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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.
Livestock Feed Manufacturing / Business & Markets

Buy the original, reward the pioneers, fund the future

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Sometimes it is tempting to buy inexpensive copies, but who is going to invest in our future?

January 16, 2018

I will be the first to admit that buying low cost is tempting, and I have done it several times (only to regret the lower quality and often buy again the proper stuff). Sometimes, in business, a low-cost alternative input source is the only way to survive, let alone make any profit. These are truths that go across our personal and professional lives, not only in this business, but virtually in every human activity. Who does not want to be rich, quickly? 

Now, let’s imagine you discovered something. It took you years of work, money and the combined effort of many people who often placed work before family, health and even life itself, for this very success. You would definitely want to recover your cost and make some profit for your trouble. This is happening every day as we can attest by looking around us. Indeed, you start making a good profit, and life starts to smile at last. 

If we reward those who offer cheap copies, then who is going to invest in the next generation of solutions for our industry?

Then, someone comes along and finds a cheap copy of your products. I do not have to elaborate here — we all know how this is done, and even patents are not 100 percent safe. Suddenly, many of your customers start buying this cheap copy, and some even close their eyes to the lower quality and its negative effects. The logic is simple: “So what if this mineral source is full of toxic, heavy metals? My animals will not live long enough, and who knows if and when this might affect consumers.” This is a real-life example from one of my colleagues working in a company that has spent decades to bring into the market a stellar product, only to be flustered by cheap copies from afar. Enough said. 

Think about it. If we reward those who offer cheap copies, then who is going to invest in the next generation of solutions for our industry? The real innovators price their innovations with the hope they can continue to innovate. Those who copy just want a quick ride to the profits. But, when real problems emerge, without innovators, we will face disaster. 

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