Aquaculture the Next FrontierThu, 09/07/2017 - 13:58
Q: What veterinary products top your portfolio here and where are the coming opportunities?
A: The most important products are premixes and injectables. Premixed food contains antibiotics and is our number one market. Injectables for mastitis and other livestock infections are our second most important group of products in the veterinary division. We are venturing into the production of products for small species such as cats and dogs.
In the near future, we would like to enter the aquaculture market. There are many shrimp and trout farms in Mexico, so we are already developing a premix for shrimp that can be tipped into the water at shrimp farms, for example, and will not disintegrate. This protects the shrimp from infections. The aquaculture market in Mexico is growing greatly, especially in northern states such as Sinaloa and Chihuahua, where trout and shrimp farms have become endemic over the past three years. We see a business opportunity there for our veterinary sector.
Q: How does COFEPRIS interact with animal health regulators?
A: SAGARPA is the top regulatory agency but COFEPRIS will soon be involved with veterinary health because humans consume animals. COFEPRIS tightly controls the human consumption of antibiotics and animal meat is the greatest source of antibiotics for humans. We would like to participate in this development with COFEPRIS because we think it is an excellent initiative.
Q: What impact will this regulation have on your operations and on your products’ formulas?
A: At first, it would limit the sale of antibiotics but I think that in the long term this is a good area to begin regulating. It would be beneficial for us to participate, to transmit our experiences and in turn we can listen to COFEPRIS’ concerns. There is nothing better for a country than for the population and the authorities to work together to avoid the implementation of a unilateral vision. I do not think we are going to change the formulas of our products but the way in which they are prescribed. The formulas are correct but we would have to be much more careful of the way in which we administer these products to animals.
Q: What are your short-term plans for your veterinary operations?
A: We would like to create an alliance with another player. We are already exporting a little to Central and South America and Africa. There are good opportunities in Central and South America because there are few manufacturing plants. Antibiotic-infused premixes for the prevention of infection in chickens and cows are our main product for this market. In Africa, some governments have processes to facilitate the entry of simple products, which helped us accelerate exportation to those countries.
We continue to develop products for smaller species and aquaculture and we are looking for a strategic alliance in another country to accelerate our development. In addition, we could export to other parts of the world where there is little competition and it would be faster to do that in cooperation with another party. We would like to enter Europe a little faster. In Mexico, we would like to complement our portfolio with products from abroad by importing vaccines for cattle. The market is practically virgin and with our industry knowledge and the prestige of our brand, it presents an unmissable opportunity