Feed additives

Background

Interview: Christie Chavis, DSM Animal Nutrition and Health

Animal production has to ramp up its output tremendously in the years to come to be able to meet the demands of an ever-increasing world population. All About Feed talked with Christie Chavis Vice President at DSM Animal Nutrition and Health about this issue and embracing sustainability.

“We project an increase by up to 80% until 2050,” says Vice President at DSM Animal Nutrition and Health, Christie Chavis. She continues; “We all must step up and embrace sustainability in all aspects to make this growth possible.”

Our customers pain points remain our core business.”

At DSM there is a good understanding of what animal production encompasses and what it takes to get the products from farm to fork. “We are looking at the food chain in a holistic way and continuously ask ourselves where we can affect it for the better. The challenge on the table is that we do need ever-increasing quantities of animal protein. This is already placing tremendous pressure on our planet’s finite natural resources, which will lead to significant environmental strain and take our food systems well beyond the planet’s boundaries.” Driving sustainable production is the only way forward in the eyes of DSM and that is why the company launched its new strategic initiative. Chavis: “It’s called ‘We make it possible’. It is our commitment to tangible and actionable solutions that cater to the customers we care most about: people and planet earth. But let me be clear, sustainability is not new. It has been in the DNA of DSM for years, but what makes it attractive for me now is that the company embraces its leadership role and wants to be a ‘change agent’ steering the global conversations and connecting the various stakeholders of the farming ecosystem.”

Vice President at DSM Animal Nutrition and Health, Christie Chavis sees DSM taking a leadership role and wants to be a ‘change agent’. Photo: DSM
Vice President at DSM Animal Nutrition and Health, Christie Chavis sees DSM taking a leadership role and wants to be a ‘change agent’. Photo: DSM

Sustainability development goals

Sustainability is all encompassing, Chavis acknowledges: “If we look within our own company, we want to reduce our CO2 footprint by 30% in the coming decade, but that is only the beginning. The real win is with our customers and their output. We are taking responsibility for our own role in protecting the planet, and have and continue to develop business solutions that enable the industry to make affordable and measurable improvements in the sustainability of animal protein. We are tailoring our products to meet our customers’ demands and challenges.”

We are just in the infancy of influencing the microbiome, an area where we hold great expectations to develop further.”

Improving the lifetime performance of farm animals

According to Chavis the DSM strategy is aligned with the United Nations sustainability development goals; improving the lifetime performance of farm animals, improving the quality of food (i.e., meat, milk, fish, eggs), while reducing food loss and waste, reducing emissions from livestock, making efficient use of natural resources, reducing the reliance on marine resources and helping tackle anti-microbial resistance. “I am super excited about health and welfare, for instance. Knowing that animals do better with our vitamins and are more efficient with products like our new enzymes, is great stuff. We know that our customers are keen on gut health, an area of R&D which is booming. We are just in the infancy of influencing the microbiome, an area where we hold great expectations to develop further.”

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The new strategic initiative comes after many years of investment and innovation in scientific solutions aimed at providing real answers to the challenges facing the agriculture industry. Christie Chavis: “Our customers pain points remain our core business. This strategy marks not a new beginning, but a significant acceleration of the journey towards a more sustainable future.”