The Austrian-based company made the announcement at IPPE last week in Atlanta. We caught up with members of all three companies to get details on the venture.
Land O’Lakes and Delacon have been working together since 2000, said David Hoogmoed, executive vice president of Land O’Lakes and COO of Purina.
“Our PMI Nutritional Additives group is now a division that has been launched as a separate entity within Land O’Lakes and Purina expressly to take these kinds of products, this kind of science and market it to the broader industry,” he told us. “When I say broader industry, I’m talking about the whole US footprint, not only our customers, but also other manufacturers, integrators, [and others].”
In addition to the past work together, the companies share some common values, like the importance of integrity and research-based work, said Markus Dedl, CEO of Delacon.
“We have a global perspective about how plant materials work and how plant extracts work in the animal, in their physiology,” he said. “That’s why we teamed up with a partner, PMI, that knows exactly how the US market works; how the conditions here in the US are; how the research has to be done in the US; and also [a company] that has these relationships, these partnerships, in all 50 states, with a good distribution network.”
The work should allow for more direct collaboration and to speed the rate of development in bringing new products to the US market, he said.
“We will develop some of these things together; not just evaluate them here in the US, but also design them for the US market,” said Dedl. “That will give us a speed advantage, and speed also means a faster growth, especially in the years of transition.”
From PMI’s perspective, the partnership allows for the development of products and for the possibility of new research, said Tim Makens, general manager PMI Nutritional Additives.
Additionally, there is evidence that a change is taking place regarding how producers feed animals in the US, said Dedl. The current trend includes a move toward natural ingredients, transparency and natural feed components.
“We can see a clear higher demand for alternatives to these production systems and a shift to new technologies,” he said.
Another factor behind the partnership with PMI and Land O’Lakes was the ability to do more research with phytogenic products based in US conditions, he said.
“The ones we focus on most in the US are things like gut integrity, gut health, for example anti-oxidation and effects on improving the feed utilization, nutrient utilization,” said Dedl. “Those will be the effects that we are seeing already now, and will be looking for in the future in the US.”
The group also will be examining the use of phytogenics in ruminants, he said. “The phytogenic space for the ruminants is not very developed in the US in general, and it is one of our missions to change that because we, as Delacon, we are already quite successful with phytogenics in ruminants in other countries and we want to bring that knowledge now with PMI to the US,” he added.
Initial research has been done looking at poultry and swine needs, said Maken. “But, we’re also focused on the ruminants, dairy and beef, that will be an important part of our business for us in the future.”
Currently, research work is focused on two general areas – health and immunity and performance, he said.
“In our collaborative work, we’ll be looking for those key plant molecules to understand those modes of action and how they can benefit the animal in those two ways,” he said. “When we do the research and the science behind how each of the molecules behave within animals, it could be distinctly different and so that’s why we’re going to be looking for those distinct plant molecules that function the way we want them to within the GI tracts.”