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Business update: Dynamic period in poultry sector

New acquisitions, products, and investments have been announced in the international poultry scene recently. Where is the action? And what is there to look out for? This concise overview gets you up to date.

Ceva Santé Animale teams with WVA for welfare award

The World Veterinary Association (WVA) has created the Global Animal Welfare Awards 2017, co-founded and supported by Ceva Santé Animale. The awards aim to recognise and reward veterinarians who have provided outstanding and exemplary welfare-related services to animal owners, hostels, fellow veterinarians, and the general public. Each winner will have demonstrated best practices in their consistent commitment to improve and educate about the welfare of animals.

The Global Animal Welfare Awards 2017 will be presented to 1 selected veterinarian from each of the 6 WVA regions (North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, North Africa/Middle East and Asia/Oceania). The WVA Animal Welfare Awards Ceremony will take place in Incheon, Korea during the 33rd World Veterinary Congress where the winners will be invited to receive a monetary award of €5,000. Further information and how to submit an application can be found here.

Cobb introduces new MV male to Brazilian industry

The new broiler breeder product, the Cobb MV male, has been introduced to the Brazilian poultry industry at a series of workshops across the country. Jairo Arenazio, Cobb general manager for South America, said the new male had been developed for greater robustness and adaptability to different environmental conditions as well as superior feed conversion. Among the benefits of the new MV male are reduced feed consumption of about 30 grams per kilogram of live weight and a larger appetite resulting in one to two days less in reaching the final processing weight.

Photo: Cobb
Photo: Cobb

Broiler specialist Matthew Wilson, Cobb technical services director for Europe, said development of the MV male began in 2011 with the target of greater adaptability to different processing weights and climatic conditions. In selecting the new line, emphasis was placed on animal welfare, robustness and enhanced disease resistance as well as the performance traits. Breeders and broilers were tested in a very cold climate in Switzerland, in extreme heat in Saudi Arabia, and high humidity in South Africa. The line was also tested using different types of diets based on corn and wheat and, said Mr Wilson, in all cases the MV male showed better welfare traits and economic results versus the MX male.

Evonik expands its Asian portfolio

Evonik is to expand its portfolio in Asia with the probiotic Ecobiol, following the launch at VIV Asia in Bangkok. The product, acquired by Evonik from the Spanish company Norel in 2016, is designed for the use in poultry production and aquaculture. The probiotic helps to maintain the natural gut balance and has a positive effect on the gut microbiome that has been scientifically proven (in-vitro- and in in-vivo).

“Ecobiol is new in our portfolio. We are convinced of the product’s high potential and its applicability in various fields by virtue of unique properties,” said Emmanuel Auer, head of the Animal Nutrition business line at Evonik. “We consider Ecobiol a key element towards the reduction of antibiotic growth promoters. This way, we contribute to healthy and sustainable animal nutrition.”

Nutriad opens new plant in China

Nutriad has opened its new palatability factory in Nantong (China). The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by government officials, industry leaders and local staff. The new factory, with a 10,000 Mt capacity/year, will operate under the FFI (Feed Flavour International) brand. Building on strong experience in swine nutrition, the new plant will also service ruminant and aquaculture applications.

Photo: Nutriad
Photo: Nutriad

Stated Erik Visser, CEO Nutriad, “As the Chinese industry has developed, both government regulations as well as customer demands have changed over the years. This new factory is in full compliance with the latest environmental and safety regulations and brings together our years of experience from producing and servicing customers across the world.” The new 4,150 M2 facility will see production capacity increased and incorporates lab facilities that were built following European quality standards. Introduction of new bags will enhance the product quality and introduction of ERP software will support supply chain improvements.

New turkey genetic supplier established

Aviagen and Willmar Poultry have announced the establishment of Select Genetics, a new company supplying commercial genetics to the turkey industry. Aviagen is the majority owner of Select Genetics, which was formed through the merger of Valley of the Moon Commercial Poults (VOMCP) and Willmar Poultry/Ag Forte.

The new company will be headquartered in Willmar, Minnesota. Select Genetics is a new distinct business unit operating under the direction of Jihad Douglas as CEO. Rick Vanderspek is president, COO and chairman of the board and responsible for the day-to-day operations. Rick will report to Douglas. Immediately after signing the merger documents, the board of directors of Select Genetics approved the capital to build a new single stage hatchery in Terre Haute, Indiana with completion expected to be in the spring of 2018. This is just the first step to upgrade Select Genetics’ infrastructure to meet the rising demand for Nicholas poults.

Zoetis awards scholarships to rising veterinary students

Zoetis and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) have announced the winners of the 2017 Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program. Now in its eighth year, the program awarded 315 scholarships to second- and third-year veterinary students during the 2017 Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) Conference.

The scholarship program operates as part of Zoetis Commitment to Veterinarians, a platform created by Zoetis to support leadership and diversity among future veterinarians while also helping to offset the significant costs associated with a veterinary education. This year, a record number of more than 1,700 applicants from universities throughout the United States and the Caribbean were evaluated for academic excellence, financial need, diversity, sustainability, leadership, and career path. To date, this program has awarded nearly $6 million in scholarships to more than 2,700 students.

Cobb launches new animal welfare website

Cobb-Vantress as launched a new website dedicated to animal welfare, highlighting the company’s commitment to the care of chickens through its many educational programs, flock management and poultry health initiatives. “We’re taking a proactive approach,” said Joel Sappenfield, president. “Sites like this are important because they allow us to be transparent with our direct customers, consumers and the poultry industry.”

Photo: Cobb
Photo: Cobb

Cobb’s goal is to provide a tool that can be used for education and to provide an in-depth look at the company’s programs. The new, interactive Animal Welfare website is divided into three sections: Education and Awareness, Healthy Birds and Cobb Cares. Each section features information, photos and videos on Cobb’s practices to advance animal welfare in each of these three areas. The website can be accessed at cobbcares.com.

UK whole turkey sales holding their own

In the UK, whole turkey sales at Christmas are now holding their own after a big swing to crowns and breast joints at major retailers over the past few years, according to Paul Kelly, managing director of Farmgate Hatcheries. Kelly Turkeys’ own farmgate sales at Danbury in Essex show 72% sold as whole birds and 28% as crowns or joints.

However, he urged traditional turkey producers not to ignore the market for joints and added-value products. “This is a market you must get into in order to satisfy demand – and it is very profitable. Crowns and joints were averaging about £16 per kg at retail last year.” Whole bird sales to butchers held up well, but he cautioned again about imported turkey ‘butterflies’ that, he says, are very cheap and with inherent big gross margins continue to hinder sales of traditional British turkeys. For farmers ordering poults for this year he recommends buying 33% as-hatched and 66% sexed hens to give a spread of weights to supply most order books.

First Cobb breeding stock for Tajikistan

Cobb Russia has supplied Cobb genetics for the first time to the Republic of Tajikistan. The first batch of more than 3500 Cobb500 female and 500 males were flown by Tajik Air and delivered to the company Rakhmonchon. Mashokir Nazarov, general director of Tadzhik Ptitseprom, an enteprise of the Ministry of Agriculture, called the delivery a historic moment in the country’s agriculture. He said that for several reasons the production on a number of poultry farms had decreased markedly last year – with output totalling more than 357 million eggs and 2200 tonnes of chicken meat. However, this year it is planned to produce 400 million eggs and 3200 tonnes of chicken meat.

Valery Alekseev, Cobb senior technical service manager in Russia, added: “As a world leader with excellent breeder and broiler results, it is very important for Cobb to be present in Tajikistan. This is an important step for both Cobb and the Tajikistan poultry sector.”

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