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Olmix American Seminar 2018: Blue biotechnology for the future of animal farming

Held in Riviera Nayarit from 28-30 November, the second edition of the Olmix American Seminar highlighted how innovation, circular economy and technology coming from the sea will help develop new, respectful and sustainable animal production strategies.

If last year Olmix Group hosted the first Olmix American Seminar in São Paulo, Brazil, there was no better place than Mexico, where the company has recently strengthened its distribution network, to hold the second edition of this very event along with more than 100 customers, partners and professional experts from the animal industry.

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, venue at the Pacific Coast of Mexico, was the best possible scenario not only to discuss the trending topics in the field of animal health, nutrition and welfare in Latin America, but also to share the latest strategies that Olmix Group has come up with through research to move towards a new way of production by making the most of blue biotechnology.

“We are very proud of the development of Olmix Group in Mexico. In ten years we have achieved many good things in the country and we will continue betting on algae and marine resources to bring new innovative solutions to our partners and final producers to optimize productions while better taking care of both animals and humans. We are very happy too, to host this seminar in collaboration with our Mexican distributor”, Mr Edgar Chi Moreno, Olmix Group’s Area Manager in Northern Latin America, said during the opening speech on the first day of the seminar.

Mr Alberto Celis (Engormix).

Mr Edgar Chi Moreno (Olmix Group).

Discovering the potential of algae

Moderated by Mr Alberto Celis, from Engormix, the conference programme opened on the second day of the event, where several international experts raised many questions around the potential of resources that come from the sea to develop circular economy and ‘to produce more with less’.

"A new and respectful way of production is possible. Olmix Group is looking for alternative solutions to chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics by using specific properties of algae. For us, innovation is the key: we discover new things about algae every day! We have proved that they are a real solution through research and also by working with scientific partners. We have built our own unique complete macroalgae chain, from the resource to the final product and even till the final consumer”, Mr Sébastien Balusson, Olmix Group’s Deputy CEO, explained.

In fact, thanks to different partnerships, the Group has been able to create, produce and launch its own clean-label brand of products, called SAGA (Solutions Alternatives Grâce aux Algues, which means ‘Alternative solutions, Thanks to Algae’ in English), which includes broilers, turkey and pigs raised without antibiotics or cereals and wine produced with no fungicides: a philosohy that is in line with circular economy principles.

Sébastien Balusson (Olmix Group).

“The main goal is to produce more food using less resources and this means using different resources! And, of course, seaweeds are the ones to be taken into account. In a nutshell:

  • We have to increase the efficiency of the resource we use.
  • We need to close our production cycles.
  • It is not possible to continue to use nutrients only once.
  • Renewable resources are the key!

Everything that we produce has to be reused by one way or another. So we should bet on health seafood technology: to provide alternatives for pesticides and antibiotics and also bioactive health compounds, like Olmix Group’s MSP®!", Mr Sander van den Burg (Wageningen University, the Netherlands), declared.

Mr Van den Burg’s speech was followed by the lecture of Mr Marinus van Krimpen, also from Wageningen University, who completed the presentation of his colleague by giving a deep insight into the future of animal farming from a global point of view:

"The main challenges for the feed industry are resource efficiency, healthy animals, people and sustainable farming. While cereals consumption will stay stable till 2080, for meat it is planned to increase by more than 30%! Arable land is going to increase only 4% while cereal production will be increasing 46% and meat production more than 70%. That's why we have to look at the sea to find new resources. Polysaccharides from algae have many biological activities that can improve gut health and immune status. They are high responding compared to other feed additives. In vivo but also in vitro trials show very good results”.

Mr Van den Burg (Wageningen University).

Mr Marinus van Krimpen (Wageningen University).

Precisely, the high number of biological applications of algae and their impact on the whole food chain has led Olmix Group to develop a complete marine algae processing chain and a unique biorefinery process, as Ms Danièle Marzin, Olmix Group’s Marketing Director, discussed at the last presentation of the programme:

"Algae have been used for many years due to their nutritional value and low toxicity and ecotoxicity. Olmix Group is a trailblazer in macroalgae research and development: we control the production process from harvest to end product in a sustainable and local way, and we have managed to reduce at maximum the carbon footprint. Actually, for more than 10 years Olmix’s research has focused on polysaccharides contained in macroalgae cell walls, since they present unique structural characteristics that are responsible for their wide range of biological activities and reactivity! All these new technologies and products are based on the huge investment that Olmix is making in R+D, both internally and in collaboration with several research centres”.

Ms Danièle Marzin (Olmix Group).

Presentation of Algimun®

In the afternoon, SOA 2018 also offered a wide range of technical workshops divided by species (poultry, pig, ruminants, aqua and pets) to shine a spotlight on the hottest topics concerning mycotoxin risk, digestive welfare and efficiency, immunity, and productivity in the farm.

Also, at the end of the event, Olmix Group Immunity Specialist, Ms María García Suárez, introduced to the audience Algimun® the latest innovation of the company, launched last November at international level during the Breizh Algae Tour in Berlin (Germany).

“Algimun® is based on the association of 2 biologically active macroalgae extracts (Olmix MSP®), enabling to reinforce gut wall integrity and modulating immune response. Used in the feed, this innovation will help animals (all species) to face intensive modern production challenges. The product just got the registration in Mexico!”.

The event closed with a Gala Dinner where attendees and speakers had the chance to discuss these topics all together in a relaxed atmosphere.