Novogen, part of Groupe Grimaud, held a press conference mid-March at the Vivalis facilities in Nantes, France, where it traced the company’s development and offered perspectives for production.

Frederic Grimaud, Groupe Grimaud president and CEO, detailed the company’s evolution, tracing its history back to the late 1960s with a duck breeding program. The group’s layer breeding division was established in 2008, and has gradually been gaining market share worldwide, now selling to 40 countries worldwide.

With the world population growing at a rate of 220,000 people each day, animal protein consumption is growing. Eggs are a relatively cheap protein source with a high nutritional value. The global egg market has been growing steadily at 3–4 percent per annum, and global production now stands at some 63.5 million metric tons. Along with growing production, there is an increase in alternative housing systems for egg production, particularly in the EU.

Globally, the highest demand is for brown eggs, which have a market share of 50 percent, followed by white eggs, at 46 percent. The remaining 4 percent is accounted for by tinted eggs, which are primarily consumed in China and Japan.

Novogen offers the Novogen Brown, Tinted and White layer, and Mickael Le Helloco, general manager Novogen, explained that Novogen was supporting the egg industry through providing new efficient genetic solutions for the various market segments. He continued that the Groupe Grimaud is the second-largest multispecies animal breeding group in the world, offering an alternative source of supply and consequently more competition.

Novogen has been focusing on high production potential and efficiency, and ensuring that birds can adapt to various production environments. Selection criteria focus on high standards of egg quality, productivity, efficiency and the ability to produce in a variety of systems.

Thierry Burlot, R&D manager, added that the company monitors birds during the whole laying period, in all types of production systems to assure that they can adapt to different environments. He also focused on the highest shell quality (coloration, shell strength, uniformity) and internal egg quality, which naturally decreases during the life of the bird.