Nutreco to boost R&D spend in applied science drive

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Nutreco to boost R&D spend in applied science drive

Related tags Netherlands

Nutreco has flagged up its plan to double its investment in R&D and innovation in both animal and fish feed as it rebrands its livestock nutrition activities.

The Dutch feed giant said its global animal nutrition research centers have been renamed Trouw Nutrition R&D.

“The rebranding is about demonstrating there is a clear research structure behind the animal feed brands – the Skretting brand and set up has worked well for the fish feed side of the business and we want to apply the same learnings to animal nutrition,”​ Mark Woldberg, corporate communications manager, Nutreco, told FeedNavigator.

Trouw Nutrition R&D encompasses five research centers operating in the Netherlands, Spain and Canada as well as a broad range of scientific disciplines. 

The company said the in-house research is supported by more than 50 long-term tie-ups with universities, research institutes and other organizations, including a research partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre (MAFIC) in China.

Leo den Hartog, director of Trouw Nutrition R&D, said the research goals remain unchanged, with the main areas of focus being early animal nutrition, health and welfare and feed efficiency.

Applied science

The most recent annual report of the Dutch firm, which has committed to double R&D outlay in both animal nutrition and fish feed over the next few years, shows it currently spends €26m annually on those activities. 

Woldberg said the projected hike in R&D spend will go towards recruiting more animal nutrition and fish feed specialists and accelerating the Dutch feed giant’s applied science strategy.

Nutreco’s annual report, published in February 2015, noted how strategic partnerships had become more important in the context of two critical trends in agriculture and aquaculture:

“Both industries are experiencing consolidation amongst farmers as scale becomes more important to ensure efficient production. In addition, vertical integration has been occurring where industry players are expanding to include more elements of the food production value chain.

As this occurs, our customer mix is evolving from farmers purchasing all their feed requirements, to large integrators who produce part of their feed needs, process their protein and sell branded products directly to consumers.”

Nutreco said it is developing nutritional products for these larger stakeholders who have “different needs from farmers or distributors”​ including a more customized approach as well as collaborative NPD.  

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