The company’s rivals in the space include Orffa, Lohmann Animal Nutrition and Brenntag.
“We expect to outpace the competition by both growing our portfolio, staying on top of research into NPD, and gaining a foothold in regions beyond north western and south western Europe, where we already have a strong base,” said Paul Verboeket, newly appointed VP of Barentz’s European animal nutrition division.
He would not disclose the financials around the deal, but said the move to buy out the Dutch firm, AgriNutrition, was strategic and would allow Barentz leverage the synergies between the two businesses. “It was the really the next logical step in a partnership that has generated untold benefits for us since 2008,” he added.
Barentz has traditionally focused on supplying vegetable proteins, carbohydrates and sugars to the feed industry, while AgriNutrition’s portfolio includes amino acids and soy, potato and fish meal based proteins as well as its own line of yeast blends and cultures.
Amino acid and yeast trends
Verboeket is excited about the growth prospects the specialty feed ingredients segment allows in a region like Europe where demand for compound feed is stagnant in most markets apart from eastern Europe and Russia.
“With producers needing to optimize the use of protein in livestock diets, the EU amino acid segment is still proving dynamic. While there are limited growth opportunities for established types likes lysine and methionine, we are still seeing buoyancy in the demand for threonine and tryptophan. And there is huge interest in the newer amino acids like valine, arginine and isoleucine,” he said.
He said the migration away from antibiotics in Europe is supporting the yeast cultures segment. “Yeast blends and cultures, considered as immunity boosters in pigs and poultry, are being seen as one component in a producer’s toolbox to move away from a reliance on medicated feed,” said the VP.
The growing recognition of the benefits of yeast cultures for rumen functionality is also driving demand in that segment, said Verboeket.
Investment in NPD critical
But it is critical to continue to find new and sustainable protein sources for the feed industry, and Barentz is involved in a number of initiatives in this regard, said Verboeket.
“We see huge potential in insect sourced protein meal and we have teamed up with a number of producers. We are helping them to connect with feed, premix and pet food manufacturers,” he continued.
Barentz expects that the EU Commission will approve the use of insect based meal for use in pigs and poultry within 12 months. “We are obviously keeping a close eye on regulatory developments,” said Verboeket.
The company said it has plenty of other new products in the pipeline and is also actively supporting the development of protein derived from bacterial sources.
“There are a lot or researchers and entrepreneurs involved in this field globally. Several projects are looking to generate high value protein for feed through a bacterial fermentation process using low value agricultural crop residues such as straw as a substrate,” said Verboeket.