DSM acquires Brazilian animal nutrition digital technology company

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dsm Sustainability environment data

DSM has reached an agreement to acquire Prodap, a Brazilian animal nutrition and technology company looking to drive efficiency and sustainability in animal farming.

Based in Belo-Horizonte, Prodap combines nutrition, consultancy, and technology services to optimize ruminant farming operations, said DSM.

“Through its portfolio of digital solutions, it collects data and develops insights in real time, which are then translated into tailored nutritional solutions for customers, with remote or in-person support provided by its experienced consultants. Prodap has operations in the states of Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais and employs 330 employees, serving more than 5,000 farms across Brazil with impressive customer loyalty rates.”

DSM said Prodap will complement its deep animal nutrition knowledge and advisory capabilities with its extensive consultancy experience, facilitating an even higher level of customer experience.

Additionally, by supporting more efficient farming, the acquisition contributes to DSM's commitment to enabling a double-digit reduction in on-farm livestock emissions by 2030 as part of its 2021 food system commitments, it said.

The transaction, which remains subject to customary conditions, is expected to close in 2022.

This Brazilian deal follows the announcement last week of DSM’s merger with Firmenich. On the animal nutrition and health side, DSM said the combined businesses will continue to focus on specialty science and technology-driven solutions to the ever-increasing demand for protein while also alleviating the pressure on the planet’s finite natural resources.  

Precision farming is growing rapidly, driven by the increasing demand for sustainability, efficiency, traceability, and animal welfare in food systems under pressure to provide the world's rising population with animal protein, said DSM.

The Dutch company's existing precision nutrition solutions for animal nutrition and health include Verax, an integrated animal management system that leverages data to provide a deeper understanding of the health, productivity, and welfare of animals, and Sustell​, an intelligent sustainability service designed to enhance the environmental sustainability of animal protein production.

David Nickell, vice president, sustainability and business solutions, DSM animal nutrition and health, spoke to FeedNavigator about the live cycle analysis (LCA) trend in farming and how Sustell ties into that at VIV Europe 2022 in Utrecht last week.

Watch the interview in the video above.

“It is all about the user experience. We are taking a complex process and making it more intuitive. Sustell delivers the full environmental footprint, it includes 19 different environmental variables. It brings a holistic view, allowing a company to compare and contrast between farms, and to run ‘what if’ scenarios. It is very fast in terms of feedback, and there is a technical interface and a business interface.”

A company with 2,000 farms, for example, can use Sustell to see how each of its farm ranks, continued Nickell, giving it full ownership of its footprint, knowing which farms are performing better than others, in terms of environmental parameters. “You can apply best practice from the high performing farms to other farms. You can set benchmarks. It allows you to really interrogate your business.”

Some players in the dairy production arena are well advanced in terms of employing sustainability metrics, as the sector has had a lot of focus on it, but the big broiler companies, which are also heavily scrutinized, have been working on this area for some time, said Nickell. “People are beginning to realize that to do this properly it requires significant investment, expertise and understanding.”

Industry needs to first measure to understand what needs to change, and retailers are influencing the rest of the supply chain in terms of tracking environmental footprint, he added.

A significant number of retailers have signed up to science based targets and have set their Scope 3 objectives, so they must reduce year-on-year, and 90% of a retailer’s carbon emissions are upstream, on the farm, with nutrition a huge part of that. “Some 50% to 80% of that footprint on the farm is nutrition related. A good amount of that is the raw materials going into the feed.”

While monitoring and reducing GHG emissions in animal production is important to meet collective commitments as per the Paris Agreement, there are many other environmental variables that are of considerable significance, he said. These include nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, soil quality, the use of water resources, land use, and impacts on biodiversity.

Investors are also increasingly focused on the risk and return of animal production and insurance companies are now looking at the climate-related risk on their books: “It all comes down to measurement,”​ added the DSM sustainability lead.

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