First off, its digital focus: Earlier this month saw the launch of Agrifirm’s e-commerce platforms in China, with the company’s China arm announcing its entry onto the Taobao and Zhuyi e-commerce platforms on September 17, opening two online stores mainly for small and medium-sized livestock farming operations as well as individual farmers.
The move is an “important milestone in the implementation of our global digital strategy. We hope to provide customers with one-stop feed solutions and lead the development of the industry,” said Jeroen Jeuken, executive president of Agrifirm Asia Pacific. "Through cooperation with e-commerce platforms, Agrifirm China can provide more efficient and convenient procurement channels, serve more farmers and end users, make our products accessible and have more customer interaction."
The feed products being sold online include formulations corresponding to different life stages and categories.
Capitalizing on growth in the Brazilian market
Separately, the Dutch group has just opened a new feed additives production facility in Maripá, Brazil. The unit will be responsible for the production of additives for the company’s Agrimprove line, as well as new functional ingredients for animal nutrition.
The company said it sees massive growth potential in the Brazilian market, and has also been investing in animal nutrition expertise there:
“We have a team of highly qualified professionals ready to serve and assist our partners, through technical services and nutritional solutions that meet current and future requirements,” said Agrifirm LATAM director, John Dortmans.
Methane emissions reduction
In addition, Agrifirm announced last week that it is collaborating with Dutch cooperative, CRV, on project designed to measure methane emissions of individual cows, with the ultimate goal being the development of products to mitigate such emissions.
The methane emissions will be determined with the aid of so-called GreenFeeds, whereby the measuring equipment is built into a feed concentrate station, said the parties.
"This equipment analyses the breath’s composition each time a cow visits the feed concentrate station. For frequent visits, this provides a reliable measurement of the daily methane production. The GreenFeeds will be installed on one of the CRV feed efficiency practice farms in the Netherlands. CRV is already collecting data here, for example about the feed intake of individual cows. With this, the connection can be made between feed intake and methane emission."
The project will generate a lot of knowledge about the differences in methane production between cows and the reasons for these differences, said Maarten Moleman, lead innovator at CRV. "The differences between animals are largely determined genetically. We combine the data we collect on the basis of these measurements with data from other projects and then use this for developing (genomic) breeding values. These values are then integrated into our breeding program. This enables dairy farmers to breed a herd with lower methane emissions,’ he explained.
CRV expects that on the basis of genetic progress, methane production per cow can be reduced by up to 1% per year. “This way CRV can make an important contribution to further reducing the CO2 footprint of milk production,” said Sander de Roos, global director genetics at CRV.
Johan de Schepper, CIO of the Agrifirm Group, said: “Methane emissions can be reduced by adjusting the ration and adding additives. This project will teach us how to use the genetic differences among cows to enable us to feed individual animals even better according to need.”