Drip Feed: Round-up of stories from the week

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages
© GettyImages
We track new plant developments as far apart as Tasmania and Austria, and we find out about the winners of an agriculture and food start-up accelerator initiative in London, as well as an acquisition of an animal health player by a UK agribusiness group.

Vitamin A plant expansion

Chemical giant, BASF, said it has started the expansion of its vitamin A plant at its Ludwigshafen site, in Germany.

With this move, first announced in 2016, BASF will increase its annual capacity of pure vitamin A by 1,500 metric tons. It is already is one the world’s leading manufacturers of vitamin A, which is used by the human and animal nutrition industries as well as the personal care sector.

BASF’s existing vitamin A plant at the Ludwigshafen site started operations in 1970.

The company said that, in total, about 600 machines and devices, 4,000 pipelines and 5,000 measuring points would be integrated into the process control system until the planned commissioning at the end of 2020.  In addition, around 20 new jobs will be created.

Biomin breaks ground on new premix production site

Austrian feed additives producers, Biomin, said it is building a new facility in the state of Upper Austria for the production of  natural, antibiotic-free mineral feed and premixes, targeted at the swine, poultry, and dairy and beef cattle sectors.

The construction phase will take 12 months, with the new plant set to be operational by December 2019.

Markus Edlinger, MD, Biomin, said the new Austrian plant would be “one of the world’s most modern mineral feed production sites.”

BIOMIN groundbreaking Haag am Hausruck_Original_152875
Groundbreaking on new Biomin premix and mineral site in Upper Austria

Fish feed plant taking shape in Tasmania 

Australia’s Ridley Corporation said its new extrusion plant located in Westbury, Tasmania is advancing on schedule with the main structure now beginning to take shape.  

The teams have finalized the ground services, bulk earth and civil works, with equipment deliveries from local and international suppliers now underway. Further construction and equipment installation will take place over the remainder of the year, with commissioning expected in the first half of 2019, said the feed manufacturer.

Ridley said it is also in the process of finalizing recruitment plans for the project.

The new facility will manufacture and supply feed primarily to the salmonid industry in Australia and New Zealand, as well as other aquaculture and extruded feed users in Australia.

The company received AUS $2m in grant funding from the Tasmanian Government to support the project.

Ridley plant tasmania
Build of new Ridley Corporation fish feed plant getting underway down under

M&A activity in UK feed sector

UK agribusiness giant, Carr’s Group PLC, has bought animal health business, Animax Ltd, for £8.5m (US$ 11.1m).

Carr's said the acquisition would enhance the group’s position in the global animal health and livestock supplementation market.

“This acquisition is in line with our stated strategy of developing our offering in the growing livestock specialist nutrition market both in the UK and internationally,”​ said Tim Davies, Carr's chief executive.

He said Animax’s portfolio was highly complementary to Carr’s global feed block business.

london foodbytes
Winning teams celebrating at Rabobank's Foodbytes! event in London last week

Accolade for crop waste to feed start-up

Biokind, a feed protein start-up, was selected as one of three winners at a London event under Rabobank’s accelerator initiative, Foodbytes!

Rui Yan Lee, Biokind co-founder, said the event gave the company quality connections to investors and potential partners.

Some 20 food and agriculture startups had to take to the stage to present game-changing solutions for the global challenges facing food production, presenting to a panel of judges and a full house of corporates and investors.

Biokind, along with Rootwave and Mimica, were awarded the top three accolades for their products and technologies offering alternatives to animal feed, herbicides and expiry date labeling, respectively.

The Biokind concept is that nutrients from crop waste can be converted into a highly concentrated protein product for aquaculture and livestock feed. It said its natural fermentation process releases 50% less CO2, and the final product contains no toxins or feed inhibitors.

The winning startups will benefit from mentorship, industry connections and a support network to take their businesses to the next level. Dairy Crest will guide them on brand expertise, whilst Watson Farley & Williams will offer legal consulting. The winners will also get the opportunity to pitch at Rabobank’s European Client Event in May 2019 in Ireland. 

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