Following the successful acquisition of Biomin in 2020, the Dutch group says it is combining expert knowledge and science-based insights to offer an end-to-end portfolio that helps deliver sustainable animal farming solutions.
Ivo Lansbergen, president of animal nutrition and health at DSM, told us:
“Customers are the heart of focus at DSM, which is why it’s critical to understand and address their challenges. For these reasons, we are developing a more holistic approach to support them in improving their efficiencies using tailored solutions backed by three interrelated business lines: Essential Products, Performance Solutions + Biomin, and Precision Services.
“Our new approach will enable them to achieve optimal nutrition and get the most value from feed while anticipating, measuring and mitigating potential health and environmental issues.”
The three new business lines at the DSM animal nutrition and health division:
- Essential Products: This division covers the delivery of vitamins, premixes and carotenoids that form the essential makeup for healthy animal growth and development.
- Performance Solutions + BIOMIN: This business line combines competencies in feed enzymes, gut health, mycotoxin risk management and differentiated special nutrients.
- Precision Services: This unit is focused on data analysis and advanced diagnostic tools to measure and pinpoint specific nutritional, health and environmental issues to tackle challenges and offer bespoke solutions.
Feed costs, supply chain disruptions
Margin pressures have posed a challenge for producers in many markets, namely due to supply chain issues and higher feed costs, commented Lansbergen.
“As a supplier, we must be attentive to our customers’ needs and identify opportunities to create value.”
One way to do so, he said, is by adopting a consultative approach to customer relationships, backed by an entire team dedicated to feed cost optimization that is well-placed to unlock cost savings or improve output to enhance revenues.
“Based on best-in-class principles and depending on choice of strategies, farm management and objectives, our customers typically achieve efficiency improvements of 1-4% in broilers, for example.”
The second way is to leverage advanced technologies such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) to show how the company’s products deliver results in animals, he said.
“We have worked with a select group of leading producers to show the true benefits of our solutions in their operations using bioinformatics that provide insights such as better performance, a beneficial shift in microbiota or a reduction in the level of antimicrobial resistant genes in a population.”
DSM sees a clear need for producers to have the ability to forecast likely disease outbreaks and mycotoxin contamination levels in feedstuffs, remarked Lansbergen.
The company's services in this respect include, among other tools, its Verax precision nutrition service, which is designed to enable data-driven optimization of nutrition to improve animals’ health and performance, and its mycotoxin prediction service.
“We are aiming to expand such decision-making tools and services to give producers early, detailed insights that help them steer their nutrition and health decisions.”
Sustainability focused initiatives
The company sees that customers increasingly want more information about the environmental footprint of their operations from cradle to grave - lifecycle assessment.
“This customer demand – and future expectation – is why we developed Sustell, an intelligent sustainability service to accurately assess and enable reduction of the environmental footprint of animal protein production at farm level.
“Using our customers’ own farm site data rather than proxy numbers allows our customers to get their own precise footprint and demonstrate their own progress.
“In addition, we see the potential for data-driven technologies to enable value chain players to properly inform the consumer about the footprint of animal protein. Ultimately, in our view, this will help consumers to make more fact-based and informed purchase decisions—a powerful driver to encourage further improvements in sustainability based on market incentives,” commented Lansbergen.
Animal health and welfare
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been called the next pandemic because of the potential consequences to health, the economy and society.
“At DSM we are striving to ensure that that is not the case.
"Helping tackle antimicrobial resistance is one of the six platforms of our We Make It Possible strategic initiative. The animal protein industry has already made considerable progress in reducing the use of antimicrobials especially for growth promotion purposes, but there is more work to be done. In 2022, we will continue to work closely with our customers to address the performance gap and support animal health through a preventive, holistic approach tailored to their requirements.”
Animal welfare is another key topic that is garnering more attention, he said.
“DSM is an active member of the Responsible Meat Initiative (ReMI), which is made up of producers, suppliers and retailers. It supports the responsible production and consumption of meat so that, when consumed, it is as part of a sustainable and just food system.”
The genetic advancements made in farm animals over the years have been impressive, said the animal nutrition and health lead.
“For producers to get the most from their animals, it’s important to ensure that their nutritional requirements are fully met. The progress that continues to be made makes this a space to watch in 2022.”