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Publication
 
FEED Business Worldwide March, 2012
 
Euroduna: Creating possibilities through alternatives
 
by Karen DUNGALEN
 
 
An increasing world population and rising per capita meat consumption leads to increasing competition between arable land for food production and renewable energy from corn and other plants. This inevitably leads to limitations in the availability of raw materials for feed and livestock production.
 
The dilemma lies in finding alternatives and resources that can support production in a sustainable manner. In response to this challenge, Germany - based Euroduna has made the search for alternative feed ingredients a large part of its modus operandi.
 
Founded in 1991 by Nils and Jan Dubbeldam, Euroduna at first delivered soy protein concentrates and other specialties, mainly dairy--based products, to the German feed market. Leveraging its broad knowledge of the ingredient - sector, it enjoyed fast and constant growth. Subsequently, its headquarters was built in Barmstedt, close to Hamburg, Germany four years later.
 
Soon after, Euroduna Food Ingredients and Euroduna Technologies were established to cover the growing demand in pet food and food business. A growing distribution network spread Euroduna's growing reputation in one Eastern European and Asian country after another, eventually giving it a strong market position throughout the world. Today, Euroduna is considered as one of the largest special feed ingredient suppliers in Europe.
 
The company offers products such as amino acids, specialty feed mixtures, fat concentrates, emulsifiers, milk products, specialised starches, glucose, dextrose, high value vegetable proteins and specialised yeast strains.
 
 
Collaborative ventures create synergies
 
Since they are always looking for new and unique products, they were able to introduce a range of products to the markets that differ in terms of quality and/or functionality Euroduna often does this by exploiting synergies between its own core competencies and that of its supply chain partners.
 
For example, their partnership their supplier Bonilait Proteins enables them to offer high quality, fat - filled whey powders. Another example is their collaboration with Denmark - based Hamlet Protein. Hamlet produces soy - protein specialties using a unique and patented production process.
 
As a trading company, Euroduna always seeks to find unique specialty products, along with new market niches and applications for them. Often, collaborative arrangements with suppliers are the most productive means of capitalising on such opportunities. In this vein, it often finds that long - term partnerships between basic producers and market companies are the best way to combine the core strengths both companies.
One fruit of such collaborations is Euroduna's product Caromic®, a carob - based extract used in dairy, poultry and swine feeds, was introduced to a large number of agribusiness customers around the world. According to Dr Peter--Thomas Spendel, business development manager of Euroduna, "This carob powder offers a multifaceted approach as [both a] feed ingredient and as a nutritionally active substance."
 
 
AGP ban as an opportunity
 
The move towards environmental sustainability is also creating many opportunities which Euroduna stands ready to supply. When the EU banned antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in 2006, Euroduna viewed this as one step on a long way in which Germany and the EU could work towards improving the quality and safety of meat for human consumption. "Simultaneously, a lot of efforts were made to improve housing and feeding of the animals to improve their welfare and health. The awareness of consumers and acceptance of meat derived from modern husbandry are both rising," said Spendel. In the future, they expect that even more new regulations will be made to improve safety of meat and livestock's quality of life.
 
According to Euroduna's product manager, Hannes Verse, the trend of banning AGPs is not unique for Europe. "In the US, a drastic reduction of antibiotics in animal farming is being discussed as well. In the global market, it appears that there will be more regions where this step is considered, since consumers see the risks like the occurrence of more and more multi - resistant pathogenic microorganisms that can be linked with the use of AGPs in animal nutrition," said Hannes Verse, product manager of Euroduna. He makes it clear that he feels that the AGP ban is an opportunity for Euroduna to help move the livestock industry to more sustainable, environment--friendly growth promoters.
 
Similarly, With regard to increasing prices for protein meals required for the growth of young animals, Euroduna is constantly search for new, lower cost alternatives.
 
 
Looking towards the east
 
As a German company, Euroduna considers its home country as its biggest market, though it also has a very strong presence throughout Europe. In the past years, markets in Asia and Russia have grown quickly. Hence, the company finds itself putting more and more efforts into these regions. Even though their main markets are still Germany and the EU, this is expected to change over time.
 
Going forward, Asia's fast growing population and income - fuelled rise in meat consumption makes this continent an interesting market for Euroduna. Asia's meat demand will constantly grow and as a result, animal husbandry and especially the feed industry will be required to deliver raw materials that are not conflicting with human consumption. With Asia having long outgrown its feed crop growing capacity, this gives a company like Euroduna new market niches to exploit.
 
But while Asia is a very different environment, Euroduna will continue to pursue a collaborative approach in its product and marketing strategies. In fact, Euroduna's collaboration with Citoforte is a good example of how it is using its collaborative approach to enter the Asia Pacific market. Singapore - incorporated Citoforte focuses on business strategy development and implementation within Asian agribusiness.
 
This includes crop growing, animal production, and feed additive making enterprises. Another area of Citoforte's expertise lies in feed ingredients, feed technology, and sales channel management in the Asia Pacific.
 
According to Verse, "Citoforte is a competent partner in place who has the knowledge about the local [Asian] markets and customers. The local presence allows a much higher service level for the customers.
 
Nevertheless, it is important that the Euroduna team is now present on a regular basis in Asia to talk with the customers and distributors." He concludes that, "With the experience from the European feed market together with local partners like Citoforte and a committed export team, we have the capacity to handle the challenges of the Asian market in the following years."
 
 
Future challenges
 
In the future, Euroduna sees pressure from the biofuel sector creating demand for alternative feed materials. The situation has caused strong competition between feed and fuel for scarce crops that supply both. The predicament became worse since there is also a struggle between renewable primary products and food production. "Biogas plants spring up like mushrooms on the countryside. As a result, grains and corn prices doubled, while producer prices remain constant. The challenge is to offer higher valuable products at lower prices," Dr Spendel stated. Given the intractable conflict between feed and fuel, Euroduna sees itself offering many solutions to this dilemma in the futre.
 
In addition, the company sees a growing potential for the use of by - products from the food industry. The nutritional quality of the by - products from the industry needs to be improved to achieve higher nutritional values and safety. "New and cost effective technologies have to be developed. Also, the availability in sufficient quality and quantity is very important," said Hannes Verse.
 
In sum, feed is growing scarce even as long - term sustainability becomes an important agribusiness value. Between today's feed shortages and tomorrows sustainable solutions, a lot of innovation must take place –and Euroduna's flexible, collaborative approach will supply much of the technology that tomorrow's livestock will depend on.
 
 
The above are excerpts, full versions are only available in FEED Business Worldwide. For subscriptions enquiries, e-mail membership@efeedlink.com
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