Novus International
Valuing Our Role
Part: 01
Valuing Partnerships
Part: 02
Valuing People, Passion & Purpose
Part: 03
Valuing Governance & Transparency
Part: 04

How Does Novus Partner to Meet Customer Needs?

Scroll to top

Focusing Our Organization

Dan Meagher Insights from Dan Meagher SVP and President, Global Animal Nutrition Solutions

Global is Local: “The deep connection we create with our customers at the local level, wherever they are, whatever their size, is what characterizes the way Novus works. Our global organization is supported by experienced field sales and technical service professionals who get to where our customers are in every region of the world. It is this local approach which makes our global organization so effective. We exist to help our customers succeed which, in turn, helps build our business. Our customers are our best partners.

Complex Challenges: The demands placed on agriculture today are different than they have been at any other point in history. Massive new middle class populations are emerging in developing regions of the world, accelerating urbanization and the demand for food at a record pace. New wealth is changing the profile of diets and increasing the demand for protein. At the same time, one billion people live in chronic hunger. Our customers are working within this climate, striving to balance sustaining and growing their business operations while capitalizing on new opportunities. Around the world, our customers are telling us that their challenges are growing increasingly complex.

Triple S Bottom Line: Two significant changes in the way we work this year have helped us move forward in our mission to help feed the world affordable, wholesome food by becoming even more customer-centric. First, our new Triple S Bottom Line, which clearly places Solutions, Service and Sustainability as the driving areas of focus in our approach to meeting our customer needs. This moves us from a product-focus to a customer-focus.

Organization Change: The second change is in our organization, which is oriented towards valuing and deepening our partnerships with customers as they become more global and diversified. We have incorporated our animal research group into our Global Animal Nutrition Solutions Group, the prime connection with our customers, to enhance our capacity to develop solutions and services hand-in-hand with our customers. In addition, we have focused our Livestock Specialty Product Management on five application platforms: Mineral Nutrition, Enzyme Applications, Therapeutic Nutrition, Carotenoids and Feed Quality. These core changes will support Novus in becoming a more customer-centric organization as we continue to bring to market technologies that are relevant and impactful. Our engagement with customers is about what’s happening locally. At the same time, we have created Global Account Management roles to provide customers with support across country and regional boundaries.”

 

Integrated Knowledge and Solutions for Customers


“One Goal” is a unique Novus program which offers a comprehensive and integrated service and solution approach to nutrition, feed quality, health and food science services to customers, in a way which creates sustainable value from live production to the end consumer. The program is underpinned by the Novus Technical Support Team, which is a professional, multidisciplinary team composed of nutritionists, veterinarians and food science specialists, able to approach any customer problem or opportunity from a holistic and synergistic vantage point.

 

Marco Quiroz Insights from Marco Quiroz North America Poultry Technical Manager

“The Poultry Technical Support Group has been able to help several of our customers improve live production performance by providing high-quality veterinary services using our “One Goal” Program. We focus on health programs and best management practices that our customers can actually control. This creates sustainable value for our customers and when we do that, it is a major accomplishment for us. For example, a large broiler company in the U.S. was experiencing poultry health challenges and high condemnations in the processing plant. We set up a One Goal Program following a strict protocol and also involved scientists at the University of Delaware. By the third week into the diagnostic program, results already were becoming clear. Following corrective actions, the customer substantially improved performance and reduced condemnation in the plant. Another example is from a turkey-producing company. One Goal was able to help improve performance and reduce bird mortality which created tremendous value for the company.

By taking an integrated approach and working together from a range of different professional disciplines and, as required, involving external professional or academic experts, we are able to find creative and innovative solutions to meet customer needs. Following successes in the U.S., we now are using One Goal in several other countries.

One innovative aspect of Novus’s One Goal is our proprietary tablet application, which can be used with customers to analyze all the health systems in a poultry flock. We do a complete flock physical and use our software to make an immediate, on-the-spot diagnosis of what is causing a potential problem and what is working well in terms of bird health. Corrective action can be taken immediately by our customer. The software can compare results to previous data and immediately show progress or otherwise. This software now has been translated to Spanish and Portuguese for non-English speaking customers. Our experience is that our customers value having a tool which enables fast decision-making about the preventive health of their animals or about appropriate feed and handling improvements. This helps them become more productive and more efficient.”


Meeting Customer Needs for Livestock Efficiency in Poland

Frederika Somers Insights from Frederika Somers Marketing Manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa

“As with the livestock agriculture sector in general, the pig industry has been hit hard by high grain prices which drive up feed costs, as well as high energy prices, while consumer prices for pig protein remain largely stable. A main preoccupation of pig producers is to maintain cost–effective production alongside proper care for animals. Our customer, PPZ Przybkowo (PPZP), is a pig breeding company, operating for over twenty years in Poland. With a herd of over 4,000 sows, PPZP engages in breeding and cultivating pork products, as well as selling and distributing feed. We felt we could offer PPZP a significant opportunity to improve feed efficiencies and costs.

We engaged with PPZP in a trial to assess the benefits of replacing inorganic source trace minerals with chelated trace minerals at a lower inclusion rate using our MINTREX® brand minerals. We tested nearly 3,000 weaned piglets, of which almost 1,000 were fed the MINTREX blend while the rest continued to receive their regular feed. We were all delighted with the results which showed improved growth and survival of nursery pigs. Mortality rate decreased by a full one percent and average daily gain (ADG) increased by 5.9 percent versus the control groups of piglets. On average, we recorded an equivalent food intake of 27 percent using our MINTREX blend of minerals. This is because of the higher bioavailability of the trace minerals zinc, copper and manganese, which benefit pig health and metabolism.”

Insights from Marian Kaplon Director Member of the Board, PPZ Przybkowo

“Being a leader for more than 20 years in large scale pig production, I know that when you reach a certain level of biological efficiency in a pig herd, it is difficult to continue to obtain radical improvements.

This goal can only be achieved by optimizing a number of factors, including the feeding strategy. Therefore we are always open to testing new products that appear on the market. Every year, we test several new solutions in animal nutrition. This allows us to implement only the solutions which effectively work in our farm conditions. This was the case with MINTREX. I got interested in the proposal to introduce MINTREX for sows as a tool to improve the efficiency of livestock and improve the economic results in my company. To confirm the efficiency of zinc, copper and manganese chelates in the feeding of pigs, I decided to carry out a trial in weaning piglets as a first step in the process of introducing it to the sows. The results obtained in the nursery piglets led me to the decision to introduce MINTREX in our feeding program for sows in 2013.”

Improving Poultry Performance in the Czech Republic

Insights from Marc Decoux Executive Manager, Marketing and Technical Service

“Our customers in Europe continue to be challenged on productive efficiency and always are interested in evidence of the efficacy of different feed combinations. Changing legislation and market shifts are driving this need more acutely than in the past. For example, the EU ban on battery cages for laying hens, which took effect in 2012, is causing fear that cheap and illegal foreign-farmed battery eggs will flood the market and undercut domestic producers, and that import of cheaper eggs from countries outside the EU where production costs are lower may impact EU producers’ ability to compete. Compliance with the new legislation, which adds cost for EU producers, is not evenly implemented, giving the compliant producers a competitive disadvantage. Another issue in Europe is the increased pressure on reducing the application of antibiotics, driven mainly by EU authorities and public opinion. Livestock producers are looking for alternatives to maintain intestinal health and growth potential. In the EU, we have been working hard to help our customers in the area of poultry nutrition. Our new product, AVIMATRIX®, for example, improves gut health through progressive release of active ingredients and more efficient use of nutrients. This is backed by research and a proven ROI.

In order to support poultry production efficiency, we conducted a trial with the largest player in the broiler market in the Czech Republic. The company produces over half a million broilers each year and is the second largest supplier of consumption eggs in the country. This integrator also produces around a million tons of feed each year and is the largest feed producer in the Czech Republic, which serves their own needs as well as serving other farmers in the market. In a trial we conducted in 2012, we were able to demonstrate an improvement in feed efficiency in broilers. Over 70,000 chickens fed with an AVIMATRIX supplement showed an average enhanced feed utilization with a 5.3 percent Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) improvement which delivered a 4.1 percent savings on total feed costs.”

Advancing Sustainable Food Security in Chad

Luis Azevedo Insights from Luis Azevedo Executive Director, Africa and Latin America Sales and Distribution

$50 Million Investment: “One of our most exciting projects in 2012 was the partnership we launched together with the Government of Chad and our long- standing customer from the Brazilian market, Globoaves, to create the first state-of-the-art industrial poultry production facility. This collaborative venture is a critical building block in the renaissance strategy of the Chad government, aiming to create a self-sustaining basis for economic stability, new employment possibilities and improved food security at affordable costs. The Central African State Development Bank invested $50 million into this forward-thinking initiative. In the first phase, which will take two years to complete, the targeted output is 30 percent of Chad’s poultry needs.

Advancing Food Security: The investment will cover the building of a processing plant with the capability to handle up to 40,000 birds, a feedmill, a hatchery and fifteen farms that will produce chickens. The construction of the facilities will be managed with sustainability principles in mind, focusing on resource efficiency and water management. This high-profile project is of great importance to the government and people of Chad, the financing partner and to us. Novus and Globoaves continue to collaborate to advance the project, with Globoaves directing the engineering of the plant and establishing additional required infrastructure. Novus brings our poultry nutrition and production expertise and African business experience, engaging with governments and recruiting resources and facilitating all discussions with technical partners involved with the development. Next phases will include training at a local level in the operation and management of an industrialized poultry facility. We see ourselves as a catalyst in this project, bringing different and varied parties together to achieve a common, shared objective. Chad is not a natural selection for this type of project. The country is landlocked, agriculture is not well developed and grains are imported. Working with governments is always a complex challenge. That’s why our skills as an integrator and connector are important in this partnership.

At first, the facility will be a state-owned enterprise that engages private small farmers to run the fifteen farms that will support the poultry facility. This support for small farmers in the region will provide livelihoods for many families. The goal is to eventually privatize and expand the operation to include even more small scale farmers.

Unique Partnership: This initiative is a perfect fit with the Novus mission of helping to feed the world and maximizes our competencies in developing and sustaining public- private partnerships. It will generate enhanced local job creation and develop local skills and technical capabilities. It’s a pleasure to be able to collaborate with one of our most significant customers. Also, this is a public-private partnership model which could be replicated in other countries. Several other countries in Africa are already demonstrating interest."

Insights from the office of the former Prime Minister of Chad

“The country of Toumaï attracts more and more interest as more investors learn about the accord Prime Minister Emmanuel Nadingar granted to a consortium of American-Brazilian partners July 19, 2012. The American-Brazilian consortium, specializing in poultry farming and production, is busy constructing a poultry complex in Koundoul, a locality situated 25 km south of the capitol. This investment, which amounts to approximately $50 million U.S. dollars, is on the right track.

The Prime Minister and his hosts discussed the expected impacts of this project for the Chad renaissance after several years of instability and in line with the ambition of his Excellence, the President Idriss Deby Itno, for a good use of the resources stemming from oil for the next generations and for his National Program for Food Safety, PNSA.”

Roberto Kaefer Insights from Roberto Kaefer Managing Director, Globoaves

“We are so thankful for the great partnership that began with our long-standing business relationship with Novus and evolved into a complete social development program for low-income families in the battle against world hunger, which will be one of the greatest challenges that our companies will face.

Together we have developed a great project called PAF – Poultry Family Program (Programa de Avicultura Familiar). PAF is a social-sustainability program, which includes the management, production and correct handling of colonial birds, called ‘galinhas caipiras,’ by transferring knowledge in poultry production, nutrition and management. We transformed this knowledge into a simple methodology for low-income families in rural Brazilian states and towns, as well as for countries with the need for programs that fight hunger, like South America and Africa.

This program began as a pilot in one of Brazil’s poorest regions, a semiarid area in Santana do Ipanema, State of Alagoas, in northeastern Brazil. We created and trained a farmers’ association with 100 families who had incomes of less than $50 USD per month. Today they produce enough food (protein), such as meat and eggs, to feed their children. They also had an income increase of approximately $300 USD per month due to excess production resulting from the sales of packaged products through their own micro-cooperative, where, in addition to increased income, they found a common purpose and dignity.

After the successful pilot program in Alagoas, we were invited by many Brazilian states’ governments to duplicate this program for more than 60 towns and 6,000 Brazilian families. Even the FAO presented the program to some South American and African countries.

Because of this partnership and strategy between Globoaves (Brazil’s largest producer of day-old chicks and fertilized eggs) and Novus, we developed another new project that also exceeded our business expectations - PIA (Projeto Industrial Avícola - Industrial Poultry Project). PIA consists of building, managing and training a chicken production chain for countries that import over 90 percent of their food and populations that lack technology and knowledge in the production of chicken meat.

For this reason, we initiated a negotiation with the government of the Republic of Chad, where there are more than 10 million people that consume over 60,000 tons of imported poultry meat. Chad had sufficient economic conditions due to its oil production, but had neither the technology nor the knowledge in production and health to produce food. Our project is an important element in the Government’s plans for the renaissance of Chad.

We were invited by the Government through Chad´s Ministry of Livestock to sign a $50 million contract to design and build an industrial complex (Project Koundoul) in the next two years. The complex will include the entire production chain with a feed mill, a hatchery and poultry complex capable of processing 40 thousand birds per day, plus the transfer of construction, management and chicken production know-how.

We are honored with this partnership and we thank all the professionals who are involved in the project and believe that this is just the beginning of a great journey between our companies.”

Partnering for Small Farmers in Brazil

Our multi-sector partnership in Alagoas, Brazil, is designed to offer small-scale family poultry farmers a way to produce more affordable protein and improve the quality of life for their families and local community. In this program, we continue to partner with local government leaders in Alagoas, Globoaves, SEBRAE (a state agency for micro-business development) and the state university UNEAL (Universidade Estadual de Alagoas). In addition to funding, Novus contributes knowledge and trains farmers about poultry nutrition and animal husbandry. The objective is to provide 6,000 participating families with a starting allocation of chickens, a basic infrastructure to grow the chickens and vegetables and the know-how and training to enable them to sustain production. This project began with a small number of farmers in one town and has expanded to an additional nine towns. Local farmers are realizing good returns on their poultry production and a significant improvement in local economic development is a key outcome.





Pioneering Retail Channels in East Africa

Bayella Thiam Insights from Bayella Thiam Executive Manager, Sales and Distribution, Africa

“In North Africa, the markets have been challenged in the past years. Economic uncertainty, effects of the Arab spring, issues with European currency and the Eurozone and high feed costs have all combined to make this one of the most challenging years in this market. However, we have seen growth in agri-business in sub-Saharan Africa. Investors are coming and there is a momentum to move forward.

Doing business in Africa requires different ways of thinking internally. For example, in Europe, you can’t do business without a bank account; however, in Africa, most people do not have bank accounts which translates to adjusting business expectations to find the right local solutions. Our retail approach is innovative and adapted specifically to the needs of our customers in this market. We have completed a first pilot. Today in East Africa, there are shops carrying Novus products and displaying the Novus brand. We have developed brochures in several local languages. Following this success, we will expand retail selling in East Africa and expect to substantially increase the number of retail outlets which offer the Novus range of products.

We also completed another pilot for mobile phone communications with customers. The mobile phone is not used to place orders, but for training and awareness. We sent out tips and insights to over 1,400 farmers, helping them gain knowledge and receive advice in a practical, user-friendly way that is accessible to them at all times. This program has been very successful and we plan to roll it out further across Africa. Actually, we have had many other companies contact us to see how we do it. We are proud of this, but we are more interested in the outcome: better knowledge for farmers, better productivity, improved livelihoods and more food to feed Africa’s populations.”

Reducing Feed Costs in India

Dr. Vaibhav Nagpal Insights from Dr. Vaibhav Nagpal Executive Manager, South Asia Sales

“Novus has been operating in India since 2005. We have a team of 31 professionals working in the field with customers and in our offices and research laboratories in Chennai. In 2012, we expanded our distribution to four warehouses throughout India and enhanced our network to over 20 distributors. We now can deliver to any customer anywhere in India within 24 hours, instead of a 15 day average lead-time as was the case in the past.

Finding Ways to Reduce Feed Costs for Poultry Farmers: In the Indian market, 2012 was a tough year for poultry producers - raw material prices such as corn and soybean meal hit record highs, causing many poultry farmers to be in trouble for the whole year. Several customers came close to shutting down. We knew that the most critical factor for many poultry producers was to reduce feed costs. Locally available raw materials, such as rapeseed meal, cottonseed meal and guar meal, would make a big difference here, slashing the cost of feed raw materials by up to five percent. Poultry producers needed help in reformulating feed for the best results.

Roundtable Discussions Deliver Big Benefits for Poultry Farmers: We initiated a series of roundtable discussions all over India in major poultry-producing areas, inviting producers, leading nutritionists and university professors with specialist knowledge, as well as our own Novus experts. We conducted open discussions with customers and showed how enzymes drastically increase the bioavailability of protein and nutrients when used with local raw materials. We helped poultry producers to reformulate and even connected them to suppliers of alternative raw materials. Over 100 poultry producers benefitted and in some cases, this saved customers from going out of business. Local sourcing of raw materials also helps drive the local economy and provides jobs and other economic benefits. We see this as a sustainable approach for animal agriculture and for business.

Helping Small Farmers Manage Cash-Flow Challenges: Another issue for smaller scale livestock producers is cash flow. They can’t afford to purchase more expensive ingredients even though this lowers their overall costs. One thing we have tried to do is create smaller packs. We now offer many of our products for dairy and poultry in smaller packages. This creates greater accessibility. Our local manufacturing capabilities enable us to offer tailored solutions to meet very specific feed needs for many customers.

International Experts Help Novus Customers in India: In addition to delivering science-based, sustainable feed and animal health solutions, we contribute by sharing knowledge and raising awareness. In 2012, we were very active in India. For example, we invited Dr. Steve Leeson, a world-acclaimed poultry nutritionist, to visit India for a week. He worked with major poultry integrators in India and helped them with their feed formulation and identified opportunities to improve efficiencies. Over 100 farmers attended the Novus workshop on poultry nutrition.

Sharing Knowledge from Other Markets to Help Indian Customers: We also helped our customers in India by sharing replicable models from other markets. One example in India last year was at the Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers Association of India (CLFMA) annual symposium, which was attended by over 500 Indian feedmill operators and industry members. We invited Mr. Vanus Taepaisitphongse, CEO of one of our major and most successful customers in Thailand, Betagro Group, who spoke to the local industry about growing a thriving and expanding agri-feed business. We believe that in order to be a trusted partner of our customers, we must provide them with opportunities to learn and develop.”

>

Improving Cow Comfort in China

Samson Li Insights from Samson Li Executive Director, ASIA Sales and Distribution<

“Our business in China is growing rapidly as we continue to provide solutions and service to our customers here. Industry consolidation is moving at a fast pace and we are staying abreast of the challenges facing these larger players, as well as supporting small farmers. The industry is looking for ways to manage food safety more effectively in every part of the food chain and also use alternatives to antibiotics to prevent overdosing issues in the future. Organic acids can play an important role in this development.

In 2012, we brought our successful C.O.W.SSM program from the U.S. to our customers in China and we already have several positive experiences. Key feedback from customers indicates that insights gained from the program helps producers manage their farms more efficiently and improves milk output. We hope that this program, which focuses on animal well-being, will help producers make changes in their practices which will benefit the animals, but also will benefit their business and overall food productivity.”

Mr. Zhang Xinkai Insights from Mr. Zhang Xinkai Senior Technical Manager, Shanghai Bright Dairy

Bright Dairy is one of largest dairies in China. Bright Dairy raises 15,000 animals (cows and heifers) including a 5,000 cattle farm in the Jinshan District of Shanghai. In 2012, the average milk production of all cows was over 9,000 kg per cow per year.

“Milk production in the Shanghai region has rapidly increased in recent years. However, high prevalence of lameness and stability of production are new challenges for farmers and dairy managers must find new ways to resolve these problems. The Novus C.O.W.S. program provided new ways of thinking – a sort of ‘brain storming’ – for the Shanghai Bright Dairy group.

Cow comfort is an essential part of cow well-being. The goal of cow comfort is to achieve high production and benefit by providing a good environment for cows to eat, drink and rest. Most dairy farms in Shanghai are traditional stall facilities which did not really consider cow comfort when they were built. Poor facilities and housing have a negative influence on cows, such as poor performance and increased lameness.

Four high-production pens in three dairy farms from Shanghai Bright Dairy participated in the C.O.W.S. evaluation in 2012. This included new free stall barns and traditional old free stall barns with different bedding. The evaluation provided enough information for managers to compare different bedding types. The evaluation covered nearly every detail of the farm, not only lameness prevalence, hock and knee score, but also maintenance of bedding, dimensions of bedding, feeding areas and milking management. The report provided information that is very helpful to improve the efficiency of the farms.

Novus scientists provided some suggestions for solutions based on the C.O.W.S. evaluation. This is different from the approach of other companies. Here it is not the people telling us what we want to know, but the data that speaks for itself. Among the four pens, three of them achieved a very high lying time, compared with data from North America benchmarking. By comparing bedding, we saw that rubber mat bedding had a protective effect on lameness, supporting a low prevalence of hock injury. The data on stocking density, milking time and maintenance of bedding also gave us confidence to improve the management further. Data from farms that already have achieved good results convinced us that we had the potential to improve hoof health and milk production. Although the rebuilding of our facility will cost money and time, we can improve step-by-step. In 2013, we will ask the Novus C.O.W.S. team to re-evaluate the farms to compare the effects of our improvements. I hope the C.O.W.S. program will continue to give support to dairy farms to increase the milk production and health in the Shanghai region.”

Training the Trainer for Farmers in Vietnam

As part of our ongoing commitment to advance best practices in global agriculture and nutrition, Novus partnered with Heifer International, a non-profit organization whose goal is to help end world hunger and poverty through self-reliance and sustainability. In collaboration with Heifer, Novus implemented a multi-year “Training the Trainer” project to improve the livelihoods of rural, smallholder farmer households in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, one of the largest and most fertile deltas in Southeast Asia. The region produces rice, fruit and more than 50 percent of Vietnam’s seafood as well as 60 percent of the country’s seafood export revenue. Through the Novus-Heifer partner program, farmers on the Mekong Delta are learning improved ways of earning a livelihood through the adoption of more efficient agricultural and aquaculture practices.

The first two years of technical instruction for Heifer’s Vietnamese outreach teams involved courses focused on animal health and nutrition for aquatic species, specifically fish and shrimp, poultry and dairy, as well as development of farmer training school techniques. In 2012, year three of the training, emphasis was on additional aquaculture and swine management, nutrition and health, with a special focus on beef production. The program benefited from participation of local university experts, key Asian customers and partners, as well as Novus staff from around the world.

Advancing the Egg Industry in Europe

Given the significant challenges of the sector and Novus’s desire to help our customers, we organized a roundtable meeting in Brussels, Belgium for the egg and breeder industry across Europe to share experiences, concerns and challenges and discuss possible nutritional solutions and services. The key issues discussed included: the value of mineral nutrition in breeders on hatchability; pullet quality and bird development in the rearing period; achieving more profitable egg production and improved egg shell quality; stress resistance of hens; and long-term production flocks. We also discussed issues related to cage and cage-free layer hen systems, such as free range, aviary and floor system.

Insights from Yael Noy Nutritionist, Miloubar Compound Institute, Israel

“Miloubar is one of the biggest feed mills in Israel with an annual production of 630,000 tons of livestock feeds for all types of animal feeding facilities. We produce more than 220 kinds of compound feeds for broilers, layers, breeders, turkeys, fish, ostrich, pigs, cattle and sheep. It is important for us to rely on feed ingredients that live up in practice to their claims of efficacy and will provide the desired outcomes for animal health. This is why it is critical for us to know where our feed ingredients come from. We must be able to trust our feed ingredient suppliers, as there is a limit to the extent of our testing. We have to be confident that our suppliers are professional, reliable and trustworthy. The roundtable in Europe provided an opportunity for professionals from within the industry to have an open discussion on nutrients, nutritional requirements and specific products. This type of discussion does not happen often enough and I would like to thank Novus for the opportunity to participate.”

Open