American breeding company Newsham Choice Genetics — formed last year from the takeover by Newsham of Monsanto Choice Genetics — has entered into an agreement to form a long-term strategic alliance with French poultry genetics group Grimaud. Newsham is rated second-largest on the North American market for swine genetics, Grimaud is ranked in second place worldwide in multi-species poultry genetics by supplying customers in more than 100 countries. Under the terms of the agreement, Grimaud takes an important interest in Bucolica bv, the Netherlands-based company holding a major interest in Newsham, although the pig breeder’s original ownership of Bucolica, the Mitchell family and key Newsham employees remains in control. The companies say their alliance strengthens the acceleration of Newsham’s business development outside North America, pursuing its selective expansion in new markets in collaboration with Grimaud’s global network, and seeks synergies in the field of research and development.

Farm recording specialist Cerco Soft in Belgium is becoming a full subsidiary of Agrovision bv in the Netherlands, to extend co-operation between the companies and form the biggest player in the Benelux countries.

Vitamin and mineral premixes manufacturer Premier Nutrition in the UK has been purchased by AB Agri Ltd, the agriculture group of Associated British Foods plc. ABF says Premier Nutrition which will continue to operate as a stand-alone business, under the leadership of Robert Rae, and will expand further into overseas markets.

Topigs has issued figures for the results of 942 Dutch pig herds with 368 000 sows using its genetics in 2007, showing an average of 26.36 weaned piglets per sow per year or 0.65 piglets/year more than in 2006. The number of pigs born per litter rose from 12.47 to 12.75, while the pre-weaning mortality fell from 12.2% to 12.1%.The top 25% of farms realised 28.52 piglets per sow. Last year, 22 herds achieved a result of 30 or more piglets per sow per year. Also reported by the breeder are the appointments of Alfonso Arenillas as regional manager for Spain, Portugal, Central and South America, Peter van Kemenade who becomes responsible for North America, Mexico and Italy, and René ten Brinke as
manager of business support for the regions Russia and south-east Asia.

Natural feed ingredients supplier Biorigin of Brazil reports that investments of US$46 million to expand production capacity have been followed by the appointment of Maria Odete dos Santos Monteiro as quality coordinator.

JSR Genetics in the UK is planning to launch a new boar at the British Pig & Poultry Fair in May with the claim that it is ‘the world’s most efficient pig’. The company says JSR Geneconverter 700 is consistently achieving feed conversion rates that are 13.4% less than the UK average and the lowest achieved by any pig, anywhere in the world.

Pfizer will acquire the product franchise in Europe for Schering-Plough’s pig E. coli vaccine and parasiticide, in an agreement that meets a condition set by the European Commission for Schering-Plough to acquire the Intervet animal health business from Akzo Nobel. Separately, Virbac is acquiring European endocrine, mastitis and sulphonamide product franchises. The agreements do not affect Schering-Plough’s marketing of these products in other global markets.

Schippers (UK) Ltd has been formed to work with Rotech Livestock Equipment Ltd in developing the UK market for Schippers general livestock farming equipment, with Hans Jensema as general manager, while Rotech will concentrate on its pig AI product activities. Having recently acquired the assets of Medata Systems Ltd, Rotech will continue to manufacture Doppler pregnancy detectors as well as selling Schippers scanners.

Kemin AgriFoods North America has promoted Jeff Murphy from commercial director to vice-president of sales. Kemin UK has appointed Martin Smith as GB sales manager.

Hypor has signed an agreement with Farmers Sp. z.o.o., a Polish agricultural company, for the production and distribution of breeding pigs in the Polish market. Farmers Sp. z.o.o. is owned by the Kowalewski family and is located in Goldap in the north-east of Poland. Also announced by Hypor was the arrival of its first breeding pigs into South Korea, under an alliance with Korean agribusiness Easy Bio System Inc.


Kiotech International plc in the UK reported that its sales of natural feed additives had taken it into profit for the first time since becoming a public company in 1997. Including results from Agil, which was purchased in November 2006, the profit in the latest financial year before tax and share-based payments was UK£494 191 on sales of UK£5.35 million.

Canadian breeder Genesus reports completing delivery of a 4 planeloads of seedstock pigs to Russian integrator Kuban AgroHolding. Based in Krasnodar, Kuban operates 10 agrifood enterprises that include pig production and pork processing.

Alltech has been awarded a grant of up to US$30 million from the US Department of Energy towards the establishment of its rural community biorefinery in Kentucky, USA, which will be one of the first nationally to convert cellulose materials to ethanol and other value-added products. Before its annual international symposium, the company also had the official opening of its Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition at its corporate headquarters. Alltech has also announced the opening of its first office in New Zealand. Located in Auckland, it provides sales support to partners and customers in the country.

European competition authority approval has been received by Marel Food Systems of Iceland for its acquisition of the Stork Food Systems division of Stork nv in the Netherlands, allowing the formation of a food processing equipment group with a combined turnover of 660 million Euros per year.

Impextraco reports the opening by its distributor for China, Teda Hongjing Industrial Trade Co, of a storage facility and logistics operation in the port of Tianjin, about 120km from Beijing, for operation by a newly formed company called Perfect Logistics.

Norwegian breeder Norsvin has announced implementing computer tomography (CT) in its new boar testing facility near Hamar, Norway.  Norsvin now CT-scans 3500 live boars annually for carcase and meat quality measures and combines the data with those on growth and feed efficiency obtained by using FIRE system feeders. Fewer than 3% of the boars tested are selected as Elite sires, contributing semen to Norsvin nucleus herds in Scandinavia, Europe and the USA.

Food safety testing systems supplier Vicam in the USA has appointed Ximena Sula as marketing specialist for international markets.

UK-based international pig breeding company UPB Ltd reports a restart of its exports of breeding stock following the easing of restrictions when the World Animal Health Organisation declared the UK free of foot-and-mouth disease. UPB has sent 3 consignments totalling 450 great grandparent and grandparent sows and boars to Ukraine. The pigs will form the basis of an in-house breeding programme being set up by one of the country’s leading agribusinesses.

Cargill is taking a 25% equity stake in Feed Management Systems, USA, pending FMS shareholder approval of the agreement. The invested capital will be used by FMS to help accelerate its development of software products and processes that support feed management decisions.