Feeding swine and poultry doesn’t come cheap; in fact, feed costs eat up some 70 per cent of costs for producing the pork and poultry consumed in Canada. Yet up to one-quarter of that feed doesn’t actually do much, because the animals lack the enzymes that would allow them to digest it. Delivering those enzymes to animals is big business, amounting to $800 million a year globally, and expected to grow steadily, up to 7-8 percent each year.
Elanco, a major global animal health company, is partnering with Concordia University in its first large-scale product development collaboration in Canada in its 60-year history, to develop new enzyme combinations for pork and poultry producers. The project, which will begin by screening proprietary enzymes for digestibility of common ingredients found in Canadian pork and poultry feed, will result in commercial products suited for the diverse Canadian feed market, that are expected to result in significant improvements in feed conversion and thus improve producer profit margins.
The project, if successful, will benefit the company, the university and Canada. Elanco is committed to investing in this exciting area of research and development with the objective of improving customer profits and providing an attractive return on this research investment. Concordia would receive royalty income, and likely continue to partner with Elanco to develop genomics-derived technology for Canadian agriculture. Canada will see lower production costs and increased international competitiveness for swine and poultry producers and more competitively priced meat and eggs for domestic consumption; increased use of Canadian grains such as canola in feed production; reduced land use for feed production; and training of highly qualified personnel. This joint effort will provide a new road map for sustainable and innovative partnerships to improve global food supplies.