Never underestimate the power of nature

25-02-2010 | |

Long before the idea of ‘natural’ agricultural solutions were in demand and when veterinary chemical solutions to puzzles were still very much the norm, one company turned its back on the accepted way of thinking and determined to solve problems’ the natural way “.

Twenty six years later, the tides have turned and where Biomin led the way, the rest have had no choice but to follow.
From its inception in a rented warehouse in Austria in 1983 and a single product line, the driving force behind Biomin has always been to supply livestock producers with solutions for animal nutrition that promote and maintain the health of their animals, helping them to better Fend off disease and, in doing so, to enable them to better utilize their feed and approach their genetic potential more efficiently. The close relationship between the company’s founder, Erich Erber and his mentor and friend, Dr.. Herbert Egger, one of the pioneers of probiotics, probiotics stimulated Erber to apply to practical animal production.
Beginning with a range of products based on probiotics and Ming EDGE, naturally named Biomin, demand was strong enough for the company to grow. By 1985, Erber KG had acquired another Austrian premix and feed additive producer, Inter Premix. This strategic move proved a highly successful one – a first generation product known as’ Antitox “had been added to the portfolio. This addition proved significant, not only did Antitox help Biomin become a leading company in the area of mycotoxin control, but this latest acquisition also brought expertise for a line of acidifiers, innovative products which were still in the feed industry in the mid 1980’s. With these three concepts, probiotics, acidifiers (now central elements of today’s Natural Growth Promoters) and mycotoxin risk management, it is hardly surprising that sales grew rapidly.
That same year of 1985 also saw another landmark for the company; Biomin began exports to Asia. Under Erich Erber’s watchful eye and dedicated support in the field, close collaborations with a number of Asian distributors led to rapid growth in the region. Growth on this scale naturally led to a commitment which began with the opening of the first office in Malaysia in 1992.
Notwithstanding the rapid growth of the products already under its belt, the success or Biomin’s products would not have prospered without a solid grounding in research. In the late 1980’s, Erber Biomin initiated a lasting relationship between academic research and the expertise of the Veterinary University of Vienna. In collaboration with the institute’s leader Professor Josef Leibetseder, Biomin became the first company to produce the key to mycotoxin deactivation by means of microbial biotransformation. Thus, the successor to Antitox, Mycofix Plus, appeared in 1991.
In 1994, Biomin’s research team moved to the facilities of the newly-founded Interuniversitary Research Institute of Agro-Biotechnology (IFA) in Tulln, Austria. The first groundbreaking work appeared in the form or a strain of bacteria that was capable of deactivating trichothecenes. The leading researchers, after whom is named BBSH 797, are still part of the group Erber. Research at the IFA Tulln went from strength to strength and Biomin earned the Innovation Award from the Austrian government in 2001 and 2004. Today, innovative solutions for the benefit of animal production, the natural way, continue to thrive through research and development – the company’s corner stone.
The company that began as Biomin in the 1980’s is now one of 3 divisions with 50 legal entities within the “Erber AG ‘group. The group operates in more than 100 countries worldwide as a result of the dedication of over 650 staff. The research teams develop the products that are manufactured within the company’s own production units in Austria, Vietnam, Singapore, Mexico and Brazil. To guarantee highest quality standards Biomin’s Quality Management Team has applied HACCP, GMP and ISO + for its production sites. The high standards of quality also extend to third party suppliers and manufacturing partners, ensuring that the products meet the high demands of customers around the world.
Natural born success
Born in Austria in 1953 into an already large family, the young Erich Erber Clearly inherited his father’s determination to succeed. To support the family, Erber senior supplemented the family’s farm income by trading in piglets and chickens for the region’s farming community. Traveling with his father, Erich’s credentials were already forming.
Following his graduation from the Francisco Josephinum College for Agriculture in Wieselburg, Erich broadened his horizons and ventured out of Austria to explore agricultural practices across the globe. Beginning in Canada, his visit to Ghana was extended Erber and remained for a few years to live and work.
On his return, he went back to his studies, building on his experience by Enrolling at the University of Vienna to study international business and export management.
However, it was the next step in Erber’s career proved that the influential one. Every budding businessman should have a mentor and young Erber found just the right one when he joined an Austrian feed additives company as the sales manager for Central Europe. It was during this time that with Dr. Erber. Herbert Egger, an enthusiastic proponent of antibiotic free feeding and a pioneer in the development of probiotics.
In Erber’s mind, a new crystal was forming, and by 1983 at the age of 30, the young entrepreneur had resolved to supply the industry with Premixes and feed additives that promoted the health of livestock – the natural way.