VIV Europe 2018 Live! Big data, feed fraud, animal health and the shape of things to come

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Credit: GettyImages
Credit: GettyImages
The topic of big or ‘smart’ data and how it can optimize poultry production but also feed manufacturing and farming in general loomed large at VIV Europe 2018 in Utrecht.

One conference session saw Thomas Norton from KU Leuven in Belgium provide some practical examples of how smart data can enhance poultry feeding, monitoring and control, while George Beers from Wageningen University, who is coordinating the EU IoT project, Internet of Food & Farm 2020 (IoF2020), debriefed the audience on achievements to date. He also revealed there is a new open call for additional IoF2020 projects with an emphasis on Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, at a Porphyrio run event, again on big data, we heard from ForFarmers’s Joost Sparla on the likely impact of such technology on the feed mill and how that will translate to enhanced on-farm production. 

Feed fraud and the fight against it was another topic that VIV Europe 2018 tackled, with Trouw Nutrition talking us through its risk based approach to ingredient buying.

Saskia vatern Ruth from Wageningen University told the audience about both the motivation required and the type of technical opportunities that need to exist to enable fraud in the feed to food chain. GMP+ International, who ran the session, talked about the need for awareness building on feed fraud and how an ‘open culture’ in the workplace will help reduce it.

The circular economy and the role animal by-products play in that was a theme taken up by speakers at a Darling Ingredients hosted conference. Hans Blonk, consultant, looked at the LCA of animal fats and meals, while CEO of Agrifirm, Dick Hordijk, stressed the folly of following a consumer led farming and food production model at that session. 

Animal health was, of course, also on the agenda at the Utrecht show. The EU funded project, PROHEALTH, held a fascinating session on the results of its work to date covering genetic biomarker development for efficient disease diagnosis, control of poultry diseases, and poultry targeted probiotic research, among other topics.

How to enhance pig gut health in a more enlightened way was the focus of a talk from Anpario’s Heidi Hall. In the same vein, FeedNavigator caught up with Ghent University’s Jeroen Dewulf, the author of the recently published, 8 myths on antibiotic resistance disproved, ​to get his insights on reducing antibiotic use in animal husbandry.

The potential for poultry production in Africa was another hot topic at the industry gathering.

The show floor was buzzing and, while the numbers are not in yet, the organizers of VIV Europe 2018 said they were expecting in and around 25,000 people from 120 countries to attend. Some 43 countries were represented by the exhibiting companies, they added.

Our full video and text reports from the show will be published next week.

For now, here is a flavor of the action from VIV Europe 2018.


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