Will BASF and Adifo software tie-up see the end of ‘least cost' feed formulation model?

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/ipopba
© GettyImages/ipopba

Related tags Basf formulation software Adifo

BASF and Adifo say their new software partnership will advance feed formulation and support more sustainable animal protein production as sustainability can now be a used as a parameter in feed formulations and rations.

The two companies are launching, early next year, a new digital solution for the animal agriculture value chain. They will integrate sustainability analytics powered by BASF’s AgBalance Livestock project into Adifo’s BESTMIX feed formulation software.

BASF said its sustainability analytics enable the industry to dynamically assess the life cycle environmental impacts, while Adifo’s BESTMIX software allows nutritionists and formulators to manage and optimize nutrition and cost attributes of feed and ration formulation.

“This partnership will significantly advance feed formulation,”​ commented Daniela Calleri, VP business management, BASF Animal Nutrition. “While cost is still relevant, sustainability has become an important driver for the animal protein sector. This joint solution by BASF and Adifo enables customers to improve their formulations for least environmental impact and offers substantial opportunities for the value chain.”

“We recognize the importance of sustainability as one of the game changers in the animal feed sector and other nutrition industries for the coming years,”​ said Gerard Marneth, CEO at Adifo. “With this strategic partnership with BASF, we want to continue our path of innovation in BESTMIX software by allowing our customers to include sustainability as a parameter into their formulations and rations.”

Pilot projects 

BASF and Adifo are currently finalizing the functionality through customer pilot projects and target to commercially launch this innovative solution to the market in early 2021.

BASF animal nutrition spokesperson, Dr Joachim Hueter, when asked whether or not the development was triggered by actual feed industry demand for such a service, commented: “As we know from various customer projects, there is indeed a demand for more sustainably produced animal protein, driven especially by food retailers. Feed plays a decisive role here, so it is logical to start where the greatest opportunities lie in order to achieve improvements.”

He said the composition of optimal feed mixtures is always very complex: “Until now, the focus has been on the desired nutrient content at the lowest cost. In the future, it will be possible to use sustainability as an additional criterion, so to speak, as a third pillar, in order to obtain the feed mixture that is associated with the lowest environmental impact. More details will be revealed in our product launch event in 2021.”

Is this the start of the end of the industry standard ‘least cost' feed formulation approach?

“More sustainable feed must continue to be cost effective to produce. There are significant opportunities to reduce environmental impact without compromising on cost and there are also even larger possibilities to elaborate a formulation that offers a premium differentiation on sustainability. We are looking to expand the notion of formulation, with both cost and environmental sustainability in mind, so that users can innovate according to their strategic needs and associated demands of the value chain,”​ remarked Hueter.

The roll-out will be global. “As far as Adifo`s feed optimization software including our sustainability analytics module is concerned, there is, in principle, no regional limitation regarding distribution. After all, our knowledge and expertise are integrated into BESTMIX. Therefore, wherever feed producers use this software, sustainability can also be taken into account in feed formulation,”​ he said.

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