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Breizh Algae Tour 2018: Boosting natural defenses, for a better life, Thanks to Algae!

Olmix Group’s annual symposium took place in Berlin, Germany, and shed light on the company’s algae-based biosolutions to produce more and better in a changing world.

Olmix Group wrote another page of the Breizh Algae Tour in Berlin, Germany, where the company hosted its annual symposium in the presence of 400 customers and partners from 51 different countries between the 11th and 14th November.

If last year the event shed light on the scientific and technical research progress on algae and their key role to get a balanced microbiome, the 2018 edition focused on how to boost natural defenses of animals, plants and humans through natural, innovative and environmentally friendly solutions, and on how to move towards a low carbon agri-food chain by reducing the use of food chemicals, chemical fertilizers and pesticides and antibiotics.

Developing circular economy for the agriculture of tomorrow

After a warm opening speech by Mr Hervé Balusson, Olmix Group’s CEO & Founder, the conference programme counted on the participation of several international speakers to discuss some of the major concerning issues and challenges for sustainable agriculture and sustainable husbandry.

“There is a need to go from linear agriculture to circular economy and that is only reachable if we reduce the carbon footprint. For instance, we can produce top level fertilizers not only in terms of agronomy but also in terms of carbon production. These could be based on natural resources such as algae", Mr Marc Le Mercier, from Liger (France), said at the first lecture of the morning.

Mr Hervé Balusson opened the event.

Mr Marc Le Mercier (Liger, France).

However, even with the best fertilizer in the world, humanity might not be able to face issues such as climate change. Indeed, according to Mr Le Mercier, there is a clear necessity to use a new crypto-currency that creates value while respecting the earth as well as ensuring a low-carbon economy:

Decarbonating our life is the key for an alternative economy. We have to bet on energy that is renewable, bio-friendly, and to produce from local resources. Nowadays producers agree with that approach and they are committed to that integrated production that creates local wealth. To achieve this, they will be using a transparent and digital currency known as “clean coin”. This will guarantee products origin while stimulating low-carbon economy".

The long way that producers have to face to move towards economical sustainability requires new respectful strategies, natural alternatives and a clear communication flow between producer, consumer and society. When it comes to sustainable farming and plant care growth, there is no way that would be ever possible without placing soil fertility in the center of the industry:

“Sustainability can only exist when there is economical sustainability and sustainable farming can only exist with a sustainable soil! Nowadays we are using more chemicals for the same production, we are dealing with many environmental and climate issues, there is less biodiversity and a clear resilience of the soil... We have to feed the plant in the center! Let’s move from linear thinking to circular thinking!”, Mr Henk Westerhof (Skylark Foundation, the Netherlands), advised the second presentation of the Breizh Algae Tour.

Mr Henk Westerhof (Skylark Foundation, the Netherlands).

And the same rule can be applied to livestock: reducing the use of antibiotics and bet on natural alternatives is the way to be followed thus opening the path to circular economy. Dr. Ho Hoang Dung, from Viphavet (Vietnam), was clear on this matter:

“In Vietnam antibiotic resistance is an issue of major concern. It is very easy for us to get antibiotics. In Vietnam there are from 50-70% of backyard farms. Farmers just go to the pharmacy and get the medicines they think they need. However, people are now more worried about food safety and they are literally looking for a clean label when they go to the supermarket. Antibiotic-free production is not an option, but a must!”.

And talking about sustainability, that was also the main topic that Mr Wagner Macedo (Brasil Central Negócios Agropecuários, Brazil), the last speaker of the morning, introduced to the audience; with a particular focus on animal protein: ‘How can we use animal protein to feed people with responsibility?’:

"We have to be responsable with consumers and use the feed to grow animals with responsibility. We are responsible for the consumer and we have to make a good and honest appointment between both sides. Healthy environment means healthy animals and healthy animals means healthy humans; it is all about one health!".

Dr. Ho Hoang Dung (Viphavet, Vietnam).

Mr Wagner Macedo ((Brasil Central Negócios Agropecuários, Brazil).

Olmix Group’s specific algae extracts and launch of Algimun®

On the day where Olmix Group aimed to present its latest innovation of its Immunity range, Algimun®, the Breizh Algae Tour offered several high-quality speeches within the afternoon’s technical programme on the complexity of the immune system from theory to practical consequences.

First, it was Dr. Bernd Kaspers, from the University of Munich, Germany, the one to shed light on the two arms of the immune system –innate and adaptive immune system– and how to develop its efficient response against pathogens:

“Immune system has to be faster than pathogens ! That’s why the innate response is so quick ! Adaptive will take more time to build but has a memory to act quickly the following time”. Then, Dr. Maarten de Gussem discussed impaired immunity and its practical implication in the field by highlighting the necessity to always quantify the cost of activating the immune system:

"To have a good performance we need to quantify what the cost of activation is. Immune organs are known to be important and their functioning too, and now we are more interested in the cost of immunity and in how to grow animal faster... So, the rating of the important organs is changing and the gut and its health is more and more looked at!", he said.

Dr. Bernd Kaspers (University of Munich, Germany).

Dr. Maarten de Gussem (Vetworks, Belgium).

“Today Olmix is launching Algimun®, based on a synergistic association of biologically active sulfated polysaccharides extracted from marine algae (Olmix’s MSP®), thanks to innovative Olmix’s technology”

- Ms María García Suárez, For Feed Product Specialist of Olmix Group -

Then, the time had finally come! After a presentation on extraction technology to get the biologically active sulfated polysaccharides from algae (Olmix’s MSP®) by Ms Pi Nyvall Collen, Olmix Scientific director and a short reminder on the first product for immunity to be used in drinking water (Searup, launched in 2013) by Mr Matthieu Le Goff (Olmix Group), Algimun® was about to be officially launched at the Breizh Algae Tour 2018!

Recent research between Olmix Group and INRA (French national public institute for agronomic research) led to the demonstration of MSP® effect on immune mediator modulation in cellular models, including the identification of the metabolic pathways involved in this activation. (Berri et al. 2016 and 2017). This specific extract, originated from green algae was then named MSP®IMMUNITY.  Then, another research study conducted at IBD (Intestinal Biotech Development, France), allowed to identify a red algae extract able to improve gut epithelium integrity by triggering the production of mucins and reinforcing tight junctions. The extract, now named MSP®BARRIER strengthens the first line of defense of animals against pathogens. These two MSP® extracts are included in Algimun®.

“Algimun® has a long-term protection, supports the shift between innate and adaptive immunity and its efficacy has been demonstrated in several scientific trials made in broilers. Its aim is to boost animal defenses during the whole cycle and it is to be used for home-mixers, feed millers, integrators and pre-mixers”, Ms García said.

Ms María García Suárez (Olmix Group).

Ms María García Suárez (Olmix Group).

Algimun®…

  • Incorporated into feed.
  • Reinforces animals’ natural defenses.
  • More resistance to everyday challenges.
  • Optimizes growth performance and improves profitability.

To close the very first day of conferences at the Breizh Algae Tour, the event counted on the testimony of Ms Florence Mayette (Nutréa, France) on the positive results of Algimun® in broilers when used in the field at large scale: “Algimun® use enabled to gain 0,5€/m2 or 3€ct per bird”.

The session finished by some closing remarks by Mr Michel Guillaume (Olmix Group). Besides, Olmix Group organized two technical workshops on Plant Care and Human Care on producing quality and quantity while reducing the environmental footprint and on the new collaborative R&D programs in different fields of human nutrition and health, respectively.

Plant Care Field Trip and EuroTier 2018

The second day of the Breizh Algae Tour put the focus on Plant Care, and many guests headed to the Gollwitzer Agrar farm in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany, to discuss some of the hottest topics concerning the Plant Care industry such as improving soils fertility, the potential of seaweeds to stimulate crop production, circular economy at the level of the farm, or water quality.

The event closed on the 14th November at EuroTier 2018 in Hannover, one of the most important trade fairs in Europe, where the company welcomed many visitors, customers and partners at its booth B12 at Hall 23 and hosted a special presentation on Algimun®.

Participants of the Breizh Algae Tour 2018.