“As far as I know, IDMA is the only international exhibition for milling technologies. I came here in 2013 and came back again this year. What I noticed here is that the exhibition improves every year. I think there is a big effort and development about the design, exhibitors and the organization. I am very satisfied with the organization and the number of exhibitors. Congratulations for this!”
African countries, North Africa in particular, have become more active in milling industry in the recent years. Morocco is also one of these countries. Abdullatif Izem, Head of The National Federation of Milling (FNM) which has nearly 200 millers, was among the valuable visitors of IDMA Exhibition this year just as he had been in 2013.
After his visits during the exhibition, we came together with Mr. Izem who attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition and gave a short speech there. Answering the questions of our magazine about IDMA and Moroccan milling industry, Mr. Izem emphasized the development of IDMA in terms of organization and the exhibitors. Inviting us and the representatives of the sector to the Technical Days to be held on 27-28 May, Mr. Izem focused on the activities and projects about training. We are taking the details from Mr. Izem.
Mr. Izem, could you please give us some information about you and your federation?
I am the director of The National Federation of Milling in Morocco. I represent the Federation of Milling Industry. The National Federation of Milling in Morocco is very old, dating back to about 1937. Currently it has about 200 members and about 140 of them mill with wheat, soft wheat and corn and 60 mill barley and durum wheat.
Could you please give us some information about Moroccan flour milling industry? What is the role of milling industry in your country in terms of capacity, technology usage e.g.?
As I told before, we have about 200 millers and our production capacity is higher than required level in our country. That means we produce more than we need. There is a big war about the price due to over capacity.
Regarding the equipment that our mills use, more than 80 percent of it comes from Buhler’s technology. We have discovered Turkish companies and the technology that they produced only 6 or 7 years ago. I think Turkey’s power is very strong in milling technology and Turkish technologies seem more prominent in recent investments. A Moroccan company has also a partnership in Konya and a plant under this partnership. A well-known technology company has also customers in Libya, Algeria and Morocco and it invests in Ukraine too. They took two mills from Turkey to Ukraine. In another meaning, Turkey is a good platform for investments.
How many members of your federation visited IDMA this year? Could you please tell us your general idea and impression about the exhibition?
I think there are nearly 30 members visiting IDMA right now. As far as I know, IDMA is the only international exhibition for milling technologies. I came here in 2013 and came back again this year. What I noticed here is that the exhibition improves every year. I think there is a big effort and development about the design, exhibitors and the organization. It seems that Turkey represents 50 percent of global milling technologies. I am very satisfied with the organization of the exhibition and the number of exhibitors. Well, congratulations for this!
Shall we focus on Moroccan flour production too? You have talked about your over-capacity production. Does Morocco produce for only domestic demand or does it have any activity for exports?
Yes, Moroccan millers produce for only domestic market. We exported to some countries in Africa in the past. But now all the countries in Africa have their own mills so the area of export reduced to some countries like Indonesia or Thailand. In addition we have a strong competitor in flour export like Turkey.
As far as we know, you have a milling school related with your federation in Morocco. Could you please give us some information about your school? What kind of training does it provide?
Yes, we and US Wheat Associates have set up a milling school in Casablanca. Now we provide training for our members and also for other members from other countries. For example, we received some millers from Western Africa, Libya and Sudan. What we look forward for our milling school is to diversify the training. Now we make training for our sector representatives and millers; but we have set up a new agreement with Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI) 2 years ago in order to set up another center for pasta, and couscous. We plan also to set up a baking school for France Export Céréals. Maybe we can to set up also a partnership with The Turkish Flour Industrialists’ Federation in your country, why not?
Mr. Izem, what would you like to add?
I would like to thank Miller Magazine and Parantez Fair Organization for their efforts and invitation. I would like you to have an opportunity to visit Casablanca and our milling school.