Drip Feed: What news have you missed over the festive period?

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/stevanovicigor
© GettyImages/stevanovicigor

Related tags: African swine fever, China, Soy, Korea

Reuters reported on Christmas Day that China had detected the African swine fever (ASF) virus in protein powders derived from pork blood and manufactured by a Tianjin-based company.

The incident occurred despite the fact that, in September, China had banned the use of food waste and pig blood as a raw material in the production of feed for pigs, in a bid to halt the spread of ASF, noted Reuters​.

China’s General Administration of Customs released a statement confirming the find.

The protein products were said to be produced by a subsidiary of Tianjin Baodi Agri & Tech Co Ltd. The raw material for the 73.93 tons of contaminated protein products, mainly used in animal feed, came from 12 slaughterhouses in Tianjin, claimed the administration.

There have 90 cases of ASF reported in China since the first outbreak there in August.

Soy benchmarking

FEFAC and the International Trade Centre (ITC) announced late last month that the Louis Dreyfus Company’s program for sustainable agriculture has been successfully benchmarked against the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines through the ITC benchmarking tool.

Including that standard, FEFAC said there are now 18 soy programs that meet the EU feed industry’s criteria on responsible soy production.

Christophe Callu-Merite, chair of the FEFAC sustainability committee, said the continued benchmarking applications by soy program owners showed the growing acceptance of the FEFAC soy sourcing guidelines by the soy value chain.

Aboitiz expanding

Philippines company, Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc (AEV), is looking to invest up to $200m in the next two to three years to expand and upgrade the factories of Asia-Pacific feed manufacturer, Gold Coin, according to a piece in the Philippine Daily Inquirer​.

AEV’s food subsidiary, Pilmico International, signed a share purchase agreement with British Virgin Islands-based Golden Springs Group Ltd. (GSG) for a 75% equity interest in Gold Coin in July last year. The deal valued the Asian livestock feed producer at $550m.

AEV chief financial official (CFO), Manuel Lozano, said the group was projecting to make additional investment of $100m to $200m, depending on actual requirements, to expand Gold Coin and make the business more efficient, according to the local media outlet.

Set up in Singapore in 1953, Gold Coin is now one of the largest animal feed producers in the Asia Pacific, operating across 11 countries. It has 20 production plants, producing either aqua feed or livestock feed.

On the asset trail

Vets Plus, Inc, a US manufacturer of animal health and nutrition products, has acquired Merrick’s Inc, a producer of boluses, tablets, powders and electrolytes for the livestock sector.

The Wisconsin company reported that Merrick’s would operate as a subsidiary under the name Merrick’s Animal Health.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are experiencing rapid growth as a company and see Merrick’s as a great addition to our product offerings and manufacturing capacity. With the addition of 66,000 square feet of production and warehouse space at the Wonewoc plant, Vets Plus now has over 350,000 square feet of production and warehouse space,”​ said Vets Plus president, David Nelson.

Also in acquisition news, the South Korean feed additive company, Easy Bio, has entered the US market through buying Iowa based compound feed and grain producer, DFS Oskaloosa.

DFS is a mid-sized company, and located in the heart of the Corn Belt. It has annual feed production capacity of around 500,000 metric tons. Its feed and grain sales in the 2018 fiscal year were reportedly $100m.

Easy Bio said it would look to establish a real-time analytic system for grain purchases, trade, quality management, and logistics, and to simultaneously connect this data with its group companies.

It said the deal would also allow it introduce its feed additives, currently exported to 40 countries, into DFS feed products, foreseeing expansion of sales for both businesses.

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