Avril said it has secured an exclusive licensing agreement to modify the non GMO seed technology for French producers, which, it claims, allows less fiber and a 20% increase in the protein content of rapeseed meal, with no impact on the amount of oil in the feed.
Dow AgroSciences developed the technology to generate canola with higher protein content for the Canadian market, which is set to be launched on the market there this year.
“Sofiprotéol, our financing arm, found out about the canola innovation in Canada and the team subsequently turned to Dow to discuss terms to adapt the technology for the European market,” a spokesperson for Avril told FeedNavigator.
Canadian canola is cultivated in the spring, so the seed technology will have to be modified for French farmers who grow winter oilseed rape.
“Different climates require different plant genetics,” Kenda Resler-Friend, Dow AgriSciences spokeswoman, told us. She said the combined expertise of Dow and Avril and the French firm’s local presence in the market makes for an effective partnership.
The technology is to be made available to French seed producers so they can develop varieties, but the protein boosted rapeseed meal will not be available to French swine, cattle or poultry producers until 2025.
Avril’s “involvement in the oilseed rape value chain, from breeding companies to animal production operations, will help this advanced technology get into the hands of farmers who can utilize it,” added Resler-Friend.
The French group said it sees such crop innovation as a way of helping to reduce the European protein deficit and also increase the quantity of non GMO feed protein sources.
Improving winter oilseed rape for feed is an important step forward in the spirit that underpinned the creation of Sofiprotéol/Avril, said the spokesperson for that group.
The rapeseed technology deal will serve the general interest of France's farmers by helping strengthen the country's self-sufficiency in proteins, which rose from 25% in the 1980s to 55% today, making local rapeseed and sunflower oilseed meals the principal sources of protein used by French livestock farmers, he said.
Avril also announced this week its goal of investing in African oilseed sectors in order to “respond to the explosion in local food demand, and to develop specialty areas of global scope including oleochemicals, biosecurity and nutritional specialties for livestock.”