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Business Update October: What’s new in the world of poultry?

We’re keeping our finger on the pulse and bring you a comprehensive summary of the latest business updates from the poultry industry worldwide.

Cobb-Vantress and The Roslin Institute address food security

A new research and development project between Cobb-Vantress and The Roslin Institute brought scientists and industry experts together to address food security needs. In the study, recently released in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, researchers shared how they applied novel genome technologies to ensure future biodiversity and meet the growing global demand for animal protein.

“Poultry production must double in the next 25 years to meet growing demand,” said Dr Rachel Hawken, senior director of genomics and quantitative genetics at Cobb-Vantress. “To meet this need, we must ensure genetic diversity is available...This project applied innovative genome technologies to commercial poultry production to address future food security and production efficiency.”

A breakthrough came when researchers successfully used new cryopreservation technology to freeze and reanimate primordial germ cells — a type of specialised chicken stem cell. “With this breakthrough, the poultry industry can store the information of diverse poultry flocks for their genetic security in addition to, or instead of, maintaining live flocks.”

A pure-heritage-breed broiler chicken entirely reconstituted from frozen genetic material, surrounded by brown layer chicks. Photo: National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
A pure-heritage-breed broiler chicken entirely reconstituted from frozen genetic material, surrounded by brown layer chicks. Photo: National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Nutreco launches Young Researchers Prize

Nutreco has launched its Young Researchers Prize to recognise outstanding research efforts to address the challenge of generating enough food for the world’s growing population. The solutions to this challenge will have to be systemic and sustainable, encompassing the various farming systems on our planet.

Meanwhile, Nutreco has acquired the South African premix company Animal Nutrition and Health, and has also signed an agreement to acquire Cargill’s compound feed business in Portugal.

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Novus’ Missouri research farm celebrates 10 years

Green Acres Farm opened in Missouri in 2009 and has since supplied the animal agriculture industry with research and feed additive solutions. In October, employees of Novus International, which owns and operates Green Acres, gathered at the farm to celebrate the significance of the hundreds of scientific discoveries made possible through the facility. The 95-acre farm conducts 40-50 research studies a year. These trials explore topics like food safety, antibiotic-free production and optimising animal performance.

Novus International celebrated the hundreds of scientific discoveries made at Green Acres Farm. Photo: Christine Boyd, Novus International.
Novus International celebrated the hundreds of scientific discoveries made at Green Acres Farm. Photo: Christine Boyd, Novus International.

Frankie & Benny’s commits to improve chicken welfare

The Restaurant Group, which owns brands including Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito, Brunning & Price, Coast to Coast, Garfunkel’s, and Joe’s Kitchen, will meet the higher chicken welfare criteria in the European Chicken Commitment by 2026.

Rob Beale, purchasing director said that the business has been taking positive steps to advance its performance in this area over recent years, including switching to free range eggs across the business.

The criteria of the commitment contains 6 key measures aimed at moving away from the standard intensive factory farming of chickens, including prohibiting fast-growing breeds.

BRF opening poultry processing plant in Saudi Arabia

Brazilian poultry giant BRF said that it would invest around US$ 120 million to build its first chicken processing plant in Saudi Arabia.

The new plant, which will produce added value products such as breaded, marinated and burger-based foods, will primarily serve domestic markets, but exports would also feature.

Novogen attends Poultry Africa Exhibition

The second edition of the Poultry Africa exhibition was held in Rwanda in October. Novogen participated in the 2-day event, which gathered 128 exhibitors with attendees coming from the region.

Guenael Guillaume, Area Sales Manager: “Novogen strongly believes in the African egg industry. There is a great potential to develop with numerous new layer projects. Thanks to our innovative breeding programme, our breeds, the NOVOgen Brown and NOVOgen White, have demonstrated their capacity to adapt to African conditions.”

Continental Foods will only source higher welfare chicken by 2026

According to Thomas Bittinger, CEO of Continental Foods, the company, which has already banned all eggs from caged chickens, is ready to take the next step. Continental Foods operates in 5 European countries including Belgium, France and Germany, and owns a range of food brands including Liebig, Imperial and Les Recettes Ferme D’Anchin.

Continental Foods is ready to further its commitment to higher chicken welfare. Photo: Shutterstock
Continental Foods is ready to further its commitment to higher chicken welfare. Photo: Shutterstock

Agrotop to showcase solutions for extreme heat and humidity

At Poultry India 2019 taking place in Hyderabad in November, Agrotop will present poultry solutions that have been specifically designed to resist extreme heat and adapt to varying humidity conditions.

Agrotop will showcase the company’s full line of vertical integration poultry solutions and demonstrate solutions that integrate engineering, construction and technological disciplines.

Poultry India 2019 will take place from 27 to 29 November at Hitex in Hyderabad, India.

Simmons ramps up operations at poultry production facility

Operations at Simmons Prepared Foods are beginning to ramp up at its new US$ 300 million, 29,000 m2 Benton County poultry production facility in Arkansas, USA. Production began on a small scale at the facility at the end of September and will steadily increase to reach the first phase of full production in January 2020.

Simmons expects to increase staffing at the plant to 1,200 team members. Photo: Simmons.
Simmons expects to increase staffing at the plant to 1,200 team members. Photo: Simmons.

Trouw Nutrition and University of Guelph drive innovation in animal nutrition

Trouw Nutrition and the University of Guelph are formalising their collaboration and will match more researchers, share research facilities, and enable the acceleration of key research and development activities. The 2 parties have over 40 researcher matches in place.

Multiquip becomes HatchTraveller’s distribution partner in Australia

Multiquip, a service provider to the Australian chicken meat industry and with a specialist broiler hatchery operation, has become the exclusive distributor of HatchTravellers in the country.

Stefan Holdinga, business developer at HatchTraveller, and Jason Mikosic, Multiquip GM, signed the distribution agreement. Photo: HatchTraveller
Stefan Holdinga, business developer at HatchTraveller, and Jason Mikosic, Multiquip GM, signed the distribution agreement. Photo: HatchTraveller

DSM announces new global sustainability lead for Animal Nutrition and Health

DSM has appointed Carlos Saviani as global sustainability lead for Animal Nutrition and Health. He will play a key role in the further development and rollout of the company’s animal nutrition purpose-led sustainability strategy and will focus on engagement with customers and associated stakeholders in the global animal protein value chain. Mr Saviani previously served as VP of the World Wild Fund’s Food Sustainability team.

Carlos Saviani, DSM’s new global sustainability lead. Photo: DSM.
Carlos Saviani, DSM’s new global sustainability lead. Photo: DSM.

Cal-Maine Foods to acquire Mahard Egg Farm

Cal-Maine Foods will acquire the assets of Mahard Egg Farm relating to its commercial shell egg production, processing, distribution and sale of shell eggs business. The assets include commercial shell egg production and processing facilities with a current capacity for approximately 3.9 million laying hens and permitted capacity for up to 8 million laying hens, a feed mill, pullets and related production facilities in Texas and Oklahoma, as well as a distribution warehouse in Texas.

Zoetis poultry vaccine builds immunity in breeder hens

Poulvac Maternavac 4, an inactivated vaccine from Zoetis that aims to help protect chickens against 4 important diseases, has been licensed by the USDA. The new vaccine is built on Poulvac Maternavac IBD-Reo, a vaccine that protects against standard and variant strains of Infectious Bursal Disease as well as malabsorption caused by reovirus. Zoetis says that Poulvac Maternavac 4 offers these same protections, in addition to Newcastle Disease (ND) and Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV).

Cargill launches Feeding Intelligence platform

Cargill has introduced Feeding Intelligence, a new platform aimed at helping livestock farmers navigate the changing food production landscape while raising awareness of their role in feeding the world.

Feeding Intelligence provides resources for farmers on the latest intelligent animal production practices aimed at helping them improve their operations across all species. Resources, support and stories of commitment and care are featured on www.feedingintelligence.com. Farmers can find information on a variety of topics including technological advancement, animal health and well-being, performance, sustainability and much more.

New solutions and tools help livestock farmers run more efficient and sustainable operations with a shared goal of responsible, nutritious food. Photo: Cargill.
New solutions and tools help livestock farmers run more efficient and sustainable operations with a shared goal of responsible, nutritious food. Photo: Cargill.

Cedrob Porty to construct cold storage at Polish port

A preliminary agreement has been signed between the Port of Gdansk Authority and Polish meat producer, Cedrob Porty, for the construction of a cold storage facility to hold meat – primarily poultry and pork – intended for export. The company will put approximately US$ 2.5 million toward the facility, which will have a capacity of about 30,000 pallets making it the largest container terminal in the Baltic Sea. Completion is planned for the second half of 2021.

Pilgrim’s Pride announces closure of Tulip Limited acquisition

Pilgrim’s Pride has completed the previously-announced acquisition of Tulip from Danish Crown. Tulip will operate as a business unit within Pilgrim’s. The transaction was unanimously approved by Pilgrim’s Board of Directors and was funded with cash on hand, valuing Tulip at £290 million (approx. US$ 354 million).

Pilgrim’s employs approximately 51,400 people and operates chicken processing plants and prepared-foods facilities in 14 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the UK, and continental Europe.

Cargill and FFA partner to inspire and educate future leaders

Cargill is investing US$ 2.1 million to help the National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Organization develop future leaders to help create solutions that balance feeding a growing population with protecting our planet, and who are prepared to continue advancing sustainable agriculture.

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  • The winner of Nutreco’s Young Researchers Prize will receive a €12,000 cash prize, the runner-up an €8,000 cash prize, and third-place student a €5,000 cash prize. Photo: Nutreco.

    The winner of Nutreco’s Young Researchers Prize will receive a €12,000 cash prize, the runner-up an €8,000 cash prize, and third-place student a €5,000 cash prize. Photo: Nutreco.

  • Under the acquisition, Kaonne and Trouw Nutrition will continue to work together. Photo: Nutreco.

    Under the acquisition, Kaonne and Trouw Nutrition will continue to work together. Photo: Nutreco.