1 October 2018 – On 14 September 2018, Nuscience Group’s 10,000 ton-per-month premix and concentrates production facility in the Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area, China, was visited by the Managing Director of GMP+ international, Johan den Hartog, together with the Agricultural Counsellor of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Wouter Verhey, as well as the feed industry associations of Tianjin and nearby Beijing.
The visit follows the factory’s successful award of the GMP+ Feed Safety Assurance certificate at the end of 2017, making the site the first premix plant in China to receive such a certificate, ensuring total feed safety and traceability for products manufactured at the plant, with zero tolerance on antibiotic residues and contaminants.
Mr. den Hartog commented: “Nuscience has ensured a new level of feed safety and this will first of all strengthen their position in the market and secondly, it will increase the awareness of feed safety amongst other fellow feed companies. Nuscience has definitely taken up a leading role on feed safety within the feed industry in China”.
Shortly after Mr. den Hartog’s visit, Feedinfo News Service was able to talk to Mr. Jeroen Jeuken, Managing Director Agrifirm APAC about the company’s growing presence in China and how GMP+ certified premixes make a difference in a market increasingly concerned with feed product quality and safety.
“We are the first premix plant in China to receive the GMP+ Feed Safety Assurance certificate and we are very proud of this accomplishment”, Mr. Jeuken commented. “As a feed company we want to be a leader in our industry, not only in innovative nutritional concepts but also in feed and food safety and quality. Only this way we can inspire other feed companies to follow our steps and elevate the safety benchmark in our industry”.
“We all want to have a more responsible food chain for our future generations. Food safety, starts with improving feed safety and this includes that all processes, raw materials and ingredients need to be continuously monitored, evaluated, revised and improved. GMP+ is essential to assure transparency in all these processes and procedures throughout our supply chain and operations. We strongly believe this is the only way to ensure a leading position in the animal nutrition market as China is becoming more strict on antibiotic usage and more aware about food safety”, he added.
When asked if the Chinese livestock and poultry markets truly appreciate the value of GMP+ certified premixes, Mr. Jeuken argued that Nuscience clearly sees that awareness of quality throughout the supply chain is increasing within China.
“Everybody realizes that there is no food safety without feed safety. However, we are one of the front runners and that it will take some more years before GMP+ or equal certification will be implemented in the whole industry”, he commented. “Needless to say, that the Chinese feed industry is very adaptable to the need of the consumers who require safe and healthy food. Fast food chains are already requesting a total visibility through the supply chain what will increase over time. We are ready to serve the Chinese consumer safe meat with a guaranteed visibility and traceability from feed ingredient to the final meat product”.
In the future, Nuscience will further extend the quality label across its Chinese operations. The company is currently applying for a GMP+ certificate for its factory in Suzhou and also plans to do so for its Shanghai trading company. Such initiatives are a crucial part of the company’s vision, which is summed up in two words: Better Together.
Mr. Jeuken said: “We have made a new strategy and roadmap towards 2025 where we would like to grow our market share by double digits year on year. Considering that China is a key focus country within the Royal Agrifirm Group we have already the approval for further investment in either Tianjin or another location in China”.
The Tianjin plant was opened in May 2015, replacing an old plant Nuscience acquired in 2000. Plant capacity amounts to 10,000 tons per month with two production lines, one for premix and one for concentrates. And since its opening, it has realized a yearly volume growth of 20-25% thanks to the addition of modern production techniques, deemed necessary by Nuscience to meet the growing market demand in China.
Mr. Jeuken explained: “It’s a new plant which was built by Bühler, the largest global supplier for feed machinery. Besides that, other key equipments were imported: a Dinnissen mixer from the Netherlands, a Kahl expander from Germany and an Actemium liquid system from Belgium, etc”.
“We chose consciously for a vertical production process, which is important for both premix and concentrates. This process can eliminate the risk of residues and cross-contamination in the production system, and at the same time it can minimize the degree of non-uniformity in the mixture. Last but not least, we use a barcode system for traceability, from raw material to finished product, which is the guarantee for good quality”, she added.
Today, Nuscience’s Tianjin plant mainly produces Nutrition4U products, which includes young animal nutrition products like weaning and nursery feeds, as well as nutritional products for sows and fatteners.
“Our strength is definitely in the weaning/nursery nutrition and sow nutrition”, Mr. Jeuken went on to say. “Half of our total sales volume is realized by weaning/nursery feed which states our focus on young animal nutrition”.
Work for the team in Tianjin however does not stop there as numerous farm visits are conducted, during which Nuscience encounters many farm-specific issues such as heat problems in sows, semen quality issues in boars etc.
The sales representatives are able to intervene and propose the company’s range of functional feed products like Vitapunch, Vitaboar etc. to help solve these specific problems. And the site’s R&D scientists are also put to the task to find solutions for customers.
“Our parent company Royal Agrifirm Group believes firmly in innovation. This means we innovate continuously our existing nutritional concepts but also introduce new ones. Currently we are in the process of developing some new concepts targeting oxidative stress and lactic acid production, which we will launch soon. Through constant innovation we believe we can stay ahead and lead the feed industry by example”, commented Mr. Jeuken.