Aviagen’s future growth to be powered by new genetic development

Jan K. Henriksen presents a plaque to Nadine Lauvoravitaya in honour of Centaco’s commitment to being a loyal Ross GP customer for over three decades.

Strategies aimed at putting customers first, developing market insight, and maintaining diverse genetic pools and uninterrupted supplies will sustain Aviagen’s distinct advantage in product development, according to Jan K. Henriksen, Aviagen CEO.

Jan K. Henriksen

Demand for parent stock around the world is expected to grow around 2.0% per year. The global market for PS was estimated at 513 million birds in 2017. The breeding industry faces a highly volatile business environment due to bird flu outbreaks around the world and an apparent retreat from globalization. In response, Aviagen plans to diversify its production footprint in various strategic locations.

“This will ensure that genetics are always available on unaffected continents to maintain a steady ow of breeding stock to supply customers. We have a global network and we are in search of the best supply locations. Currently, Aviagen operates two pedigree units and GGP units on six continents around the world. The last two years has been troublesome for Asia in obtaining breeding stock because of avian flu outbreaks. It is our obligation to be able to supply steadily. We are monitoring Asia very closely whether we should expand our GGP production in the area,” Mr. Henriksen noted.

“Performance that sells”, said Mr Henriksen, “Aviagen is offering customers everywhere top-notch performance.”

Aviagen looks at genetic development differently. It proposes genetic programs for each region based on market preferences, level of management and other factors. The company offers more than five products. It possesses a rich gene pool and numerous pedigree lines which are assets in developing appealing products whether they are conventional products such as the higher yielding, white feathered birds or niche or specialty birds selected for free-range or organic production systems.

“We maintain more than 30 pedigree lines and have a clear strategy to diversify our products to meet our clients’ needs. We are in a good position to cover all aspects of current and future demand. We can improve. In our balanced breeding program today, we have improved in all traits,” said Mr Henriksen.

Consumers are aware of antibiotic resistance and that’s why animal protein producers are looking for antibiotic-free alternatives. Aviagen, which has embraced antibiotic-free production since 1999, has been adhering to antibiotic-free principles in its selection programs to support the industry’s goal of reducing antibiotics usage.

“We are doing everything we can to find the right breeds and are designing the breeding program to put this change forward,” he said.

The company invests 11% of its annual turnover in R&D to uncover new processes to improve its breeding program. It is expanding the size of pedigree flocks in parallel with its growing business and strengthening technical teams to offer service and support to a larger customer base.

Mr Henriksen expressed thanks to the family-owned Erich Wesjohann Group for its passion and support for the poultry breeding business. With the goal of being the best in the industry, Aviagen is working to improve technical competency at all levels. Research activities are managed by over 80 scientists and staff who work in collaboration with academia to develop breeding programs and deliver the best technical services in the field.

“Our strategy is to grow the business and establish production bases in strategic locations around the world, he said. Asia, the Middle East and Africa are growing in leaps and bounds. The viability of establishing a production hub in these vibrant markets is being assessed.”

Great Britain’s pending decision to leave the European Union is a major concern due to Aviagen’s business and pedigree operations in the UK. Aviagen has achieved an all-time high in market share in the North America market. It has also increased its market share in Brazil despite unfavorable markets and subsidized exports. In a related development, Aviagen has signed an agreement to purchase Hubbard Breeders, the broiler genetics division of Groupe Grimaud.

Hubbard will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aviagen Group, under the direction of Aviagen CEO Jan Henriksen. Hubbard’s genetic diversity and in-depth expertise in different segments of the broiler breeding market will contribute to Aviagen`s expanding product line offerings. Hubbard will remain an independent broiler breeding company with separate breeding and commercial activities, and will continue to be headquartered in France.