The move means that Agilia, ASN and the Primary Diets units will all fall under this umbrella.

The integration process initiated nine months ago will ensure greater momentum behind each of these operations and ultimately increase their scope and scope, said Ian Wellock, the managing director of this revamped AB Neo business, on a call yesterday. .

“We have had several independent companies with very similar goals and a variety of talented nutritionists and technical staff. In a way, however, they competed with each other. There was a lot of overlap. By bringing these companies together with a very specific focus on our specialist knowledge, we can better serve our customers with improved products, relevant value-added services and continuous innovation, ”said the managing director.

AB Neo now includes two primary diet factories, one in the UK and one in Poland, ASN’s factory in Spain and Agilia, the Danish company.

“Spain is physically the largest of these companies in terms of sales and product. It is by far the largest bulk delivery factory to major integrators’ doorsteps in northern and central Spain, ”said Wellock.

The volume in the Polish Michel Pasze store has doubled since it was acquired by Primary Diets two years ago, he added.

Short and long term goals.

Wellock is currently focused on completing the integration, ensuring the smooth transfer of formerly “fairly independent entrepreneurial businesses” into one structure and encouraging them to work together.

AB Neo’s short-term goals will be to continue serving the customers of the various companies that offer products such as DanMilk milk replacers, Adicare additives, starter feeds from ASN and Primary Diets, the Axcelera range of products and specialty raw materials.

“In the long term, we want to be more courageous, expand our growing footprint beyond the focus of our piglets and take advantage of further opportunities in the market for young ruminants.”

Ultimately, AB Neo aims to reach more customers in more countries with a growing range of relevant products and services, to expand starter feeds and concentrates to the Danish market through Agilia and also to promote the Danish milk substitute range in the other markets in which it operates .

“The local teams know the local markets best, but they don’t just focus on what’s in their factories, they now have the entire AB Neo portfolio to choose from to market if necessary,” explained the managing director.

research Institute .

Wellock said the revised AB Neo includes about 20 nutritionists; They have a lot of experience, but now they are no longer isolated, but “all on one side”.

The company will continue to do research and continue to work with numerous university partners, he added. “But we will also pass on a large part of the research funds to a joint unit that we want to set up in Spain. We expect this to work in the next year. “

It is important that all initial development work be tested in real-time commercial situations, so that is the reason the research facility was built, Wellock said.

“And we have chosen Spain as the location to demonstrate our know-how in one of the world’s leading pig markets. Upon completion, we will have facilities for up to 7,000 piglets in a cloud-based, environmentally controlled system. The unit will have links to the maternity farm for pre-weaning nutrition assessment, as well as breeder / finisher farms so we can fully assess the impact on life performance.

“We are a technical company. We must first prove that we can add value before we can launch a product. “

Trends in newborn nutrition .

Wellock sees an interest in the pending zinc oxide ban in the EU in the expertise that a company like AB Neo can offer.

Does he see changes in the feeding of newborns in the future?

“Yes and no. Much will stay the same, but we will continue to adapt to our customers and change them. As they develop, their needs change. For example, as they get bigger, their demands and expectations of us change and they become interested more for our knowledge, our service, our ingredients and additives than for complete feed.

“In the long term, the focus will continue to be on reducing mortality and morbidity as we strive to continuously improve animal welfare. There is already more interest and demand in novel raw materials and a growing interest in how nutrients and treatments through water can benefit customers. Of course, there is also continued accountability for the environmental impact of the ingredients used in animal feed – such as carbon footprint, water use and deforestation – and it is a challenge that we are actively addressing. “