Swiss UFA invests in organic feed

22-09-2010 | |
Swiss UFA invests in organic feed

Since its move to the new mill in Biblis Swiss feed manufacturer UFA has converted its old enterprise in Hofmatt to an organic feed mill. The company invested 2 million Swiss francs (€1.52m) in renovating the old mill.

UFA AG wants to grow not only on the conventional compound feed market, it recognises that the organic market is more and more a growing market. Organic products are popular with consumers and allow Swiss farmers to add extra value to their products. For a long time already UFA has supported organic farmers with feed, services and advice. . This commitment is now strengthened with this year’s investment in the Hofmatt mill.

2 million francs invested
“In the summer of 2010 we invested 2 million Swiss francs (€1.52m) in Hofmatt where a high proportion of Swiss organic raw materials is processed," said Wendy Strebel, President of the UFA AG, at the opening ceremony. The investment reduces the energy consumption by 100,000 kWh per year, and the new molasses machine allows faster and more flexible feed production. Furthermore the modernized computer system allows a more accurate traceability of the different feed ingredients. The flexibility gained makes it possible to offer crumbled feeds for different animal species. Also the testing facilities are modernised to further optimise feed production.

UFA to promote organic market
The potential in organic livestock production is far from exhausted. At present, organic eggs and organic pigs are actively sought. But especially pigs and chickens are a challenge for the organic farms, since their feed can be produced only a small part on the farm. "That’s why our professional partners such as organic farms have to rely on UFA to further develop the markets," said Regina Fuhrer, president of Bio Suisse.

Fuhrer hopes for the UFA and also stated: "An important future prospect would be in this regard that UFA further develops the market in cooperation with organic farmers – and this in balance of supply and demand." To Fuhrer it would also be important that the expansion of the supply of pork and eggs is done together with the cultivation of organic crops to maintain the credibility of the chain.

Far too few organic pigs
Last year the market for organic meat has increased by 16.8%, but with 2% the market share is still very modest. Demand is present. "Above all organic pigs could still be used much more," said Hans-Georg Kessler, product manager of meat Bio Suisse. For three years, supermarket Coop wants more pigs, and with the launch of the Migros-Bio-offensive, the demand exacerbated. While regular pigs are priced at only about CHF 3.50 the organic pig farmers can look forward to a more than double price of CHF 7:20 per kilo slaughter weight. For piglets the price difference is even more impressive – 20 kg organic piglets do CHF 11 per kg, while regular piglets are traded at CHF 4 per kg or less. If organic pig farmers do not take advantage of these price differences the call for imports will become louder, according to Kessler. Therefore it is important that the production of ecological raised pigs increases.

Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor