Feed quality pays off in the long run

Animal Nutrition Views

Ioannis Mavromichalis, Ph.D., gives his views on poultry, pig and dairy nutrition based on his experience as a nutrition consultant with clients around the world.

When I formulate a piglet feed, I always keep in mind the needs of the piglet. Anything else and the feed will not succeed, no matter how inexpensive or trendy the feed can be. But, as a feed manufacturer myself, I must also keep in mind that brand identity is as important as feed quality. In fact, these two are the exact same thing, at least in my mind.

Risky ingredients — usually being less expensive alternatives because they contain certain impurities or come from unclear origins, or are just off-quality — are always available in the market. And, anyone who tries to make a living selling piglet feed will attest to the temptation to use them.

But, in my opinion, when it comes to such strategic products as piglet feeds, we should accept nothing less than a zero-risk business strategy. This has never been illustrated as recently with the ongoing situation over animal blood products. I know of at least one piglet feed manufacturer who frantically tries to distant themselves from this debate, only because they cannot afford to associate their name with anything less than “perfect” feed. It is times like these that quality pays off in the long run, and when opportunistic players get burned.