Feed additive manufacturer Nutriad, headquartered in Belgium, recently proudly opened its brand new production plant near Antwerp. With a focus on hygiene, traceability and automation, the plant helps the company in its growth both inside Europe and beyond.
By Vincent ter Beek
For tourists, the so-called ‘Left Shore’ of the Scheldt river near Antwerp does not have a lot to offer. For those interested in the agribusiness, however, the industrialised port area certainly has become interesting since early 2012. In February, feed additives company Nutriad completed its growth into independence by opening a new feed additives manufacturing plant, in the town of Kallo.Nutriad – the name has not been around for very long, as it was only launched to the market in 2008. The company’s experience, however, goes back half a century as the company is operating within the Inve Technologies Group, which started its journey in 1963. Reorganisations in 2007 as a result of the financial crisis caused the feed specialties division to go its own way within the group, creating the need for a more independent production facility. The company, employing 180 people, manufactures feed additives for ruminants, poultry, pets, aquaculture and of course swine and sells these in over 80 countries worldwide. The company uses four laboratories and five production facilities around the globe – in Elgin, IL – close to Chicago; Thirsk, UK; Shanghai, China and Barbastro, Spain – not far from Zaragoza. The fifth to this series is the Kallo facility.
The new facility is a symbol for the renaissance of the Belgian feed additive producer, as the latest techniques are applied to make the novel facility run. With only 13 permanent staff – with six in production, the plant manages to reach a production capacity of 36,000 tonnes/ year. The plant thus takes care of about 70% of the company’s European production. The 1,000 m2 factory is complemented with an additional 4,000 m2 area available for storage. Having five production lines, the facility produces virtually the whole range of the company’s portfolio with the exception of palatants. Myco-toxin solutions, acids, antioxidants, pellet binders and specialties however are all produced in the new Antwerp facility.In order to make this all work, the facility has been automatised to a high degree, which helps enhance the hygiene status during the production process. Where in the past, ingredients were bought elsewhere, Nutriad can now produce its own raw materials too.
Naturally, the company focuses on growth in emerging markets like Brazil, China or Vietnam. By having constructed the new plant, however, Nutriad acknowledges that significant growth can also still be achieved in what are considered saturated markets. Quality – not price – is what counts, Erik Visser, CEO, told Pig Progress: “High feed costs cause a permanent cost pressure on the markets. That’s why we have to demonstrate the added value of our products, with relevant background knowledge.”
Expectations of the facility were high, as can be seen in the company’s annual growth projections, exceeding 10%. With the introduction of various new products, including Krave AP – a palatant as well as feed intake enhancer for sows – the company is very satisfied.For the international agribusiness, a better location than Antwerp is hardly thinkable. Within an hour on the road, the heart of both the Belgian and Dutch livestock industries can be reached – and being located at an international sea port, the rest of the world is not far off either.
Source: AllAboutFeed Vol 21 Nr 1, 2013