AB Agri acquires dairy industry specialists

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Andrii Yalanskyi
© GettyImages/Andrii Yalanskyi

Related tags AB Agri Dairy carbon footprint

UK feed manufacturer, AB Agri, has acquired the dairy consultancy business Kite Consulting and its associated company, Advance Sourcing, for an undisclosed sum.

Kite Consulting is a Staffordshire-based dairy specialist, working across the food supply chain, from farmers and food processors right through to retailers.

The agriculture division of Associated British Foods, Ab Agri said Kite’s “highly talented and capable team​” is well regarded across the sector, particularly for its technical and business consultancy service, which supports dairy farmers to improve the efficiency of their businesses and herds.

Both companies will complement AB Agri’s existing dairy business, it added.

“Kite Consulting’s change management work is focused on building business resilience across the agri-food supply chain. It also supports the industry in its ambition to become more sustainable, including working towards reducing the carbon footprint of dairy production. Advance Sourcing provides specialist products that help create value for its clients by improving a herd’s performance.”

There will be no change to the management of Kite Consulting and Advance Sourcing and the businesses will continue to operate on a standalone basis offering independent advice and product sourcing. “It is very much business as usual."

Kite managing partner, John Allen, said the development would enable the company to further grow and develop the business, creating additional value for its clients. “Both businesses are fully committed to the dairy sector and have a united vision for the future – one that sees the dairy industry continue to meet the nutritional needs of consumers in a responsible way. As such, this next step will be a catalyst for Kite and Advance to embark on a new chapter, resulting in accelerated growth of our business and even stronger support for the dairy industry.”

On the asset trail

AB Agri was also on the asset trail during the summer. July 2022 saw it acquire Greencoat Limited, the animal supplement and care business that includes the NAF, NutriLabs, Natural VetCare and Greencoat Farm brands.

Greencoat’s products are well known in the UK and EU, including the flagship NAF Five Star brand, which is synonymous with equine supplements across Europe, said AB Agri.

“NAF Five Star is the UK’s branded market leader and it sponsors and supplies supplements to the British equestrian teams.”

The NutriLabs brand is the nutraceutical market leader in the veterinary channel in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, added the company.

Commenting then on the buy, AB Agri CEO, José Nobre, said: “The acquisition of Greencoat is a key step in our strategic goal to expand our international animal nutrition and technology business into new and exciting areas. The animal supplements market is growing fast and Greencoat will bring its experience and expertise in direct-to-consumer sales and marketing, complementing our own deep understanding of the nutrition and care of horses and enabling us to develop our position in animal supplements.”

Greencoat, it said, would continue to operate on a standalone basis and will sell its products directly through its own existing network of specialist retailers and online channels.

Longer-term goals

AB Agri said its longer-term goal is to create a multi-species portfolio of products for the international supplement markets, building upon its wider technical expertise and innovation capabilities.

And it has been creating research alliances – late last year it established a tie-up with US biotech, Intralytix, to explore the use of bacteriophages in feed​ as an alternative to antibiotics and other drugs.

Meanwhile, it has also been focusing on innovation in feed supplements, with it looking to develop an algae-based feed ingredient supply ​in the UK. 

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