ERBER Group on the future of food industry

The “ecoplus. Niederösterreichs Wirtschaftsagentur” in cooperation with ERBER Group organized the international symposium “Food & Feed 4.0 – Safe food for the future” on September 5, 2019 in Grafenegg Castle. Expert speakers discussed the future of the food industry, and the importance and development of safe food for the future.

from left to right: ecoplus Geschäftsführer Helmut Miernicki, Michel Nielen (Wageningen Universität, NL), C.T. Elliott (Queen's University Belfast, UK), ecoplus Bereichsleiter Unternehmen & Technologie Claus Zeppelzauer, Peer Ederer (Center for Strategy & Leadership, DE/BE), David Hughes (Imperial College London, UK), Rudolf Krska (BOKU / IFA-Tulln, AT), Eva Wanzenböck (ERBER AG / Romer Labs, AT), Wirtschafts- und Technologielandesrätin Petra Bohuslav, Eva Maria Binder (ERBER AG), Gerd Schatzmayr (ERBER AG / BIOMIN, AT), Martin Wagner (FFoQSI, AT), Franz Waxenecker (ERBER AG / BIOMIN, AT), Jochen Danninger, kaufmännischer Geschäftsführer von ecoplus
Photo credit: Daniel Hinterramskogler

In addition to current topics such as the question of how the world population, which will grow to 10 billion in the next 30 years, will be fed with sufficient food and protein, the central point of discussion at the symposium was the digitalization of research and development in agriculture 4.0.

For Gerd Schatzmayr and Franz Waxenecker (both BIOMIN, ERBER AG) it is obvious that research and innovation will continuously be very important in order to produce animal products as efficiently as possible and in a resource-friendly way, with animal protection and wellbeing in mind. “The ban of antibiotic growth promoters in feed is an important step and a great opportunity: We can close the gap that’s being created by this ban with natural products for improving gut health in animals.”

Another focus of the symposium was functioning allergen management: “Even very low amounts of certain ingredients can be life-threatening for people affected by food allergies,” says Eva Wanzenböck (ROMER LABS, ERBER AG). This is why a well-functioning allergen management system is essential for producers of allergen-free food. ROMER LABS provides diagnostic solutions to the industry for the detection of food allergens. “It only takes a couple of minutes to detect food allergens in products or on surfaces thanks to our strip tests. Topics such as automation, digitalization and blockchain are important ones that we will need to focus on in the upcoming years in both agriculture and the food industry as a whole.”

The international symposium of expert speakers was moderated by Eva Maria Binder, Executive Board member of ERBER AG and Claus Zeppelzauer, ecoplus Niederösterreichs Wirtschaftsagentur. Speakers were, among others, David Hughes of Imperial College London; Peer Ederer of the Center for Strategy & Leadership, NL; Chris Elliot of Queens University Belfast, UK; Michel Nielen, Wageningen University, NL; and Rudolf Krska of IFA-Tulln and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.