Feed Mills Encyclopedia documents recent history of the feed industry

Three hundred selected pictures, taken over the last ten years in 18 countries by Laurent Bellec, show how the industry has evolved in recent years and constitute a historical database.

Feed Mills Encyclopedia documents recent history of the feed industry
December 3, 2020

Laurent Bellec, a French photographer, is finalizing Feed Mills Encyclopedia 2011-2021, an encyclopedia dedicated to animal feed factories around the world. Three hundred selected pictures that were taken over the last ten years in 18 countries - France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, England, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, USA, Australia, Turkey, Japan, Russia and Brazil - document the story of his work, as well as the industry as a whole.

“Some of the images have appeared in my previous books but there are also many new ones. They all come from my photographic collection of more than 2,500 images.” They were taken with a large-format camera equipped with a 60 million pixel digital box. This allows access to the technical detail of the factories. The photographer points out that each photo corresponds to one working day, or even more if the weather was not favorable.

Through this work, Bellec aims to “make the architecture of the factories and their place in the landscape accessible to all. I have created a visual grammar (from photographic documents) to help us understand the history of this globalized industry. Since each image is dated, located and identified, it also gives indications on the evolution of the sector. They show a contemporary heritage, are a reflection of an industrial period and constitute tomorrow’s historical database. It is a unique collection in the world, a marker in the history of work and industry.” As such, the encyclopedia meets the standards of museum collections.

Call for support for the project

The book, which is scheduled to be released in April 2021, will be accompanied by a 54-page booklet dedicated to the partners (sponsors, factories, federation, associations, etc.). A total of 3,000 copies will be published. At the moment, 167 subscriptions have already been acquired “but 400 are needed to bring the project to fruition,” Bellec explained. The project is supported by FEFAC, IFIF, all the members of Nutrinoe, Tecaliman, La Meccanica-Italy and all the factories photographed. “Without them, I would never have been able to undertake the realization of this encyclopedia,” Bellec emphasized.

To join the project, a subscription is available until December 30 “at a reduced price, for a minimum of five subscriptions.” Other partners and sponsors can also appear in the book (contact before December 30). “We address this call for support for the encyclopedia to the whole sector to enable recognition of the animal nutrition industry beyond the activities of the present, and play a role in a historical perspective for future generations.”

Check out a prototype of the encyclopedia here. For more information, contact Laurent Bellec,