One Health Approach | Animal AgTech Innovation Summit

Increasing consumer demand for high-welfare and sustainably farmed animal products is driving investment in animal health and low-carbon farming solutions.

What next generation innovation is emerging to deliver a healthier, high value animal ag industry? How will the sector accelerate and communicate its sustainability objectives in 2021?

Ahead of the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit on March 8, we caught up with Laurent Genet, CSO at Nutreco, Courtney Stanton, President, Smithfield Bioscience & Vice President, Smithfield Foods, Johanna Ballesteros, Principal AgTech Commercial Advisor at JBAGRO International and Andre van Troost, CEO at Lely about the latest approaches to One Health and how international players can work collaboratively to drive greater animal health and welfare outcomes.

What next generation innovation are you seeing in the animal health and welfare space?

Courtney Stanton, President, SMITHFIELD BIOSCIENCE & Vice President, SMITHFIELD FOODS
A focus on vertical integration has always been a key strength for Smithfield Foods. As we see the increased use of biomaterials, such as those from porcine, becoming more commonplace in human health and wellness applications, the ability to effectively manage the entire supply chain and create transparency for consumers throughout the value chain becomes increasingly important. This begins with owning and being accountable for the animals on the farm, promoting good animal welfare practices, harvesting the product safely and efficiently, and providing broad finished product access to a variety of food and pharmaceutical consumers. Being able to create that vertical integration and transparency is a key future innovation for all.

How can players along the supply chain, animal health and nutrition companies, innovators and producers work collaboratively to drive great animal health and welfare outcomes?

Laurent Genet - Nutreco - Animal AgTech Innovation SummitLaurent Genet, Chief Strategy Officer, NUTRECO
We believe in the power of co-development. Nutreco aims to find synergies with innovators to jointly bring new technologies to the market. Together we can do this faster than by ourselves. Ideally our partner brings in a promising technology and we support the further development towards a solution that’s meeting market demands at the required quality standards. This is a model proven in many industries, creating value for all parties, including the early or later investors when start-ups are involved.

Johanna Ballesteros, Principal AgTech Commercial Advisor, JBAGRO INTERNATIONAL
We need more platforms like this summit where all the stakeholders of the agriculture ecosystem come together and address the food challenge together. I believe the world’s farmers produce enough food to feed the world but there is starvation in many places.

How does animal health and welfare intersect with sustainability?

Courtney Stanton, President, SMITHFIELD BIOSCIENCE & Vice President, SMITHFIELD FOODS
Sustainability is priority #1 at Smithfield Foods and Smithfield BioScience. In fact, one of the primary reasons Smithfield BioScience exists is to utilize all components of the pig more efficiently. Given BioScience’s focus on human health and wellness, we recognize the importance of maintaining healthy animals throughout our process so that the integrity of the final product is ensured.  Smithfield BioScience is unique in our ability to provide products in a sustainable way from farm to pharma.

Laurent Genet, Chief Strategy Officer, NUTRECO
The healthier the animal, the better and more efficiently it will grow. Optimal health is a major contributor to the welfare of animals and generates direct economic upsides yet is not the only factor. Farming environment, husbandry practices, transport, slaughtering methods are equally important to make milk, meat, eggs and fish production a sustainable endeavour for the consumers and the whole society. The latest may come at extra costs but disregarding these elements would be ethically unacceptable and eventually jeopardize the attractiveness of animal protein.

Johanna Ballesteros, Principal AgTech Commercial Advisor, JBAGRO INTERNATIONAL
Today, sustainability has become essential to business growth. I believe that one intersection point between animal health and welfare with sustainability relies on the efforts to reduce livestock emissions. All companies in livestock production should take responsibility for their climate footprint.

What sustainability efforts are you seeing that are promising/exciting in animal ag?

Andre van Troost - Lely - Animal AgTech Innovation SummitAndre van Troost, CEO, LELY, NETHERLANDS
There are a number of exciting sustainability efforts taking place which we at Lely are also working hard on:

-Increasing focus on emission reduction through solid/liquid manure separation and re-using mineral flows on dairy farms which aids circularity

-More and more robotization and usage of data streams on dairy farms enabling free cow traffic and increased animal health

-A fairer price for farmers through enabling them to produce consumer products on farm with a local story

How can we work towards creating and proving measurable and unified industry sustainability targets?

Andre van Troost, CEO, LELY, NETHERLANDS
Consumers are putting more focus on traceability, and in the not-so-distant future will be asking if this dairy product is produced in an animal friendly manner, with reduced emissions and a fair price for the farmer. By working closer together we can become better at telling our story to the mass consumer, many of whom have little idea of how their dairy products are produced.

Hear more from our experts during the dedicated One Health track at the virtual Animal AgTech Innovation Summit.