Nor-Feed Vietnam and the focused strategy of Nor-Feed in Asia for a sustainable animal nutrition


You Know Why: a bit of history of Nor-Feed's Botanicals

The Nor-Feed adventure started in France in 2003, in the heart of Anjou, the medicinal plant production area in France.From the beginning, the company's objective was to develop, produce and sellnatural additives and plant-based ingredients for nutrition and animal health, with a focus on cultivated plants and standardized extracts.Its 100% natural products, introduced in the animal feed, are now an efficient and sustainable alternative to breeders and nutritionists across the globe.

Today, Nor-Feed's products are present in more than 30 countries in all continents. Thanks to a dedicated and ambitious global team, the company forecasts even better results ahead. According to Olivier Clech, Nor-Feed's partner, "the use of botanicals in feed has been expanding steadily for the last 10 years, with a double-digit growth. As products offered on the market become more credible (well-known composition, and mode of action described), their credibility as alternatives to synthetic additives keeps increasing. So, we expect the growth to get stronger."


From left to right: Pierre Chicoteau, Nor-Feed's founder; and Olivier Clech, associate and partner.

Due to Nor-Feed's steady growth, the company is going to launch its own factory in 2021, with an increased production capacity and space to develop both regionally and globally.According to Pierre Chicoteau, Nor-Feed's founder, "the new plant will not only expand production capacity 4 fold, but allow the company to install and use a patented extraction method that will lead to new product development".


Design for the new Nor-feed factory, located in Anjou, France. The space showcases Nor-Feed's development over the years passed and the ones to come.


An Asian-based strategy

The European Union has been pioneering the use of botanicals for years now, with the ban of AGPs back in 2006 acting as a strong booster. Other countries, such as India or China, have a traditional use of medicinal plants. In the recent years, the uptake has been strong in many countries that had been quite timid up to now, even when AGPs are still legal (the USA being a great example).

Vietnam is another country that has been following the trend with the increasing use of alternatives in animal nutrition. As a reason, Nor-Feed decided to take a strategic leap and stablish its first Asian subsidiary, Nor-Feed Vietnam, after meeting in 2016 a local entrepreneur active in the field of specialty feed ingredients who was a strong believer in botanicals used as sustainable feed solutions, Mr. Ngoc Nguyen. Currently with more than 12 employees – and growing – the Vietnamese joint-venture is developing together with its local partner, and aims to create specific formulas based on Vietnam's plants and expertise to supply both the Asian and the international markets. Since the partnership started the company grew steadily and the expectations continue to rise for the future. Mr. Trieu Nguyen, Nor-Feed's business Manager for several countries in Asia commented that "demand for natural coccidiostats, potent antioxidants and efficient growth promoters, as long as they are fully standardized and well documented, is very strong is the region, be it Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand or the Philippines".

Vietnam has an important role to play in the future of Nor-Feed. Firstly, its privileged location is a door to the Asian market, as it hasstrongly developed in the past few years. The booming growth of the local agricultural and animal industries - not only in Vietnam but also in the neighboring countries - is another attractive factor that lead Nor-Feed to install a branch in Vietnam. Furthermore, the country is a great source of plants, which can be used for the local industry development. That point is key for the company's future in the country, sincenowadays Nor-Feed products sold in the Asian market are 100% produced in France. Theexisting variety of plantsmeets with one of Nor-Feed'sobjectives to be reached in the next years, which is to create new solutions basedon the local resources available.

Additional investments in Vietnam

The plan is to make Vietnam the base of Nor-Feed in Asia. An initial production workshop is meant to be installed and ready to operate by early 2021, when all the necessary quality certifications will have been that will down blend concentrated nucleus made in the Nor-Feed French plant.

Additionally, some R&D projects are already going on, that should lead to the development of new products made of local botanical resources, to serve both the local and the international markets.

As Nor-Feed prepares the field in Vietnamese lands with a combined European and Asian expertise, the agricultural and animal industries can rely on a sustainable future based on botanicals


A concise and focused range of products

The R&D programs established in partnership with recognized research institutes and laboratoriesled to the development of a portfolio that proposes efficient and natural solutions for animal nutrition, health and welfare. Thecompany has a concise and focused portfolio, which consists of 4 product-ranges: Nor-Grape® (grape extracts), Citrozest® (citrus extracts), Norponin® (saponin-containing plants) and Nor-Oleum (essential oils). All the products are standardized, documented and carefully curatedin order to respect sustainable development principles.

Nor-Feed's range of products: efficiency and sustainability with well documented products.

The solutions presented by the company range from technical, marketing and regulatory support to products developed after research to tackle animal welfare issues. Nor-Grape®, for example,was born in 2005 as a natural antioxidant, and it can be used as a natural optimizer of vitamin E. In the current situation where prices of vitamin E run high, Nor-Grape® 80 represents an efficient and documented alternative, with more than 30 trials to sustain a 22:1 equivalence ratio with vitE50, including more than 10 in vivo trials. This dry grape extract is the first and only grape extract allowed in the EU and its guaranteed content of polyphenols of several types is particularly interesting for the several industry stakeholders.

In the case of the Norponin® range, Nor-Feed makes the most of saponins tackling the issue of coccidiosis with Norponin®XO and Norponin®XO2. Within the Citrozest® range, Nor-Spice AB® can be incorporated in antibiotic-free programs as it can positively affect the growth of L. acidophilus and, by consequence, improve digestive efficiency and animal growth. Finally, Nor-Oleum - the natural essential oils range - has the most recent developments of Nor-Feed: Durelax® and Nor-Mite®. Durelax®, based on Melissa officinalis, contains properties that calm animals naturally while reducing the consequences caused by stress. At last, Nor-Mite® has repellant properties that contribute to control red mites, flies or certain parasites in a natural way.   

Overall, the feed additives developed by Nor-Feed represent natural and efficient alternatives to antibiotics used as growth promoters and, in general terms, to several synthetic solutions used in livestock. The solutions aim to increase the feed efficiency and the products quality. This sustainable approach meets the demand of consumers who are increasingly calling for the quality and safety of the products they buy. From field to feed, the development of these products is part of a virtuous and sustainable logic that includes the reduction of the antibiotics used in livestock and the mitigation of the environmental impact of livestock (better feed efficiency that reduces the polluting emissions, such as methane and ammonia).


A few words about the R&D set up of Nor-Feed

Nor-Feed is part of the Vegepolys competitive cluster in France, a unique combination of research institutes, universities and leading companies all specialized in botanicals, for pharmaceutical, food, feed and perfume applications. It includes ITEIPMAI (Technical Institute of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants) and SONAS (Natural Origin Substances and Structural Analogues, Angers University).

Its FeedInTech laboratory is installed on the SONAS premises, a few blocks away from Nor-Feed headquarters in France, and gives the company access to world-class research equipments in the field of pharmacognosy. This unique R&D platform benefits the R&D projects currently developed in Vietnam.