The bolstered US Poultry Team will aim to further share technical expertise, grow strategic account representation, increase product field trials, and expand Huvepharma's existing poultry health and nutrition product reach and customer base.
To get a further understanding of what this focus means in practice, Feedinfo spoke to Drew Weir, Director of Poultry Business Unit, and David Smith, Professional Veterinary Services Manager, Poultry - both new members of the Huvepharma U Poultry Team, as well as Omar Gutierrez, Professional Nutrition Services Manager, Poultry.
[Feedinfo] Why was it important to set up a US Poultry Group of specialists? What would you say differentiates Huvepharma US Poultry Team's scientific expertise and strategic account representation from the services provided by other US poultry health businesses?
[Drew Weir] The needs of our customer base have changed dramatically over the last few years. We realise that all our customers are unique and the need to customise the customer experience is critical in today's environment. The approach we have taken combines many aspects of true account-based marketing. The account teams are structured to provide the customer Huvepharma representation throughout the corporate and complex locations. Our team members carry a wide variety of experiences and provide a vast array of expertise. The customer is at the centre of all our conversations.
[Feedinfo] The US Poultry Team was extended significantly in 2020. How have your customers responded to this proven commitment to the market and has it been difficult to implement these changes for Huvepharma in a year of COVID-19 and restricted travelling?
[Drew Weir] To say that this has been a challenging year would be an understatement. There is no doubt that at Huvepharma we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to operate in this environment with the "common sense" approach. We continue to evaluate all potential interactions with our customer base and internal team members with safety top of mind. Anytime you are adding personnel, there is a strong desire to get face-to-face meetings with current and potential customers. I would say that we have done the best we can to get our message out there while respecting the seriousness of this COVID-19 pandemic. There is still much work to do, but we have received positive feedback from our customer base thus far.
[Feedinfo] The poultry industry in the US has seen a significant growth and emphasis placed on poultry raised antibiotic free/no antibiotics ever. What has been Huvepharma's strategy to address this need of the market? Are there other trends Huvepharma is seeing that will usher in the need for new solutions?
[David Smith] The last five years have seen exponential growth in the number of broilers produced with some level of restricted use of antibiotics. Huvepharma is committed to seeking innovative ways to produce broilers in this new paradigm while maintaining the availability of traditional solutions which still bring value to our customers who can use them. Our strategy is to offer a portfolio of products that provide our customers the broadest range of tools to address the challenges they face regardless of the production systems they use. One recent example is our launch of AVERT™ NE, a new vaccine to help control necrotic enteritis due to Clostridium perfringens Type A. The main challenge facing animal agriculture in the future will be balancing consumer concerns about social issues with the need to feed a rapidly growing global population. Issues such as animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and social justice will have to be weighed against the need to meet the growing demand for animal protein to feed the population. Huvepharma's goal is to be a trusted partner with our customers as we navigate this new landscape.
[Feedinfo] Huvepharma offers various anticoccidial solutions both in-feed coccidiostats as well as coccidiosis vaccines (ADVENT® and Inovocox®). Why is it important to offer both solutions?
[David Smith] This is one example of Huvepharma's commitment. Controlling coccidiosis remains one of the most important poultry health challenges for broiler producers. Huvepharma provides a complete set of solutions; ionophores, chemical coccidiostats, and vaccines, that can be crafted to help our entire customer base, regardless of their specific needs. By combining this broad spectrum of products with our scientific expertise, we provide our customers a package of coccidiosis control solutions that no other animal health company can duplicate.
[Feedinfo] In a recently published article, you speak about the positive effects of specific enzyme inclusion strategies. In your opinion, what is the best way for a producer to maximise this strategy?
[Omar Gutierrez] Our recent peer-reviewed publication in the Journal of Applied Poultry Research INSERT LINK!!!!**** focused on the production benefits of so-called "super-dosing" of phytase as well as xylanase enzymes. As has been noted in countless scientific publications, "super-dosing" phytase supplemented with a xylanase enzyme yields zootechnical performance benefits beyond that associated with phosphorus release alone. Understanding why this occurs is a focus of the Huvepharma nutrition professional services team and will drive further research and product development projects in the coming year with the goal of discerning which specific combination of enzyme activities are additive or synergistic. While some may consider some variation in research findings easier to hide than to shed light upon, the Huvepharma technical team prefers to identify truths, find better solutions, and deliver best recommendations to our customers.
[Feedinfo] In addition, it is mentioned that the study was conducted using OptiPhos®, you have since released a new phytase, would you mind telling me what the difference is between these phytases?
[Omar Gutierrez] OptiPhos® Plus is the result of several years of development work on our existing E. coli-derived phytase gene, which produces the original OptiPhos® product. The result of this improvement is a phytase which maintained the desirable characteristics of original OptiPhos®, such as pepsin resistance, activity across a broad pH range, and superior catalytic speed with the added benefit of intrinsic thermostability during the pelleting process. What this means for our customers is that they can rest assured that the phytase they are paying for is being delivered to the animal intact and ready to do its job, which is to hydrolyse and release phytate-bound phosphorus from plant-derived ingredients. We have conducted dozens of pellet-thermostability and live-animal phosphorus release trials globally and are truly excited to offer what we believe is the best phytase on the market.
[Feedinfo] Do you see enzymes in the future playing a more significant role in disease control?
[Omar Gutierrez] As enzyme production platform technologies continue to improve, there will certainly be an increased effort to discover unique enzymes which play a role in the broad category defined commonly as "gut health". We are intensely focused on developing novel product technologies which are not only unique from a differentiation perspective, but above all, maximise production efficiencies for our customers. Huvepharma stands apart from others in this pursuit due to the depth of our product portfolio and breadth of experience of our technical service, field-product support, and sales teams. By pairing our wide offering of nutritional, pharmaceutical, and biological products with the expertise offered by our staff, Huvepharma is positioned as an ideal partner in tackling the challenges inherent to animal production and health.