Raw materials

Background last update:19 Sep 2019

Collaborating for a better feed future

To further future-proof their production processes, and to deliver on the industry’s increasing demands for sustainability, efficiency, and reduced antibiotics usage, the Coren Group partners with Trouw Nutrition. By working closely together, and leveraging pioneering digital technologies, the 2 parties have been able to drive forward effectively.

Since its establishment over 50 years ago, the Coren Group has grown to become the largest agro-food cooperative in Spain with over 4,700 integrated and associated partners. Coren has a global workforce of over 7,000 families, and a turnover of over € 1,000 million in 2017. Over the past decade, the Galician-headquartered food cooperative Coren Group has experienced unprecedented growth, expanding its commercial offering to over 55 countries, as well as its market share in the domestic Spanish market. Today, Coren is an industry leader in terms of its use of technologically advanced processes, production volumes, and socially responsible management models, and a reference point across the poultry, pork and cattle segments.

Corens' technical expert ruminants Braulio de la Calle (r) and Trouw's commercial director Joaquin Lorente Lluch look at the actual nutritional value of on-farm raw materials. Photo: Trouw
Corens' technical expert ruminants Braulio de la Calle (r) and Trouw's commercial director Joaquin Lorente Lluch look at the actual nutritional value of on-farm raw materials. Photo: Trouw

And, while the Coren Group’s success stretches back to 1959, it now faces the realities of a rapidly evolving agro-food industry, as well as the challenges of geographic expansion into new countries. Indeed, more than ever, the Group’s customers are demanding competitive prices, higher sustainability values, and reduced use of animal medication during production.

Changing needs of key stakeholder groups

The Group’s approach to animal feed processes, in particular, has offered the opportunity to unlock key sustainability and product quality benefits, and address the changing needs of key stakeholder groups.

“Over the decades, our strong emphasis on research and development in the area of feed has led us to deliver industry-leading innovations,” says Braulio de la Calle, Technical Coordinator Ruminants Coren Group. “Across different markets we’ve led the way in Europe and beyond. Thanks to our pioneering feed processes and cost-effective approach, we offer products that achieve new levels of excellence without a negative impact on the wider environment. Moving forward, we must continue to embrace the opportunities offered by innovation.”

Collaborating to make a difference

In line with this heritage, and to drive further sustainable growth, Coren Group began collaborating with Trouw Nutrition, a leader in innovative feed specialities, premixes and nutritional services for the animal nutrition industry. By leveraging Trouw Nutrition’s deep expertise in the application of technology-enabled feed solutions that boost productivity and support animal health at all life stages, Coren Group has been able to maximise product quality and improve animal performance.

Coren was one of Trouw Nutrition's first customers to acquire and deploy the NutriOpt On-site Adviser, a portable NIR scanner. Photo: Trouw
Coren was one of Trouw Nutrition's first customers to acquire and deploy the NutriOpt On-site Adviser, a portable NIR scanner. Photo: Trouw

In particular, this collaboration has further enabled Coren Group’s Eficor line, a programme committed to the efficiency and quality of animal feed, animal welfare, and the wider environment, which is divided into two areas. The first is a line of feed for ruminants, which can be used from the birth of the calf until later in adulthood. The second area is a digital programme serving farmers, which allows for more efficient management of the cow’s diet based on milk analysis.

“Trouw Nutrition’s services and tools – in particular, NutriOpt, an innovative, digital platform delivering integrated solutions to support sustainable precision farming for optimal animal performance – have been a great help in the development of our Eficor line,” says Braulio de la Calle. “Trouw’s service offering is a perfect strategic fit with the values of this line, as it leverages digital innovations and offers the best chance of delivering both high levels of product quality and sustainability to our customers and society at large.”

Digital analysis of feed composition

Above all, solutions such as NutriOpt have allowed the Coren Group better insights into the nutritional quality of their raw materials and therefore of their feed composition. “Coren Group has always been ready to make the most of feed opportunities offered by our research and development,” says Joaquin Lorente Lluch, Commercial Director Ruminants, Trouw Nutrition. “They were one of our first customers to acquire and deploy the NutriOpt On-site Adviser, our portable NIR scanner, around six months ago. They deliver this service across different farms to look at the actual nutritional value of on-farm raw materials. This provides an immediate feedback to the adviser and the farmer, which facilitates the decision-
making process at the right moment.”

In particular, the NutriOpt On-site Adviser offers real-time analysis by using a Near Infrared spectrometer (NIR sensor) in the form of a hand-held scanning device. After scanning the samples, the hand-held scanner sends all data to the mobile application, which creates a nutritional report of the scanned raw material, using the NutriOpt calibration lines and its nutritional database. This report can be used by Coren’s team to advise on feed formulations and to enrich the key decision-making processes, by offering data-driven advice to make informed choices immediately.

Not a moment to waste

“One the key benefits of the NutriOpt On-site Adviser for organisations like Coren Group is that it enables feed analyses in real-time,” says Joaquin Lorente Lluch. “The whole process takes five minutes or less, and can be performed on site in a user-friendly fashion. Indeed, this is a cost-efficient way to learn about the real nutritional value of on-farm raw materials; with a yearly subscription, you can have the key information in your hands anywhere, anytime.”

By having at their disposal all the information that would traditionally take a lot of time and effort to collect, members of the Coren cooperative are able to work in a structured and professional way, making the most of the value of feed data. Specifically, on-site material testing can allow Coren’s partners to make informed decisions in the day-to-day use of their grass and corn ingredients and relevant formulations, based on real-time advice. Consequently, farmers can obtain a greater benefit, which is the main aim of the teams from Coren and Trouw Nutrition.

Indeed, the collaboration between Coren Group and Trouw Nutrition looks set to deliver further operational and business advantages. “With the Coren Group looking to gain a competitive edge in new markets, digital tools like the NutriOpt On-site Adviser will soon be a commercial imperative,” says Joaquin Lorente Lluch. “From our side, we’ll carry on listening to market needs and requirements, and seeing how we can use our technical expertise to add value to the industry. With such a committed partner, I’m sure we can continue to deliver great successes – the best is yet to come!”

Learn more at nutriopt.com https://www.trouwnutrition.com/nutriopt