Reflecting back on 2015 by Chris Jackson, Export Manager UK TAG As we move forward into another year I would like to wish all of our readers a very happy and prosperous New Year. Reflecting back on 2015, a year that has seen me hugely privileged in visiting many countries around South East Asia, Australia, China, Europe, India and the USA. This has helped me gain a greater understanding of the vastly different farming techniques and systems, ranging in diversity from industrial-scale, fully-integrated business to subsistence farming. Seeing fully-organic systems through to production techniques rely on modern fertilisers, sprays and medicines to achieve maximum outputs. It is within all of these farming businesses that food production begins and is the first stage of the production of food that is both wholesome and safe for consumption. As more and more people move away from their agricultural roots and into the world’s larger cities, increasing pressure is brought to bear on the farming population of the world to feed them with safe, uncontaminated and nutritious products. Following Europe’s example, I am pleased to see that the USA has finally banned the routine use of antibiotics and growth promoters in their pig industry, in some other countries this issue remains on-going. Of course it is not just livestock farming that has to develop systems that can effectively and most importantly, profitably produce food with minimum use of chemicals that can be detrimental to human health, but all of the crop and vegetable production. Once the food, be it wheat, rice and all crops, vegetables and livestock, is produced then it has to be got to the consumer. In some countries that I have visited up to 40 percent of 24 | January 2016 - Milling and Grain
food produced is wasted either through poor infrastructure, storage or handling techniques, or a combination of all of these factors; meaning that food has deteriorated to a point that it is not fit for purpose. In these counties, from my observations, their Governments are keen to tackle problems with large-scale investments in infrastructure, roads, ports and airports. Reducing the losses has to be the first of our industries many challenges for this coming year. If we can improve on food distribution then we achieve many goals for our global industry, reduction in cost to consumers and increased profits for our farmers. Once the infrastructure is in place then it’s down to the farming fraternity to take full advantage of the facilities and from the resilience that I have seen world wide of farmers. I am sure they will increase the amount of food that they can get to market and for production they will continue to use every new technique that comes available to them. Recently, in Paris the world came together to discuss the effects of global warming where much is said about the industrial giants of the world causing long-term problems. I am sure that there will be no easy fix to these problems, however, farmers worldwide can help considerably in their own way and are already doing so by producing more with less, using for instance improved genetics and feed production techniques. As we move forward into 2016 our challenges are producing increasing amounts of safe food for the world with a decreasing global farming population. From my travels in 2015 I am convinced that farming is the only industry that our world cannot manage without, and that using science and practical skills this coming year will see farmers livelihoods improved. Again I want to wish you all a Very Happy New Year @AgrictecExports
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company have announced a definitive agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger of equals. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company would be named DowDuPont and have a combined market capitalisation of approximately US$130 billion at announcement. The parties intend to subsequently pursue a separation of DowDuPont into three independent, publicly traded companies through tax-free spinoffs. This would occur as soon as feasible, which is expected to be 18-24 months following the closing of the merger, subject to regulatory and board approval. Following the closing of the transaction, DowDuPont will be dual headquartered in Midland, Michigan and Wilmington, Delaware.
Retsch, world leading supplier of lab equipment for sample preparation and characterization of solids, has given its website a new, fresh look. The design is characterised by large graphic elements and a very clear structure. Thanks to the improved menu navigation visitors easily find the information they are looking for with only a few mouse clicks. The website will shortly be available in responsive design optimised for mobile devices. In addition to product information, news and events the Retsch website also features an application data base with a huge selection of test reports as well as articles and white papers on a variety of applications for download. Retsch has also published a 100-page general catalogue on the complete range of milling, sieving and assisting equipment. The catalogue contains a selection of application examples from the most important industries and offers a wealth of background information on milling and sieving technology. See the new website at www.retsch.com
The January 2016 edition of the Milling and Grain