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that the ‘long unsatisfied hopes that the manufacturing sector could export its way back to health also remained jilted by the marrying of a downturn in our largest export market to the onset of softer global economic growth’. Nor was there much food for optimism as far as the

construction sector was concerned. The author of the Markit/CIPS Construction PMI said that the August data reaffirmed that UK construction firms were suffering ‘a prolonged downturn in new work and there is little evidence to suggest an imminent rebound in output levels. Most worryingly, the latest drop in new orders was the fastest since the sector was in headlong retreat following the banking crisis in early 2009, adding that ‘A construction decline for 2012 overall is statistically baked in the cake’. The CEO at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said the report constituted ‘dire news for the construction sector’. The August data was slightly better as far as the service

sector was concerned. Chris Williamson, Markit’s Chief Economist noted that service sector companies had reported ‘a welcome rebound in activity’ following disruptions due to the additional Jubilee bank holiday and unusually poor summer weather in previous months. Optimistically, in my view, he adds that ‘With the service sector upturn accompanied by a marked easing in the manufacturing sector downturn, the survey data add to hopes that the economy will pull out of recession following the 0.5 per cent contraction seen in the second quarter’. I shall be happy to be proved wrong!

THE RIGHT MIX As the feed industry has become increasingly international in recent years, I find I am being invited more frequently to overseas press conferences, symposiums and exhibitions. From Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Bulgaria, India, Thailand, China, the United States among many other, the invitations arrive on a regular basis. We attend the most relevant ones when we can and try in any case to bring the information to the attention of our readers. But it was refreshing to receive one invitation from an international company to a feed industry dinner and conference ten minutes down the road, in our home county of Derbyshire. The dinner was in the beautiful surroundings of Chatsworth

House, while the conference on the following day was slightly further afield on the outskirts of Chesterfield. Chaired by Paul Toplis of Primary Diets (described in his biographical notes as “a great poser …” continuing overleaf “… of questions” – which brought a smile to my face) the conference lived up to its name of ‘Achieving the Right Mix’ by interspersing papers presented by DSM and Novozymes (their partner in feed enzymes) with others taking a look at a variety of subjects together with a Vitamin Quiz and a hog roast lunch. Dr Tim Fitt, DSM’s feed industry manager for the British

Isles, spoke about the company’s development and expansion, building a higher value business well positioned for future growth concentrating increasingly in nutrition. Dr Vibe Glitsø


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