Royal De Heus has begun construction of its pig nutrition center. This emphasizes the ambitions of De Heus to take the next step in the continuous development of innovative pig feed solutions worldwide.

The importance of healthy and sustainable global pig farming continues to increase towards the future. Given the rapidly changing and challenging global market conditions, continuous innovation is essential in this regard. This is reason enough for De Heus to place more emphasis on its aim to enable healthy pigs to produce optimally with as little impact on the environment and society as possible. Based on this aim, De Heus is investing in the pig nutrition center. For the construction of this research facility, De Heus has acquired a pig farm in Beuningen, the Netherlands. This pig farm will be rebuilt according to the latest insights in animal husbandry, animal nutrition and data technology.

The starting point of De Heus is that research must reflect the situation in practice as much as possible. The simulation of this practice, under controlled conditions, is therefore a precondition for their research. The center provides room for 250 sows with their piglets, breeding sows and 900 fatteners. This setup creates the unique possibility to conduct feed research on all animal groups, and across the different animal groups, in order to determine long-term effects in the long run. Multiple feed studies can be carried out in parallel through the individually controlled feed stations. Data to individual animal levels can be collected and analyzed through intelligent technology from all stages of a pig’s life cycle, from piglet to slaughter pig. The insights gained in this way provide added value to innovation.

Wilfried Goldewijk, manager global support and development pigs at De Heus, says: “We are very pleased with the construction of the pig nutrition center. The new center provides new impulses to innovate faster and to bring these innovations to the market at a faster pace to benefit livestock farmers all over the world. A few years ago, we took an important step in the continued development of our specialty feed through the use of specific production processes, focused entirely on the optimum production of high-quality sow and piglet feed. The construction of the development center will provide additional insights to further improve our sow and piglet feeds.”

The new pig nutrition center will be the world’s most modern and innovative development center for the pig feed of De Heus. The center forms the basis for all worldwide research activities for pig feed. All the knowledge acquired by De Heus worldwide in cooperation with its livestock customers and knowledge institutions will come together here.

“The investment in the new pig nutrition center fits perfectly within our strategy to further bundle knowledge and research and to promote the development of innovative animal feed products. In this way we can innovate more specifically and add more value to the pig chain,” says Martin Rijnen, global director nutrition & research.

The design of the pig nutrition center is almost complete. Openness and transparency are important principles in this regard. The design has therefore included multiple “knowledge and inspiration” rooms aimed at encouraging and accelerating knowledge sharing with national and international pig farmers. Furthermore, the design also includes several viewing corridors from which the animals can be observed from different angles.

“I look forward to occupying the new pig nutrition center. The feed innovations of De Heus will contribute to solutions for the challenges faced by global pig farming; even better use of scarce raw materials, a drug-poor pig chain and better connection to the social and natural environment,” says Johan Zonderland, team leader pig concept development & research.