengthen the gut health of animals by encouraging the multiplication of beneficial micro-flora. Others, such as acidifiers and organic acids also improve gut health , thereby boosting animal performance.

Mycotoxin contamination of feedstuffs is an issue that can lead to infertility and poor performance, hence feedstuffs are treated with mycotoxin binders to combat this problem.

Environmental quality

Besides aiding digestion in the gut and preserving the quality of feed raw materials, feed additives may also be used to assist in the manufacture and formulation of feed. Certain feed additives have also been proven to reduce the energy loss through methane emissions particularly in ruminants and pigs, which enhances environmental quality.

Stringent Testing

Overall, the correct feed additives are important for meeting the nutritional needs of animals and contribute directly to animal welfare. One thing is clear: quality feed additives lead to quality animal products. Regardless of their specific use, all feed additives and functional ingredients must undergo stringent tests and assessments according to EU feed regulations.

Three criteria, namely the safety, quality and efficiency of the product must be fulfilled before it can be released into the market. The safety principle ensures that not only should EU-approved additives be safe for the animals' direct consumption, but also for those involved in handling them and ultimately, the end-consumers of the animal product.

Carbon footprint

Not only does feed add to the bulk of costs, it is also contributes to approximately 70 per cent of the carbon footprint arising from meat production from monogastric animals such as poultry and pigs (FAO, 2009). This necessitates precise feed formulation that not only meets the nutritional needs of animals but also minimises the negative environmental impacts from animal production.

There is therefore immense scope for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in animal production through improved feed efficiency and animal nutrition, a trend that will continue to drive the animal production sector in Europe and throughout the world for years to come.

Research-driven

Research into animal nutrition and health is increasingly uncovering new applications for feed additives as well as potential areas for improved feed efficiency. As feedstuffs such as corn, soybean and fishmeal are produced from natural resources, livestock production that optimises the use of these raw materials while developing viable alternatives will continue to be key business drivers for feed enterprises.

Mitigating the environmental impact of animal production should not be the sole responsibility of the feed industry alone. According to the European Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC), a holistic approach requires collaborations with partners of the feed industry in the upstream and downstream supply chain, including producers, traders and finance representatives. Responsible supply and sourcing of key feedstuffs worldwide is crucial to improving the long-term sustainability of livestock production as well as ensuring accountability and securing food safety along the entire supply chain.