Following a restructuration of the INVE group in January 2009, all activities of INVE Aquaculture related to feedmill specialties and farm nutrition, including the support team, research activities, test centers and product lines of aquaculture additives, were incorporated into Nutriad, global supplier of specialty additives in aquaculture and agriculture.
Coutteau setup Nutriad’s specialised business unit to further develop the feed additive business in aquaculture. Nutriad had been active in aquaculture since the very beginning but lacked a species-specific focus for aqua.
This interview appeared in the May June 2013 edition of International Aquafeed magazine
Natural ingredients and nature play a big role in your products and the promotion of the company. Why this emphasis?The use of natural alternatives to antibiotics and synthetic products is a growing trend in the feed industry. Our logo ‘Applying Nature’ can be found in the basics of most of our feed additives. The application of natural compounds derived from a variety of sources including yeasts, botanicals, peptides, and animal by-products is at the top of the agenda of our researchers in the different species. The list of activities we source from natural compounds includes bactericide action, digestive stimulation, immune-stimulation, anti-oxidants, anti-parasitics to name a few.
Why/how are Nutriad additives ‘smart’?Additives are ‘smart’ when they are based on a solid understanding of market and customer needs. Also, they need to be designed through a creative approach to product development, which is combining fundamental knowledge, lab testing and field verification to reach a solution that is satisfactory in terms of efficacy but at the same time realistic in terms of time required to reach the solution and cost for the end-user. The result is an effective solution for animal nutrition and health challenges faced by our customers.
What are the biggest challenges aquaculture faces?As Nutriad covers all species, the differences in development stages of the industry become more clear. Aquaculture has grown at a staggering speed the past two decades with several species developing from scratch: salmon, penaeid shrimp, bass, bream, tilapia, pangasius.
Aquaculture is a young industry, which in practice means that producers (and their suppliers) in most countries are in the transition between the first and the second generation. The global aquafeed sector is volume wise 25 times smaller than the agri-feed industry and at the same time enormously diverse in terms of species, formulations, culture intensity, climatological and cultural conditions.
This results in a geographic fragmentation of the feed business which makes it much more challenging for an additive supplier to develop a global business. By contrast the live stock business is dominated by monogastrics, swine and poultry, with more commonly accepted farming practices around the world. The aqua business is much more dynamic than the agri business, and is facing still major challenges due to its recent and fast development.
From a technical point of view, reducing the impact of outbreaks of diseases and parasitic infestations on production efficiency is surely one of the biggest challenges, particularly under conditions where cost efficiency is calling for lower cost feeds and higher culture density in the farm.
From a business perspective, aquaculture production of many species is still under full organisation and that affects all the stakeholders in the industry. The salmon industry is the most structured aqua industry in terms of legislation, organisation of the processing chain and export activity, transparency, health prevention and genetic programs. We are seeing similar developments in other major producing countries such as the shrimp industry in Thailand and pangasius in Vietnam but there is still a long way to go and a lot of aquaculture volume continues to be produced in less organised business environments.