Part of the Royal Agrifirm Group

Antibiotic alternatives. Natural growth promoters. Sustainable, animal-friendly solutions. Practical innovations making a real difference on the farm. These are just a few among many focus areas and trends driving the future.

Now dramatic advances in feed technology have emerged to help provide advanced solutions uniquely tailored for this new environment.

A future-focused company at the centre of this progress at an international level is Nuscience, a member of the Royal Agrifirm Group, which has recently introduced its latest generation elite level feed technology suite into the Canadian market, under the Biotica product brand via strategic marketing partnership with CBS Inc.

Nuscience approaches the animal feed industry with two focused business units, Nutrition4U and Health4U. Nutrition4U by Nuscience is a range of young animal nutrition concepts, customized premixes and performing concentrates. Health4U by Nuscience offers innovative additives and functional feed ingredients. The Royal Agrifirm Group, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a leading agricultural cooperative with an international network of subsidiaries in 16 countries within Europe, South America and Asia and a worldwide distribution network.

FeedScape discussed the latest trends and opportunities with Rob Goedegebuure, Global Lead, Health4U Feed Additives, Nuscience. Goedegebuure has been a part of several recent Nuscience delegations that have toured key production regions in Canada and participated in numerous meetings and industry events along with CBS Inc. team partners.

Q: What is the future of animal feed and what does this mean for Canada?

Goedegebuure: In the global animal feed industry, the future is now. The Canadian market is among those embracing change and innovation. We are pleased through our partnership with CBS Inc. to provide our most advanced feed technology to this increasingly progressive market.

It’s all about feeding the world. Feed additives are essential in animal nutrition, as they improve feed quality, and thereby improve animals’ performance and health. In addition, they subsequently improve the yield and quality of food from animal origin.

Q: What can North America learn from the European experience?

Goedegebuure: In Europe we have gone through the transitions now underway in Canada, the U.S. and other jurisdictions. These places have the opportunity to look at what has worked in Europe and see how some of that knowledge and technology can be adapted here.

For Nuscience, an advantage is that the transitions and experiences in Europe have driven our scientific focus and shaped the evolution of our feed technology solutions. We feel in some respects we are ‘ahead of the game” and want to share that knowledge and technology with other countries and production regions.

Q: How has the Nuscience delegation enjoyed its recent Canadian industry tours?

Goedegebuure: We have very much enjoyed meeting with Canadian colleagues. In particular, we have been encouraged with the increasingly progressive focus we have seen on embracing innovation and science-based solutions.

It’s an excellent mindset that fuels success.

With today’s knowledge, tools and strategies, there is broad potential to achieve production systems that raise the bar on performance and profitability while also ensuring high standards of animal care and welfare.

Q: At the IPPE event earlier this year in Atlanta, Nuscience hosted an event with partners and colleagues representing 18 countries from around the world. What was your message?

Goedegebuure: That event meant a lot to myself and Nuscience colleagues. It showed how far we and our partners have come as a collective team and reinforced how we are all better together.

The partners who attended represented different parts of the world, different backgrounds and areas of expertise, across the spectrum of research and development, commercial, marketing and production.

However, because of partnership, we all share one goal – working together to provide improved solutions.

We are in an exciting industry, at an exciting time. We have the opportunity to help with the challenge of how to more efficiently feed an increasing world population – and how to do so profitably and sustainably.

The central solution is through science-based innovation.

Q: What are some of the key factors at play as we look to drive further innovation?

Goedegebuure: There are many. Growth in expectancy of human life. The increase in health awareness. Recent epidemic outbreaks. New scientific methods of farming. Scarce availability of land and water resources. Increase in plant and animal protein demand. Increase in consumption of meat and aquatic products. This is just to name a few of the big ones.

All of these define the landscape we are operating within. It’s a time of challenges. But it’s also a time that is ripe for innovation. I, for one, am optimistic that we can make great strides in the months and years ahead.

Q: As you pointed out in Atlanta, the statistics and forecasts show dramatically increasing needs. World meat production reached a record high in 2017. The world in 2017 produced twice as much meat as it did in 1986. Do you see this upward trend continuing?

Goedegebuure: Yes, that’s what the numbers indicate. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for example, estimates that by 2050 the demand for food will grow by 60% and that between 2010 and 2050, with meat production projected to rise by nearly 70%, aquaculture by 90% and dairy by 55%.

This already marks a growth factor of almost two. However if we were to extrapolate the growth rates of the last forty years forward to 2050, this would in theory quadruple the needs.

In 2016 world compound feed production reached an estimated at one billion tonnes annually. Global commercial feed manufacturing generates an estimated annual turnover of over US $400 billion.

For the compound feed additives industry, the market is projected to reach USD 37 billion by 2022, from USD 28.6 billion in 2016, registering a compound annual growth rate of 5.3% over that forecast period, including a CAGR of 4.1%, till 2022.

Compare this to another industry, smartphones, where a CAGR of 3.8% is forecast through 2022. We are beating the growth of the cellphone industry! For everyone involved in feed technology innovation, it’s time we realize that we are in a very exciting and transformational business.

Q: Obviously, change is happening at a rapid pace -- one that has accelerated dramatically over just the past few years and perhaps sooner than some expected. In your role at Nuscience you have had a front row seat -- what have you seen?

Goedegebuure: Four years ago on our first trip to the U.S. and South America with Nuscience, we came with a message that industry better do something to get ahead of the pressures coming and address the challenges of the future.

We got little feedback in the beginning. Contrast that with the energy in the room at IPPE in 2018. I looked around the room and thought: Look where we are now, a room full of people from all over the world who have taken major steps to drive the progress needed.

We see change everywhere, from the technical production level to the consumer level.

I had my first fast food experience at Mc Donald’s. That company is different than four years ago – for example, making huge commitments to changed antibiotics approaches. Every major retailer has changed. Every supplier is changing too.

Q: What fuels your optimism?

Goedegebuure: The future is extremely bright – I truly believe that. Our philosophy, for everyone involved in livestock production from farm to plate, is that we are all in this together. We are better together. It’s about innovation. It’s about feeding the world. It’s about continually finding new and better ways to produce food.

You are what you eat. It’s the same for food animals and humans alike. Ultimately, feed and food are the same. And additives are critical to optimization and quality.

When you sit down to the dinner table, think about it and don’t take it for granted. Food is not its best without additives . . . it takes spices and herbs to optimize a good meal.

What fuels my optimism? The progress I see every day in my role at Nuscience. I am encouraged and inspired by our tremendous partners and customers. Every day presents a new opportunity to move forward.