Kemin Industries South Asia inaugurated its unit II facility at Gummidipundi, Chennai, India last month (March 24). The company has invested more than $7M to serve growing market demands with inspired molecular solutions.
India is the fastest-growing economy in the world and the market is growing at a much higher pace compared to other developed markets; For instance, the Broiler industry is growing at 7–8% and Layer and Ruminant sectors are growing at 5-6%. Hence, it is a strategic location for expansion.
“South Asia plays a very important role in the global animal feed market, producing more than 35 million tons of compound feed. Due to rapid economic growth in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, the overall demand for animal protein is increasing in the region,” said Dr. Chris Nelson, President and CEO, Kemin Industries. “For this reason, we decided to invest and grow the capacity at our existing Gummidipundi plant near Chennai. Kemin is always seeking opportunities to better meet our customer’s needs regionally and provide high-quality products and solutions. This expansion is yet another example of how Kemin puts customers first.”
The new state-of-the-art facility is one of the most sophisticated plants in the global Kemin portfolio to produce metal propionate trace minerals. The plant comes with a unique, patented ‘Integrated Organic Mineral Production System (IOMPS)’, which is the first of its kind in the world to produce propionate organic minerals. It will provide high-quality organic minerals with cost-efficient animal production.
The production facility for liquid products is also significantly improved in the new facility. The facility has also received new certifications and endorsements to better serve Kemin Food Technologies based customers in Asia.
With the expansion, the company’s ability is enhanced to serve a greater number of customers with less supply lead time in a most efficient manner in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh markets.
The new plant comes with 30% landscaping which is the best in the industry. It is moving towards essential and natural ingredients and by 2025, 50% of Kemin products will be based on plant ingredients.
“Reducing carbon footprint is really about increasing productivity. Our feed to gain ratios are the absolute gold standard in the industry as well as key performance indicators that remain the principle way we derive ups in productivity and downs in carbon footprint,” said Dr. Chris. “Kemin products by definition focus on that area by providing greater efficiency to the animal be it with the better absorption, better preservation or working on the intestinal health, all of these lower the carbon footprint out of the animal that is waste and more carbon is deposited in terms of meat or eggs.”
“We are excited to bring new technologies into our production facility so we can provide customers the maximum benefits of our products,” said Mr. R Sureshkumar, President, Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health – South Asia.
Kemin’s approach to meet the diverse needs of customers across Asia with its multiple species and diverse geographies has been commendable since its inception. Elaborating more about it, Mr. GS Ramesh, Group President for Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health mentioned three major areas for the company – one related to feed that includes feed safety, efficiency, and quality where it is the market leader throughout Asia. Another area is the usage of Antibiotics, where they are observing major changes. The industry needs to adapt to consumer-driven trends that may be reduced usage of antibiotics or completely eliminating it. The third one is Intestinal health.
Kemin has come out with new H3ALTH solution and working with its customers to provide Antibiotic alternative solutions (ABA). It serves better Microbiome, intestinal integrity and Immunity. Kemin Industries is also adopting and advancing in the field of phytogenics.
“Phytogenics is a definite opportunity for feed manufacturers to look at as they evaluate their antibiotic programme,” said Dr. Chris. “Kemin is one of the few companies which grows its own plants, offering phytogenic additives. We grow our own plants so that we can define the exact molecule present in the plant. We utilize only specific cultivars that had been bred by own group and then we propagate them on large base plantations to be harvested as phytogenic molecules. I do see the prospects growing in the coming years, but it won’t be used alone, maybe it would be used with probiotics or acids or organic acids, Might be utilised to stimulate the immune system, or slow releasing butyric acid, All of these combinations of products are available with Kemin. We work with individual feed manufacturers to see what fits their programme the best.”
Prospects in the Aquaculture sector
The United Nations predicts the aquaculture industry to grow by 36 percent by 2026 and outgrow aquafeed industry. Mr. KP Philip, President, Kemin AquaScience shared his thoughts on the same “As it is the preferred source of protein. Which is why as Ramesh mentioned when we look at our 25 years strategic plan, aquaculture is identified as three major push we will be having going forward which is also the reason we formed a separate business unit to create a focus and expand in the biggest market – China, South Asia, and Latin America. Kemin is fully prepared and agrees with United Nations.”
Consistent quality – Concern for Feed industry
Kemin laboratories around the world have confirmed a large variation between feed raw material samples which is as high as 23 percent. Elaborating on how the feed producers could ensure consistent quality of both raw material and end-product Dr. Chris said “As of now there are two technologies to address this. The first is NIR that detects the variation and normalize it within the advanced computer systems so the consistency of the normal product is always there. The second thing that the NIR can identify but can’t really do anything is relative moisture content in the feed. We find that the variation in the moisture of ingredients what the feed manufacturers feel they have versus the product they wish to put out has a great deal of variety & since moisture has not been thought of as an ingredient for the feed because of course, it destabalizes the feed microbiologically. Kemin has worked out a system that allows one to be able to utilize moisture as an ingredient to find consistent moisture across the stream which does enormous numbers of positive benefits to feed manufacturer and the producer and the animal consuming the feed. We think this development is very significant for general quality.”
Kemin Industries look forward to investing in a new fermentation facility and new encapsulation facility to produce high tech coated products. It considers India as a major manufacturing hub and is planning to invest continuously. The investments are not only to cover Indian and South Asian markets, but also global markets.
“For more than 20 years, Kemin has established a strong footprint in South Asia feed production,” said Mr. GS Ramesh. “As the demand for meat production increases in South Asia, the need for our value-added products is also growing tremendously. The additional capacity in Gummidipundi will equip us to meet the ever-increasing demand for Kemin’s high-quality feed ingredients. As we begin to output new products at this facility, we aim to work closely with our customers for the collective purpose of improving animal production efficiency.”
“One of the areas we are focusing on is fish meal as a protein source in feed and we have a major programme ongoing with several sources of protein, it is in the early stages so we can’t get into specifics but in a years’ time you will be hearing a lot on alternate protein from us,” said Mr. KP Philip.
“Our growth plan is 80% through organic growth and rest 20% from acquisitions” Dr. Chris added.
Message for the Feed Industry
Looking at the dynamics of the Industry the leaders of Kemin Industries had some very inspiring insights for the fellow industry stakeholders. “Raw material prices can go up and down but never compromise on quality,” said Mr. KP Philip. Asserting on the importance of credibility Dr. Chris said “Consumer has enormous trust on feed industry we can never violate that trust.”
Continue to improve your efficiency. Also, it is important to understand the consumer trend because it’s going to come to India very soon. We need to improve our quality standards to that level, we are still not there at this time, Mr. GS Ramesh added.
Whenever a new innovation based on science comes to the market, do experiment with it and see the benefit of it, said Mr. Sureshkumar while emphasizing on the importance of innovation.