One of the French flagships in animal nutrition and health, Neovia (Saint-Nolff, 8,300 employees; turnover €1.7 billion) produces whole feeds, premixes and miscellaneous mixes used and supplemented by partner manufacturers or by main farms directly. Neovia works for the land and fish farming sectors as well as for the pet sector.
The farm of the future
As Neovia was inaugurating its global innovation centre at Saint Nolff in July 2016, the company had announced the building of a pilot farm on the same site, the “farm of the future”, by 2020, with the aim of rising to the food challenge and innovating to collectively build the sustainable farm of tomorrow, improving farmers’ well-being, animal welfare and increasing productivity, while reducing its environmental footprint and valuing the farmer’s expertise.
Neovia relies on its fine and predictive farm management with the collection and aggregation of thousands of data items instantly available for swine, poultry and ruminants thanks to sensors, collars, cameras and drones to study their behaviour. This experimental connected farm will be the focal point of a domestic and international network of connected farms (Asia, Brazil) that will operate in “open innovation” mode to drive projects in partnership, whether they are technological (e.g. businesses and start-ups), academic (experts, research institutes, schools, universities, etc.) and strategic (clients, cooperative partners, etc.).
To this end, Neovia launched a call for solutions in May 2017, reaching out to various partners and based on several topics: precision & sustainable farming, pleasure of the farmer & redesigned work environment, behavioural analysis & predictive management, continuous training and interaction with consumers. The call was met with great enthusiasm. In December, a jury made up of a panel of experts had short-listed thirty companies in ten countries. They received Neovia’s “Innovative business” certificate, opening up the doors to the Farm of the Future network.
Aquaculture, a priority innovation area
The social development and demographic growth in Africa, Asia and Latin America should generate a 60% increase in the global animal protein production by 2040. Currently, aquaculture represents 4% of protein production with 41 MT, but should soar by 450% in the next 20 years. To find sustainable solutions that generate greater yields and at low cost, Neovia made intensive aquaculture one of its 5 global priority areas.
In late 2017, Neovia teamed up with Israeli start-up AquiNovo, which develops a solution to improve fish farms, non GMO and non hormonal, easy to add to the feed. The group also bought out Epicore, a US company specialist in the production of larval feeds and probiotics for the global aquacultural sector, and more specifically prawns. Thanks to this operation, Neovia can better adapt to the Asian market, a key area of development, as the area includes 4 of the 5 world leading prawn producers: China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Strong international development
Neovia operates 87% of its activities internationally. The group is developing its international and commercial coverage in Vietnam, the 14th global whole feed market. The group finalised its external growth in 2017, allowing it to increase its production capacity, better position itself in this growth market (+20% in 2016) and develop export activities in the South-East Asian market. Concurrently, Neovia has invested in a new site, created a new production line on one of its sites, and has increased its storage capacity in another unit. The group has operated in Vietnam for over 20 years. It has a workforce of 850 employees and two research centres, six logistics platforms, two technical centres and an analytical laboratory.
Also, Néovia became majority shareholder of Sanpo (270 employees) in 2017, 5th Chinese petfood player with offices in the country’s biggest cities.
In Africa, Neovia bought out Hi Nutrients (100 employees), the leader in the premix market for animal feed in Nigeria, with ~50% market shares in the poultry sector. Via the buy-out, Neovia set up in the most thriving African market in terms of demographic and economic growth. Neovia, looking to build synergies between Wisium, its Premix and Hi Mix brand, that of Hi Nutrients.
In the bosom of US giant ADM
Cooperative group In Vivo has announced the transfer of (67.5% of shares) Neovia to US agribusiness giant ADM (Archer Daniels Midlands, Chicago), specialist in corn, soya, cotton, sunflower, rapeseed and flax processing for the extraction of oil and nutrients that are then converted for human or animal food, pharmaceutical and chemical preparations. ADM operates in 170 countries, namely almost everywhere in the world, has a workforce of 31,000, 500 harvest collection points, 270 production sites and 44 research centres. Sales are $62.3 billion (€53.6 billion). With this operation, ADM increases its sales to $3.5 billion in animal nutrition to develop its high added value product segment. ADM even aims to become leader in the animal nutrition sector, a strategic target as it is developing fast.
Sources : Journal des Entreprises – 29/09/2017 & 30/10/2017, terre-net.fr – 09/10/2017, PR Newswire – 01/12/2017, Agrodistribution – 16/05/2017, Agromédia – 09/01/2018, Ouest France – 01/12/2017 & 02/07/2018, Lettre API – 20/06/2018
Photo credit : Neovia