The 2,500 square meters new plant is fully automated and will quadruple Nor-Feed’s annual production, which a Nor-Feed spokesperson said is sufficient to supplement around 50m metric tons (Mt) of compound feed. “Our products are very concentrated, so they get incorporated at a low dose rate, as little as 10ppm, and on average, 250ppm.”
The plant is also set to benefit from a new patented extraction technology, helping the company to exploit new botanical sources and make their active compounds bioavailable.
“This particular extraction technology was developed a few years ago. We have patented it. Up to now, we have operated it on pilot equipment only. The new set up will be installed next year and will start to operate then,” the representative told us.
The company is engaged in a BCorp certification process to cement its commitment to a more sustainable way of doing business in the years to come.
The new facility, it said, also runs on renewable energy side by side with electricity.
Looking at its botanical product range, from grape extracts to citrus extracts to saponins, and others, the producer said their very conception down to their final use make them sustainable.
“The raw materials come from agricultural industry co-products: grape skin, grape seed, citrus skin, etc. They are manufactured without any chemical solvents and are concentrated to reduce the carbon footprint of their transportation. Plus, they are designed to replace synthetic chemical products.”
To further document the ecological footprint of its products, Nor-Feed conducted a complete life cycle assessment (LCA) of one of its biggest products, a citrus extract, covering the whole value chain from the raw material sourcing upstream, to manufacturing, transport and use, and up to the final consumption of the product downstream.
The environmental impact of animal feed is directly related to the quantities consumed by the animals; the LCA took into account the composition of the feed and the digestive efficiency of the animals: two criteria for which additives can have a significant impact, said the company.
“By comparing what the production of the botanical additive 'weighs' with what its use 'saves', the net benefit to the feed chain can be calculated.
“In the case of our citrus extract used in pig feed, its manufacture and distribution to the integrator emits 13.1 kg of CO2 eq., involves 5.3m2 of cultivated area and 66L of water usage per 25kg of additive.
“Meanwhile, the same quantity of additive reduces water consumption by 610 m3 and the surface area used by the industry by 5 ha. On the scale of a 300-sow farm, the integration of the additive into the ration makes it possible to reduce CO2 eq. emissions by 117 tons per year, water consumption by 1,919 m3 and the agricultural land used by 16.4 ha,” explained the spokesperson.
Riding the botanicals wave
And as a result of EU registrations and the degree of standardization and documentation of its products, Nor-Feed said it is riding the botanicals ‘wave’.
The export market represents 75% of its sales now, while its French market sales continue to show double digit growth.