Picking animal feed additive suppliers among the crowd

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.

Picking animal feed additive suppliers among the crowd

Picking animal feed additive suppliers among the crowd

It is tempting to switch additive suppliers in search of quality or lower prices, but the great number of newcomers makes it a daunting task.

After visiting a major exhibition with a great focus on feedstuffs, it soon became evident to me that premix companies are now fully vested into selling additives. Some have discovered suppliers from far away and act as local distributors, whereas others with more in-house knowledge have started to package them into nutrition solutions aiming at specific problems, such as replacing antibiotics or controlling diarrheas, etc. The market of additives is no longer the realm of original manufacturers, and if I may say so, additives are on the verge of becoming commodities as common as corn and soybean meal. There are few notable exceptions, but these are the new or forthcoming additives that, as always, will be enjoying a window of 2 to 5 years before becoming commodities themselves.

The market of additives is no longer the realm of original manufacturers.

So, a veritable question to be asked by buyers of straight additives or nutritional packages is: Which company to trust? Should one continue or start working with the original manufacturers, or divert business to one of the multitude of new resellers? After all, many of the original manufacturers have long relied on other off-shore volume suppliers to meet excessive local (retail) demand, opening the door to others that now follow their example. This is indeed a difficult question that cannot be easily answered. In fact, those in the know will refuse to make a straight recommendation to non-customers, realizing that such information is now worth paying for.

In my opinion, nothing has really changed, except for the number of sellers. Their “quality” remains equally distributed with some selling low-cost products, while others focus more on quality and service. It is the same story as with any other industry undergoing a similar metamorphosis. So, in the end, one has and must work with those suppliers that are trustworthy or those who deliver what they are being paid for. Meeting customer expectations remains the same prerequisite as always.