Food security refers to the availability of food and access to nutritional food. A household is considered food-secure when the people living there do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. Today, nearly one billion people around the world are chronically hungry and up to two billion people lack food security. The results of food insecurity range from stunted growth and cognitive development to riots and war. On average, one child dies every five seconds as a result, either directly or indirectly, of hunger — that equates to 60% of all child deaths (2002-2008 estimates). According to the World Health Organization, hunger is the single gravest threat to the world’s public health. The agriculture sector has the scale, reach and technology resources necessary to alleviate food insecurity and ensure sustainable supplies of nutritious food for the world’s growing population. There is no higher priority in the world today. Achieving global food security will require appropriate responses to the agricultural industry’s risks and opportunities. These include addressing climate change, efficient resource management, collaboration and a science-based approach to sustainable agricultural productivity.
Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture
With agriculture at the heart of the Novus business, climate change is a vital consideration for Novus in the development of business strategy for the coming years. The known effects of climate change on the planet, including new temperature patterns, weather extremes and modified global ecosystems, will continue to have an effect on local agricultural practices and global food security. Novus recognizes that this will present new challenges in the way Novus works with its customers around the world to help them develop affordable, wholesome food in their regions.
Meeting the world's demand for food, within agriculture's existing environmental footprint, will require increased productivity. Technology and innovation will be critical to filling
the Agriculture Productivity Gap. According to the 2010, GAP ReportTM, published and produced by the Global Harvest Initiative, "There are risks to future agriculture productivity growth that must be formally recognized and managed through technology innovation, best practices and policy, including: climate change effects, water scarcity and rising water needs for non-farm use, competition for arable land for food, fuel and fiber against population pressures and population preferences for meat over plant-based diets." The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that demand for animal proteins (meat and dairy) will rise to nearly 40% of the global diet, up from about one third in 2010.
Novus is a part of the "lab to table" continuum and plays a role in contributing to a sustainable future for agriculture and managing the risks of climate change. The Novus approach includes collaboration, partnerships and locally-relevant
solutions for customers together with intensive education, awareness and programs to build farmer capability alongside science-based products which offer environmental benefits.
Reduce and Replace — Changing the Feed Industry
Sometimes habits are hard to change. For years, industry has been incorporating high levels of trace minerals into feed for cattle, swine, chicken and other species in an effort to supply nutritional needs, improve immune response and maximize reproductive efficiency. Novus's premium product line, MINTREX chelated trace minerals (trace minerals, including copper, zinc and manganese) are added to the animal diet at much lower levels. MINTREX improves the bioavailability of
the trace minerals to the animal, adds additional nutritional value in the form of the essential amino acid methionine and reduces mineral excretion residues, providing a positive environmental benefit. Furthermore, as new regulations in some countries include more strict controls of mineral residues, chelated trace minerals provide a solution to a potential regulatory risk.
However, changing animal diets requires a change of habit for farmers, and this is not always simple. Over the past three years, Novus ran trials using MINTREX across multiple species (poultry, swine, ruminants and aqua) in order to demonstrate that production goals are achieved at lower dietary inclusion rates due to the higher bioavailability of chelated trace minerals, resulting in both productivity value improvement as well as lower residues that may be excreted
into the environment. The results of these trials have been highly conclusive and offer up to a two-thirds reduction in dietary concentrations.
While it is not an easy task to convince farmers that less is better and that they should change their feed programs, the science-based approach of Novus in introducing the benefits of MINTREX are now paying off and making an industry changing contribution to sustainable agriculture, helping to feed the world more affordable, wholesome food.
"This project brought together different areas of nutrition and biology into one. To be able to feed less, you have to make sure the trace mineral is highly-available and its biological function is welldefined. This requires a good
understanding of biology and nutrition across species. In addition, the premise of the project to reduce and replace dietary trace minerals was against the commercial dogma of feeding high levels of trace minerals to ensure adequate supply to the animal. At first, some resistance was found, but this was overcome with the scientific research data."
Senior Director, R&D
Meeting the world’s demand for food, within agriculture’s existing environmental footprint, will require increased productivity. Technology and innovation will be critical to filling the Agriculture Productivity Gap. According to the 2010, GAP ReportTM, published and produced by the Global Harvest Initiative, “There are risks to future agriculture productivity growth that must be formally recognized and managed through technology innovation, best practices and policy, including: climate change effects, water scarcity and rising water needs for non-farm use, competition for arable land for food, fuel and fiber against population pressures and population preferences for meat over plant-based diets.” The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that demand for animal proteins (meat and dairy) will rise to nearly 40% of the global diet, up from about one third in 2010.
Novus is a part of the “lab to table” continuum and plays a role in contributing to a sustainable future for agriculture and managing the risks of climate change. The Novus approach includes collaboration, partnerships and locally-relevant solutions for customers together with intensive education, awareness and programs to build farmer capability alongside science-based products which offer environmental benefits.
Collaboration for Community Development in Brazil
In 2009, as noted in the 2010 Sustainability Report, Novus entered into a multi-sector partnership designed to offer small-scale family poultry farmers in Alagoas, Brazil, a way to produce more affordable protein and improve the quality of life for their families and local community. Novus's partners in this program include: local government leaders in Alagoas state; Globoaves (Brazil's largest producer of day-old chicks and fertilized eggs); Sebrae (a state agency for micro business development); and the state university, Universidade Estadual de Alagoas (UNEAL). In addition to providing funding, Novus joined the partnership to contribute knowledge training to farmers about poultry nutrition and animal husbandry. The objective of the five-year program is to provide 16,000 families with a starting allocation of chickens, knowhow and training to enable them to build a sustainable livelihood and increase affordable food availability in the region.
In 2011, the Alagoas Project continued to make progress. During June-December 2011, the project generated chick and egg sales resulting in a net income for participating families of approximately $77,000 USD, a fantastic sum that considerably improves the quality of life in the local communities. The expectation is that each family will continue to achieve at least $1,800 in additional income each year from this activity. With an annual GDP per person in the state of Alagoas of less than $4,000, where most smallholder farmers will earn somewhat less than this sum, additional income generated by this program has a massive impact on the economic sustainability and quality of life in this region.
The number of participating families is now 100 and additional government funding will be used to speed up the planned expansion to 1,500 more families in nine more municipalities by the end of 2012.
Additionally, the project has developed scientific knowledge, and two papers were presented at the World Poultry Congress 2012 relating to chick performance and the Poultry Family System impacts. Flamarion Rodrigues Damasceno is a rural farmer that lives on a modest property in Alagoas. He had been raising country hens in the past to generate further income. With poor genetics, he was achieving low egg production (48 eggs per week with 100 hens). The Alagoas Programa de Avicultura Familiar (PAF) project has improved his situation, allowing him to deliver 42 eggs per day with 46 hens that have a guaranteed market.
For more information about Globoaves, please see: www.globoaves.com.br
"Young people did not want to work in agriculture because they did not see that they could earn a living from it. Now they do."
Flamarion Rodrigues Damasceno
Farmer, Alagoas, Brazil
Developing Agricultural Best Practices in the U.S.
In 2010, Novus reported the opening of a new facility, the 12-acre Green Acres Research and Learning Center, to provide a dedicated animal research hub. Located in Montgomery County, Missouri, Green Acres Farm is a facility that accommodates nutritional field research as well as replicate models of agricultural and nutritional best practices for a variety of species. Designed and developed using environmental conservation and protection features, during 2011 the farm continued to expand its activities to address multispecies needs in a sustainable manner, including environmentally favorable construction materials and practices, solar heating, etc. In 2011, the renovated 1920s-era caretaker's house at the Green Acres Research Farm received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) For Homes Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
For more information about the USGBC, see: www.usgbc.org.
Montgomery Research Facility.
Novus purchased more adjacent land to increase flexibility, consolidating all animal-related research and support staff at the Green Acres facility, increasing efficiencies.
In the summer of 2011, Green Acres Farm initiated a project to improve wildlife habitats. Cover was placed along an old fence row to give both quail and rabbits a safe haven from predators and possible nesting and rearing sites for young.
From a research standpoint, the main areas of focus at Green Acres in 2011 included improved efficiency of production using nutrients in ruminant animals, management of oxidative stress in wine, enhanced gut health in poultry and swine, and better understanding the bioavailability of trace minerals to maximize nutrition, productivity, health and well-being.
Novus works hard to integrate Green Acres as part of the community in Montgomery City. For example, when the steers reach the end of their useful life, they are harvested to provide beef to the local Food Bank. Novus leases land to a farmer for crop production, and in turn benefits from local sourcing of feed ingredients. The farm produces 100% of Green Acres' corn requirements, which are stored in a grain bin on site. Visitors are welcome at Green Acres and Novus hosted several industry and academic or school groups during 2011, providing a lively, educational opportunity to learn about agriculture for both the local community and a broader professional community.
Reducing Feed Costs in Kuwait
With a population of almost 2.5 million, a high cost of living and a high consumption of more than 40 kg chicken per capita per year, high investment requirements for raising poultry are an important factor in the sustainable food supply
for the citizens of Kuwait. The Naif Company is the leading poultry integrator in the country and was experiencing difficulties related to the high cost of protein sources in feed. Following consultation with the Novus EMEA Technical Team,
who reviewed the feed composition of Naif's large broiler and layer integration, a trial was conducted using Novus's CIBENZA® DP100 feed additive enzyme, allowing a total reduction of 7.5% of the protein and amino acid content in feed. The result of the trial clearly demonstrated that the new feed composition was able to maintain bird performance as well as decrease mortality rates in broilers, while decreasing the overall cost of protein in the feed. With CIBENZA DP100, a sustainable nutritional solution was offered for maintaining production of affordable, wholesome food.
"We have found that the solution proposed by Novus offers an economic benefit through reducing the cost of protein in the broiler diet and also decreasing mortality rate. Our good relationship with the Novus technical team, supporting us with thorough
technical follow-up including required feed analyses, has been invaluable."
Mr. Bader Al Bazie
Deputy General Manager, Naif Poultry Co., Kuwait
Diplomystus and Knightia, Natural Stone Fossil, U.S.
These stone fossils, extracted by hand from a private quarry in the Northwest
United States, are over 50 million years old. As earth is removed from the quarry, segments containing the most intriguing fossilized materials are isolated. "Diplomystus and Knightia" contains two large Diplomystus dentatus and three Knightia eoceana. Diplomystus is an extinct herring-like fish and has the body form, size and upturned mouth of a surface feeder whereas Knightia is an extinct schooling fish that reached up to 25cm in length. Several specimens of Diplomystus have been found with Knightia fossilized in their stomachs.