March 30, 2015

30/03/2015: TUSAF 2015 Final Declaration: Wheat & Health

The 11th International Congress and Exhibition held by the Turkish Flour Industrialists' Federation (TFIF) on 5-8 March 2015 gathered flour industrialists, traders and suppliers, miller manufacturers, laboratory suppliers, manufacturers of bread and other bakery products and representatives of the financial sector, as well as respected academicians and experts from the public and private sector. The Congress and Exhibition was organized in Antalya Titanic Deluxe Hotel, where TFIF hosted 600 national and international delegates from 15 countries in the organization with 35 exhibition spaces, and the main theme adopted was 'Wheat and Health'.

In his opening speech, Mr Erhan Özmen, TFIF's Chairman, remembered our deceased colleagues who have made great efforts in the industry. In reference to International Women's Day on 8 March, included in the congress calendar, Mr Özmen also touched on the role and importance of women in working life and expressed his wishes for more active studies, referring to the platform of a "Commission for defamatory policies for bread and their effects on the industry".

Mr Özmen explained the current status in the domestic and international markets for the season of 2013-14 as well as his expectations for the season of 2014-15 and shared his knowledge indicating that the new season would be more efficient. He stated Turkey had closed the year of 2014 with 2.184 million tonnes of exports to 109 countries and approximately US$931 million of foreign exchange inflow and thanked those who contributed. Mr Özmen also gave the good news of opening of the new head office of TFIF and invited the participants to the opening scheduled for April 2015. Erhan Özmen continued his speech and pointed out the constructive cooperation and dialog of the top four sectors of the world: "Industry-University-Public and Media". Then he thanked all of the participants, especially Mr M. Mehdi Eker, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, on behalf of himself and the board of directors of TFIF.

Mr Ali Avci, Chairman of Cey Group, referred to the importance of wheat in human nutrition, emphasized the value of the chain of wheat-industrialization and logistics, and mentioned the investments for Samsunport under Cey Group.
Mr Şahin BİLGİÇ, board member of TOBB, started his speech by appreciating TFIF's supports for anti-defamation campaigns for wheat and flour and pointed out the holiness of bread and its importance in our nutrition.

Mr M Mehdi Eker, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, indicated how significant he considered the title "Wheat and Bread", as main theme of the congress, and reminded that for 12,000 years human had been eating wheat, whose motherland and gene center is Anatolia and our land is unique with its endemic plants across the world. The Minister also emphasized the importance of wheat in human nutrition and, referring to the defamation campaigns against wheat, flour and bread, said food should be consumed sufficiently according to the needs, instead of rejecting them by category. Mr Eker spoke highly of the flour industry's progress in exports and expressed his appreciation.

Following the opening speeches, Prof Ayşe Baysal, Chairman of BESVAK, as the keynote speaker, indicated our people always had bread on their table, the claims made in defamation campaigns were nonsense and were not based on scientific facts, and it was insulting to say "Do not eat bread".

The first session of the congress under the title, ‘Wheat, Bread and Health’ was moderated by Prof İrfan Erol, Food and Control General Manager. The first speaker was Prof Artun Ünsal, who told the history of wheat and pointed out the necessity to found a Museum of Flour and Bread Products on Anatolian land, the motherland of wheat.

Associate Prof Nazan Yildirim, Head of the Department of Public Health Agency of Turkey, said the World Health Organization recommended consumption of whole grain products and mentioned some positive impacts of whole grain products on especially weight control, heart health protection, prevention of cancer and diabetes, and solution of digestive system problems so whole wheat bread and whole grain products were promoted under the programs being implemented.

Dr Joel Abecassis, President of the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC), explained ICC's vision and mission and then told how the new methods of wheat processing and recent products improve the quality of nutrition and health. Dr Abecassis also announced that the 16th International Cereal and Bread Congress (ICBC 2016) would be held in Istanbul on 17-21 April 2016.

Gary Sharkey, Chairman of Executive Board of European Flour Millers, said everything in food processing was based on raw materials, emphasized the relationship between the variation of market demands and raw materials and closed his speech by expressing his predictions for the season of 2015.

Prof Nevin Şanlier from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics of the Faculty of Health Sciences of Gazi University highlighted the importance of cereals for adequate and balanced nutrition, indicated that the cereals and their products ranked at the top in food consumption in Turkey, and emphasized that we should prefer whole grain flour for dietary fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, phenolic components, phytoestrogens, and vitamins and minerals.

The last speaker of the session, Dietitian Elvan Odabaşı Kanar, told that people had predominantly eaten cereals and lettuces since ancient times, the approach to "stop eating bread to lose weight" was wrong and would lead to irreversible results, and consuming whole grain bread reduced the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 20 to 37 percent.

The second session of the congress was moderated by Mr. Ali İhsan Özkaşikçi, Vice Chairman of TFIF, with the title "Wheat". The first speaker was Ms Çiğdem Köksal Schmidt, who is a research assistant for Göbekli Tepe project of Deutsche Archäologische Institute, told the importance of the region for civilization and settlement.

Mr Edip H Aktaş, representative of VICTAM for Turkey, Middle East and Africa, provided information on the global exhibition to be organized in Cologne on 9-11 June 2015 to share information about sectoral developments.

Mr Çağatay Maraş, Head of the Department of Market Monitoring and Assessment of the Soil Products Office, started his speech by presenting the perspective of wheat production and prices in the domestic market and international market and stated that in the light of the current status and possible predictions they expected 2015 to be a good season for cultivation in terms of plant development. Mr. Murat Ceylan, Cash Sales and Marketing Manager of AKBANK, informed about "the direct debiting system" and indicated the system enables collection guarantee, practical risk and collection tracking, cost reduction for collaterals/checks/bonds, reduction of operational risks, automatic accounting and saving of time.
Mr Dmitri Rylko, General Director of the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR), explained the short-term and long-term strategies of Russia for wheat in terms of quality and price.

Ms Emily French, Managing Director at ConsiliAgra, mentioned the importance of implementation of dynamic strategies in her speech focusing on today and the future of wheat production and marketing. The last speaker of the session, Mr Thomas P Scott, Informa Economics President, presented the current status and future of the international wheat market, summarized the situation with a general perspective from 1970 to date, and explained the expectations for 2015-2016 after a summary of different aspects of the wheat market.

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