Devenish Nutrition provides leading edge nutritional solutions for the intensive livestock sector. The company goes beyond nutrition by working collaboratively with customers throughout the supply chain in order to produce high quality products from farm to fork. Devenish has its presence in India for close to a year now and Dr. Alcorn was in Bangalore in April, delivering a talk for IVPI’s Annual Scientific Program. Think Grain Think Feed caught up with him and his colleagues to know more about his talk and company’s goals in India. Below are excerpts from the interview:
TGTF: Could you please share the reason behind your first ever visit to India Dr. Alcorn?
Dr. Alcorn: Well, back in July last year Dr. Swamy Haladi joined Devenish Family with the responsibility of setting up the company in South Asia. Dr. Haladi is an Executive Member of IVPI (Institute for Veterinarians in Poultry Industry), a Bangalore based non-profit organization working towards redefining the role of veterinarians in the poultry industry. They held their Annual Scientific Program on April 25th coinciding with “World Veterinary Day”, and Devenish was invited and further requested to provide someone to speak on the topic “Nutritional Innovations to Bridge the Gap between the Genetic Potential and Current Performance of Poultry”. Initially my colleague Dr. Jones was scheduled to deliver this paper but unfortunately he was unable to travel due to a family emergency, and he asked me to deputise. So that is the story behind my first visit to India. My sincere thanks go to everyone I met who were so uniformly kind and hospitable. I hope to have the opportunity to visit again in the near future.
TGTF: Thank you Dr. Alcorn. That’s interesting. Please share the key points you discussed during this program.
Dr. Alcorn: Well, the key points I made were:
1) The genetic advances in poultry have been immense and that this imposes a great challenge in ensuring nutrition of birds closely matching their requirements. There is no room for “Lazy Nutrition”.
2) Because of the numbers of animals involved, even small improvements can yield immense overall benefits. Due to the background variation, it could be difficult however, it is imperative to determine if the changes that are being made have significant benefits. To do this accurately is vital, so as not to reach false conclusions. During my presentation I discussed the techniques used in our business to achieve valid results.
3) I finished by describing a number of advances in nutritional concepts found to be of value specifically: A. Rigor and accuracy in the design of diet and feed program; B. Targeting multiple dietary substrates with enzymes; C. Maintenance strategies for intestinal health.
TGTF: Dr. Jones, TGTF extends warm welcome to Devenish in India. Could you please shed light on the history of Devenish?
Dr. Jones: Devenish Feeds was initially founded in 1952 in Ireland, but in relation to its current offering, it started in 1997 through a management buyout from the current Devenish Group executive Chairman, Owen Brennan.
Devenish provides innovative nutritional solutions and technical expertise to their customer base in the intensive poultry, ruminant, pig and companion animal sectors. World class tailored and specialist advice is provided by a highly skilled and experienced team of experts in nutrition, animal husbandry, feed manufacture and veterinary advice.
Devenish is the largest independently owned manufacturer of premix, creep and speciality products in the UK. The Group has expanded rapidly in the last 17 years, growing from a turnover of £5 million with 23 staff to a turnover in excess of £150 million and 300 staff. The Group has 6 manufacturing sites across the UK, Ireland and US as well as offices in Dubai and India and is exporting to over 25 countries worldwide.
TGTF: Thank you Dr. Jones. It is interesting to note the global presence for Devenish, especially in the emerging markets. Given the vast potential, your entry to Asia can be described as “delayed”. What are your thoughts on this and also could you please share the company vision for India?
Dr. Jones: It is true that although many companies have conducted business in Asia for many years, Devenish Nutrition International, which serves all markets outside the UK, Ireland and US, was only established in late 2012. We have moved quite quickly to establish a team right across the Asian and Middle Eastern market.
Although our entry into Asia could be described as being delayed, we believe that we have a world class offering that will resonate with, and appeal to the market across Asia and specifically India. As you have said, the market here is vast, and there are still plenty of opportunities to develop significant business. We are confident that our Devenish Programme can and will improve the performance and profitability of producers here.
We have a member of our team based full time in India alongside other team members supporting customers in this market, and as the business grows, so will our team. As well as our premix offering, we have a range of innovative products and solutions that offer a range of benefits including gut health development, early bird nutrition and digestion and absorption enhancement that will add real value to producers here.
We work with some of the largest companies in the industry right across the world and have added real value to their business and we intend to do the same in India. We are quite confident that we can improve performance as we’ve developed the Devenish App to show producers the financial benefit that adopting the Devenish Program could bring. This is available on both the Apple and Google play app stores.
TGTF: Dr. Swamy, you have vast experience in Indian as well as global animal industry. Please provide your thoughts on what are some of the changes that can help Indian poultry industry and how Devenish can help in that process?
Dr. Swamy: India, being home to the second largest human population in the world, has done a great job so far in making sure that majority of her people don’t go to bed hungry. The same, however, cannot be said in providing people the right kind of protein and other essential nutrients. India holds Number 2 position in egg production and Number 3 position in broiler meat production in the world. In spite of this tremendous achievement, per capita consumption is only 58 eggs and 3.85 kg broiler meat. This clearly explains we are around 3 times behind what is recommended by health organizations.
There are two ways in which we can increase production of poultry products. One is increasing the bird placement and the other is improving the efficiency of production. Given the growing scarcity of raw materials and natural resources, we need to emphasize on the second option. We need to be open minded and try the innovative methods to enhance efficiency of poultry production. Obviously, another key area we need to work is on improving the safety and traceability of poultry products so that we can not only export products but also enhance local acceptance.