The growing population, increases in household income and water scarcity are key drivers for the protein industry, and technology that can increase production and improve animal welfare will be important in meeting these challenges, according to Francois Fraudeau, president and CEO of Novus International.
François Fraudeau, president and CEO of Novus International, speaks about key drivers in the agricultural industry.
"The key drivers for agriculture and animal nutrition together have actually not changed for the last 25 years, and these are the increasing population and the increasing income of the household," Mr. Fradeau said.
"We saw huge increases, especially in Asia, where two-thirds of the world population is located, and this is also the place where the economy is developing. Moving forward, we'll see large increases in Africa - the population in Africa is set to double in the next 50 years, and of course we see more and more need for protein meat."
The challenge is to fulfill these needs with fewer resources. Water is becoming scarce in many areas, so Novus' mission is to help customers feed the world through technologies, he said.
"There are two needs - one of the needs is in the terms of volume. The need for protein meat is increasing. There is more use of commodities and feed additives, and we are one of the largest producer for methionine. Customers are needing more products, therefore we are developing capacities," he said.
Novus has begun plans to build a new plant for methionine to ensure they can deliver on the growing demand from their customers.
"The other area we are investigating is how we can help our customers to optimize existing resources, and especially how can we help them to replace antibiotics that are not really welcome any longer by consumers," Mr. Fraudeau said. "That requires not increasing our capacity, but increasing our research efforts, so Novus are doing two things - increasing capacity for methionine and increasing research into enzymes, organic minerals and alternatives to antibiotics. All these new solutions will help preserve our resources."
Globally, needs and demands on Novus are not all the same. A few years ago, the key driver was performance and producing more. Now, depending on the country, the drivers have shifted and some are about animal welfare while others are answering consumer demands. Different parts of the world are not all at the same stage.
"For instance, everybody knows that antibiotics are banned for many years in Europe, and now they are thinking to ban them in the US," he noted. "China is still all about production and performance, and not so much about animal welfare, so we are developing both solutions. But we won't implement these solutions everywhere at the same time. It depends on the maturity of the markets."