07 June 2019- Novus International has been providing solutions to the animal nutrition market for nearly 30 years. As its products have found their way into animal feed on every continent, it became essential to ensure that the company be able to remain close to the diverse needs of different geographic markets. Thus in 2018, Novus implemented an organizational change that aligned the sales, technical and marketing functions into eight world areas (North America, Latin America North, Latin America South, Europe, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia-Pacific and South Central Asia). Each is led by a world area director, reporting into a regional (Asia, Americas, EMEA) chief commercial officer.
As the World Area Directors for South Central Asia (Neeraj Kumar Srivastava), Northeast Asia (Dr. DeFa Sun), and Southeast Asia-Pacific (Dr. Von Richard Ebron) explain to Feedinfo News Service, this new organization makes it possible for the business to react quickly to local situations as they emerge.
Feed hygiene in times of disease
The most obvious example today is African Swine Fever (ASF). Dr. DeFa Sun of Novus’s Northeast Asia world area says that the team took action as soon as information about the threat was available, focused on keeping corporate headquarters abreast of the virus’s spread and getting Novus’s customers in touch with expert information to help them master their own risks. “We set up a team to lead a campaign to help our customers better understand the virus and the Novus solutions that could be used to overcome challenges associated with the spread of ASF. We also invited an ASF veterinary expert from Kansas State University to give our customers online training about ASF prevention.”
This coordination has been critical in helping to advance understanding of solutions that might help producers protect their own herds. “As a nutrition company, Novus is not an expert on ASF, but in 2016 research found that ACTIVATE® DA (nutritional feed acid) from Novus can reduce porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) titer in feed,” recounts Dr. Sun. “When the ASF outbreak occurred in China, everyone was very nervous about the transmission of this virus. The veterinary director at one of Novus’s largest global customers conducted research that found ASF could be spread via feed raw material. They also found that Novus’s ACTIVATE® DA was the best product available to reduce the virus titers in feed and provide additional nutritional benefit from the organic acid.”
And as the virus has charged down the continent, Novus’s Southeast Asia-Pacific team has mobilized to extend these efforts further south. “Novus has focused on helping our customers by educating them on how ASF virus can spread via contamination of the feed supply chain,” adds Dr. Von Richard Ebron, Director of the Southeast Asia-Pacific world area. “We have been actively conducting seminars and customer visits to show how certain solutions can help prevent the spread of the ASF in feed raw materials and finished feed, which is part of the Novus Feed Hygiene and Feed Biosecurity Programs… a system designed to assess all critical points in the feed mill where points of vulnerability are brought to the attention of the feed mill manager or owner for corrective actions or improvements.”
Customers in the Southeast Asia-Pacific region have exhibited a “sharp surge” in demand for the company’s nutritional feed acids, according to Dr. Ebron. “As Thailand is currently still ASF-free, the use of ACTIVATE® DA has been mainly for preventive measures,” he says. Neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia have expressed increased interest in feed hygiene solutions FORMYCINE® GOLD Px, a preservative premix which, in Dr. Ebron’s words, boasts “broad-spectrum bacteria and virus control properties.”
This has served as the impetus for Dr. Ebron’s Southeast Asia-Pacific team to initiate educational seminars in the region to share information about these solutions—not just for ASF prevention, he specifies, but also for other critical swine diseases such as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PED) and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), leaving the area’s producers in better shape for the next epidemic.
At the same time, the company’s World Area organization has kept Novus’s initiatives in other parts of Asia from being swallowed by the all-consuming urgency of the ASF crisis. As points out Neeraj Kumar Srivastava, the company’s Director for the South Central Asia region, the small swine population of this region means that industry is much more attuned to the needs of poultry producers. These include feed and water hygiene, naturally, driven by threats such as Newcastle Disease, Fowl Typhoid and Inclusion Body Hepatitis.
Ingredient availability and quality
More urgently, Mr. Srivastava’s region is dominated by concerns about feed material availability and costs, focusing Novus’s strategy on solutions that can help maximize the nutritional value of these feedstuffs. “Due to high prices of corn and soybeans, the cost of production has increased by 15% in just four months,” he attests. “Novus, being a leading global player in the feed enzyme segment’s protease and phytase category with the CIBENZA® family of enzymes, is helping producers to efficiently reformulate diets with the application of feed enzymes and thereby working to reduce the impact of high raw material prices. The trend of using feed enzymes is increasing in South and Central Asia.”
In the other world areas, concerns about availability of feed materials are magnified by events such as extreme climactic conditions or trade conflicts. “One of the major challenges for our customers is the sourcing of a consistent supply of quality ingredients and feed additives,” acknowledges Dr. Ebron. “In an unpredictable trade climate, there is no guarantee for this and thus we work with our customers to ensure that they maximize their available ingredients whenever possible.”
And of course, low availability of feedstuffs often goes hand in hand with quality issues. “The variation of feed quality is a big challenge in China due to small scale production and the diverse environmental conditions throughout the country,” observes Dr. Sun. “Feed mycotoxins and feed oxidation are two major challenges as they have negative impacts on animal performance, meat quality and food safety. Novus is a world leader in feed oxidative solutions with our unique product AGRADO®.” Driven by these needs, Novus is developing a new mycotoxin solution, as well.
Helping the production industry clean up
Finally, Novus’s different world areas have been able to connect with the particular local needs of an industry that is transforming in profound ways.
“The Chinese and Korean governments implemented strict regulations to limit trace mineral levels in feed as a way of controlling heavy metal pollution,” explains Dr. Sun. “This new rule pushes both the feed company and the integrator to use a more sustainable source of trace minerals such as organic. I believe one of the most important feed additives in the future is organic trace minerals. Novus is a leader in this field with MINTREX® chelated trace minerals. This solution is the only bis-chelated trace mineral available globally.”
Moreover, as different regimes for antimicrobial use come into effect, Novus’s regional teams will be left to meet the needs of the industry for productive growth. China, which has set itself the goal of antibiotic-free feed by 2020, offers an opportunity for the company’s organic acids to improve the water quality and gut health of animals, according to Dr. Sun. Meanwhile, in South Central Asia, “Novus is seeing eubiotics products as a major upcoming opportunity,” asserts Mr. Srivastava. “In South Asian countries, eubiotics are going to play a very important role in maintaining the farming efficiency without the use of antibiotics.”
Published in association with Novus International, Inc.