On the front line - the world over
There's a world of difference between poultry farming in Siberia and Brazil. The same might be said of shrimp production in Thailand and Honduras. If you do business in China, it means taking into account the fact that their customs differ from those in Europe. And use of antibiotics in Europe is regulated much more rigorously than in the rest of the world.
How do you deal with all these differences? Erik Visser, CEO at Nutriad, provides us some insights.
The world of global livestock production is very diverse and in a constant state of change. The world population is growing, dietary patterns are changing, and significantly larger quantities of food will have to be produced with greater concern for safety and the environment. Profitability in the chain is being squeezed by rising raw material prices and pressure on farm gate prices. Furthermore, a growing awareness ofanimal welfare and the environment amongst producers and consumers is presenting major challenges the world over. These are the dynamics of animal feed production.
As a supplier of feed additives in 80 countries, Nutriad has been a leading name in the feed industry for 50 years, in particular for products in the pig and poultry sectors, and with a fast growing reputation in cattle farming and aquaculture. Various acquisitions have brought about integration and helped strengthen this position. Shareholders have recently invested in additional production capacity and a financial restructuring programme. A well balanced strategy will see Nutriad aiming to achieve further growth with a focus on Palatability, Mycotoxin Management and Digestive Performance.
Think global, act local
Visser, who has been at the helm since 2010, says, "Our strength lies in the fact that we are a global company, but one which operates locally. Large enough to act on a worldwide scale, we are also modest enough in size to develop a personal relationship with our customers. Our species and product specialists are familiar with local circumstances and the best methods of animal husbandry. We stand alongside our customers and use their experience and expertise first and foremost by listening to what they have to say, and working together to bring about solutions which meet local requirements of the livestock industry. We are firm advocates of achieving better performance with more effective and efficient use of resources. If we can help customers create added value for their business, then we feel we have done our job properly."
Close to the customer
Nutriad's organisation is structured in such a way that it reflects the different ways in which the livestock industry is organised across the globe. "We genuinely believe", adds Visser, "that operating locally, close to customers, is the only way forward. We have specialists working in local markets who are in close contact with the businesses, suppliers, vets, nutritionists and consultants. Not only do they understand their situation and their markets, more than anything they recognise their needs. This local expertise is combined with Nutriad's existing know-how, acquired over a period of many years through intensive scientific research. Take China, for example. The country faces huge challenges when it comes to food supplies. There is a growing awareness of food quality and food safety in the country, starting with animal feed. Innovation in the field of feed conversion and digestibility are key priorities, especially given the high price of animal feed. Our range of products is responding to these needs."
The areas in which Nutriad aims to play a leading role
The acquisition of Feed Flavours and International Additives gave Nutriad a leading position in the palatability market worldwide. In the face of the scarcity of raw materials and their poor quality, animals still need to eat. Nutriad's solutions stimulate effective intake on a consistent basis.
This involves a range of different products which kill off fungi, inactivate toxins and reduce the effects of toxins in animals. Nutriad has recently appointed a number of specialists in the market to strengthen its technical team.
A complete line of products has been developed to help improve digestion, influence fermentation and increase nutritional absorption by promoting a healthier digestive system. When it comes to butyric acid applications, Nutriad is the number one specialist worldwide. Because of human health issues and reduction in the use of antibiotics, the use of these applications is becoming even more pressing.
A clear focus
Nutriad is more than simply a supplier. The company's strength lies in its ability to develop innovative products on a constant basis. "This is precisely the added value we provide", explains Visser. "Nutriad is a trusted partner, able to create practicable and long lasting solutions together with the customer. We are always in search of the best application. The huge increases in the price of raw materials are a key concern. Efficiency will be the guiding principle, whereby production is increased whilst using the same resources. We have established long-term relationships with leading universities throughout the world and our research is bringing about new opportunities. The conversion of experience and expertise into practical concepts is at the heart of our growth."
With the appointment of Visser as CEO, Nutriad has been working hard to reposition the business over the last few years. Management and sales are working at full capacity and a full-fledged product range has emerged, from universal solutions, to solutions with a clear focus on a number of crucial applications, market segments and regions. "It's essential for Nutriad, both now and in the future, that solution-driven customers recognise the expertise of Nutriad specialists. Our specialists know what they are talking about. They are working hand-in-hand with livestock breeders, on the front line, to develop practical solutions. It might sound ambitious, but we are confident about what we offer.
The Nutriad brand
It can be concluded that Nutriad's strength lies in the fact that it operates worldwide, but is always close by to its customers. "We're there for the livestock breeders, so we know the culture of the regions in which we are active, and have acquired a detailed knowledge of the ins and outs of the industry", explains Visser. "After all, the local farmers, vets and suppliers know and understand the challenges of their market better than anyone else. We establish long-term relationships with them to achieve unique solutions together. Of course, we are a commercial business, but we are motivated by more than profit alone. We aim to make an active contribution to the most critical issues of the coming decades."
"In the regions where we have no base of our own, we have invested much time and energy in actively involving our distributors, so that they share our own vision and values. As such, they form an integral part of Nutriad."
"Customers are only willing to put their faith in a brand like Nutriad if they feel that the company's employees are genuinely involved. That's not going to happen from behind a desk", Visser argues. "As CEO, I aim to be on the front line as well, sharing Nutriad's passion with our customers. It's about real commitment and real solutions, not about marketing gimmicks. We recognise this because we only appoint hands-on specialists, people with years of experience working in the business. They recognise where our strength lies and are keen to do their bit by joining us in our enterprise. They share our message and acknowledge a commitment to achieve the very best. They feel responsible for the results of the customer, which is shared by the entire organisation."
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