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INTERVIEW ▶▶▶


Feed additives market to grow in Russia


The Russian company Biotrof is the first in the country to develop and sell feed additives. We talked to Dr Georgy Laptev, CEO of Biotrof who believes that the animal products, feed and feed additives markets in Russia will develop further in the coming years.


BY SERGEY CHEREPANOV, INDEPENDENT FREELANCE WRITER B


The Biotrof of- fice and produc- tion facility.


iotrof is a Russian company that develops, produces and sells a wide range of feed additives and feed conservation products. The company, located in St Petersburg, is highly focused on innovation and


looking into new market niches, and with that an important player on the market of feed additives in the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries.


All About Feed (AAF): Can you tell me a bit more about the activities of your company? Dr Georgy Laptev (GL): “This year, the company was estab- lished 20 years ago, which means a celebration this year. The incentive to start the company was that two decades ago, me and my partners came to the conclusion that the Russian ag- ricultural sector was in need of effective and affordable feed additives and preservatives. In the 90s, there were simply no domestic producers of probiotics and silage inoculants, but Russia did import such products. At the time I worked in the


All-Russian Research Institute of Agricultural Microbiology, which belonged to the structure of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. And we worked on interesting bacterial strains and production technologies and realised that it is possible to supply customers with efficient products for rea- sonable prices. Practically the whole science team we worked with then came from the feed business, and we know that products have to be proven in science before going to mar- ket and that they have to be better than their analogues. In 1999, we started Biotrof, and we began to investigate the gut flora of farm animals with new methods of molecular biolo- gy. We were the first in Russia who did such studies on real farms, and since then we have seen the sales of our product portfolio increasing as well.”


AAF: Do you work directly with farmers or with feed mills? GL: “Feed additives with cellulase activities and anti-mycotox- in properties are in big demand in Russia because of the rela- tively high levels of fibres and mycotoxins in crops. We have put a lot of work and effort in ensuring that our products (probiotics with cellulase activity) are compatible with other components such as acidifiers and essential oils and that our product is thermostable during pelleting. Also important is to make sure that the products can be mixed properly and are not hygroscopic. We work directly with farms (in Russia we mainly call them agricultural producers) and with feed pro- ducers, mainly premix producers. Working with both farmers and premix companies have its advantages and disadvantag- es. When working with the farmers (end users) we can better control the product efficiency and profitability. When work- ing with feed mills (premix companies) we have to share our profits and sometimes we do not know who the final users of our products are.”


AAF: How big is the feed additive market in Russia and neighbouring countries? GL: “Russia is and will remain a big grain producing country. This means that animal production is also big in this country. But the feed additives market doesn’t grow automatically with it. Russia has successfully increased its poultry and pig production, but it was not accompanied with respective growth of the production of amino acids, vitamins, enzymes


20 ▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 27, No. 3, 2019


PHOTO: BIOTROV


PHOTO: BIOTROV


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