UK's AB Agri teams up with Chinese clients to develop better animal feeds

By He Wei in Shanghai | | Updated: 2017-06-16 14:46

AB Agri, a UK-based animal nutrition and feeds producer, is enhancing technological cooperation with Chinese clients by co-developing safer and more nutritious feeds.

Such efforts include optimizing products by adding vitamins, minerals and biological enzyme in feeds and end-products, in a bid to satisfy the needs of Chinese customers who tend to pay a premium for food safety.

"High quality feeds guarantee the ultimate safety of food such as meat, eggs and milk. This is a concept gradually picked up by our downstream clients in China," said Cui Cheng, managing director of AB Agri in China.

Cui said technological collaboration with customers is critical, as it requires highly precise manufacturing technique to ensure the amount of nutritious ingredients added are precise and effective.

AB Agri is the agricultural division of Associated British Foods plc and represents 10 percent of the group's total sales last year. Present in China since 1996, it has supplied technology-based products and services to farmers, feed and food manufactures, processors and retailers.

With a number of food safety scandals stirring public outcry, Chinese are willing to pay a higher price to ensure the quality of food they consume, giving companies like AB Agri opportunities to expand their businesses.

Based on market research, Cui said his company had worked with a Chinese client to co-design and produce goat milk in replacement of milk, with the anticipation that the former has higher nutritious value. Responses have been warm.

As China carries out and deepens the supply-side structural reform in the agriculture sector, Cui has witnessed deepened industry consolidation across the whole agricultural industry chain, putting AB Agri in an advantageous position as it can leverage synergies the group creates in downstream sectors such as sugar and beverage.

Cao Chen contributed to this story.

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