Rice is grown on every continent, apart from Antarctica, and is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population. In fact, one billion people globally are directly or indirectly reliant on rice – either for food or income, or both. With the world’s population predicted to reach 8.27 billion by 2030, demand for rice is expected to increase by approximately 100 million tonnes to 550 million tonnes in the same period.
Bühler is well prepared to play a key role in processing these fast growing rice volumes: thanks to significant contract wins over the past 12 months, the company has taken the pole position in global industrialized rice processing, exceeding its closest competitor in terms of combined turnover in rice milling and logistics. Today, around 30 percent of the global rice harvest will be processed on systems from Bühler.
This accomplishment is owed to Bühler’s commitment and success in delivering global expertise with local customer service, innovations, and its ability to understand every step along the value chain.
Understanding of local needs and state-of-the-art technology
“Paramount to Bühler’s success are the 90 service stations around the world”, explains Detlef Blass, Head of Rice Processing Europe and Americas at Bühler. “They have a deep-rooted understanding of the issues affecting the markets they operate in and cement Bühler’s ability to adapt its technology and business model to the needs of processors in each area.”
Furthermore, Centres of Competence located in major rice producing markets, including India and China, house the world’s best rice technology and nutrition experts, who are well placed to develop regional rice processing and added-value technology solutions that meet distinct local requirements in paddy handling, storage, and milling.
The success achieved in South East Asia is a perfect example of this formula and highlights Bühler’s widening technology and engineering footprint in the key rice processing markets. Rustom Mistry, Head of Rice Processing for China and South East Asia explains: “In the past two years we have secured in excess of USD 100 million worth of business, including the company’s largest-ever contract for rice processing, a landmark agreement with Merry Rice in Thailand.” The contract, for more than 50 Bühler SORTEX S UltraVision™ optical sorters, and 50 high-capacity UltraPoly™ rice polishers, will result in the world’s largest rice mill, capable of processing more than 10,000 tonnes of rice per day.
Bühler is also trading strongly in Europe, where it has completed a combination of new installations and plant upgrades. In Spain, the company installed a 100% Bühler rice grinding plant – the largest in the world – producing high value premium rice flour for use in baby foods, instant beverages and gluten free products. Meanwhile in the Americas, market development and penetration for Bühler rice processing solutions remains buoyant. In Columbia, Bühler has supplied engineering and accessories for a paddy project, processing more than nine tonnes per hour.
Among the innovations in rice processing solutions launched in recent years is the high capacity rice processing installations UltraLine™. It comprises the optical sorter UltraVision™, the rice polishing machine Ultrapoly™, and the rice whitener Ultrawhite™. By way of example, built-in intelligence enables UltraVision™ to make intelligent decisions about which grain is acceptable and which grain should be rejected.
Bühler will continue to expand local sales and service channels, plus build expertise to further strengthen its provision of energy efficient, processing technologies for emerging and mature rice markets worldwide. Bühler’s commitment to understanding and serving its customers, underpinned by a solid strategy of forging and investing in long-lasting business partnerships with rice processors, large and small, around the world, will ensure that Bühler remains in pole position for 2016, where several significant rice projects are further expected.
Andrea Küpfer, Head of External Communications, Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone: +41 71 955 14 92
Mobile: +41 79 246 21 65