September 09, 2015

09/09/2015: The Interview: Henk van de Bunt

First published in Milling and Grain, May 2015
   
Victam is one of the world’s largest and foremost international events for animal feed ingredients processing technology, biomass-pelleting systems, flour milling and grain processing. The 2015 event marks a very special year, it is the 50th anniversary of the exhibition which will once again combine the FIAAP, VICTAM and GRAPAS exhibitions, and their respective conferences under one roof at Koelnmesse in Cologne. FIAAP exhibitors will be displaying ingredients and additives that are so necessary for the successful formulation of animal feed, aquafeed, dry petfood and speciality feeds. The VICTAM exhibits will cover the very latest technology and system used in the manufacture and processing of these animal feeds, aquafeed, dry pet food and speciality feeds. A large number of companies will be exhibiting the essential ancillary equipment that is so necessary for the smooth operation of a feed mill, flourmill or a rice mill. The latter two will be profiled in the GRAPAS trade show as this exhibition covers grain processing, storage and transportation, flour and rice milling technology, as well as, pasta, breakfast cereal and extruded snack production. Henk van de Bunt has been General Manager of the show since 1999.        
           
I understand your family established and ran a feedmill. Can you give MAG a brief overview of your background?
After my studies in Business Administration and Marketing I became Assistant Advertising Manager at British-American Tobacco Company. A number of years later I was appointed as Advertising Manager of a company producing steel building materials. After a couple of years, I became Sales and Marketing manager of this company, which now belongs to Voest Alpine in Austria. Some years later I joined the feed mill owned by my family in Nijkerk in The Netherlands which was established in 1881. In 1980 the mill was totally burnt down but within one year we had built a much larger and very modern new mill. My two fellow shareholders were much older and wanted to sell their shares after their retirement. I decided not to accept their offer to buy the shares, as my sons had no ambitions to become feed millers. In 1999, the General Manager of Victam, Mr Piet Schrama, retired. At that time I was president of Victam and my fellow board members requested that I succeed him.
           

http://issuu.com/gfmt/docs/mag1505_w1/96

How has feed milling changed in the time you were operating a feedmill and what key changes have you seen since then?
Many new machines entered the market (all first shown at our show) like expanders, Boa compactors, new additives such as enzymes, more liquids were included within the feed using new equipment, new ingredients and raw materials also came on to the market etc. Automation of the production process was developed as well as formulation thanks to new computer systems. The introduction of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) resulted in higher investments to secure feed safety and feed quality.

Victam is a very unusual name. What is the meaning behind the name, what type of organisation is it and what was it set up to do?

The word Victam has no meaning. In 1965 there were two Dutch Feed Associations: Sint Victor and Algemene Molenaarsbond. The first exhibition was held to raise funds for their merger. Now there is no legal connection anymore between the Dutch Feed Association NEVEDI and the Victam Foundation.  

I understand this is Victam’s 50th anniversary of the Victam exhibition. What are some of the key achievements or milestones in its half-century history?
In the first instance, our biggest achievement has to be the introduction in 1991 of our show Victam Asia in Bangkok, Thailand. After a difficult start, the show is now alive and kicking and last edition was sold out! In 2006 we invited for the first time conference organisers to host conferences at our shows. In 2008 we introduced in Thailand FIAAP, a colocated show for feed ingredients and feed additives. In 2010 followed by GRAPAS, a co-located show for the grain and rice industries.

What other roles do you have besides your position as General Manager of Victam International?
I am a member of the board of IFF (International Research Institute of Feed Technology) and have been for 15 years. The IFF is one of the few research institutes in the feed industry complete with a laboratory where feed trials can be carried out. The IFF also educates, running lots of courses in German, as well as English. I feel this is an incredibly important place for the education of our industry. Between 1996-2002 I was president of IFIF (International Feed Industry Federation), succeeding the first ever President, Brian Rutherford. One of the main successes was organising the East/West conferences in Budapest and Prague. These were conferences that brought together feed millers from Eastern Europe. Delegates were eager to learn from their Western contemporaries after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Victam is strong in Asia and Europe. What do you see the future is for Victam in addressing the feed and food milling needs in other regions such as Africa, Middle East and Latin America?
Yes, we certainly look at regions like Africa, Middle East and Latin America. As exhibitors as well as visitors expect a high quality event from us, we will be very selective in our choices.

What are your personal plans for the future?
To make a success of FIAAP/VICTAM/GRAPAS International 2015 and FIAAP/VICTAM/GRAPAS Asia 2016. That will keep me from the streets in the coming years. My motto is: Take life as it comes!        

 

Read the magazine HERE.
 

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