Industry recognition creates a real buzz

Sam Walton visited A-One Feeds, recipient of the AIG Member of the Year Award at last year’s National Pig Awards

Winning any sort of award usually means a lot to the recipient – this was certainly the case for the 2017 National Pig Awards. A-One Feeds was delighted to be named NPA AIG (Allied Industry Group) Member of the Year, the only award on the night award voted for by the wider industry.

Sales and marketing director Dan Day told me there was a buzz about the place afterwards, with the staff, who all know their respective jobs, feeling like they are part of the success. Sales have increased, but not necessarily from winning – more from the company’s strategy. As most people know.

Since being acquired by Devenish in 2014, A-One has been able to stick to its values – as Dan describes, giving the pig farmer exactly what they want for their business.

The company considers itself to be the ‘Rolls Royce of piglet nutrition’ and sales have doubled over the last four years thanks to a number of fundamental changes – one of which sees the mill now operating for 24 hours a day.

One of the many challenges facing pig producers is that of creep feeding, and it’s one that A-One is striving to help tackle.

Milling is approached in three stages, the main part being pelleting of creeps. The company also has a pre-mix facility designed to go into the creeps. And it has created a ‘Sunlustre Full Fat Soya’, which, low in anti-nutritional factors and high in protein quality and content, is a key component of the raw materials.

A-One has excellent control of the materials going in and, as it only makes creeps, the air temperature in the mill never gets above 50oC, which helps to control quality, whereas in some compound mills the temperature can rise to 80oC. It considers that 2.3mm is the right size for a creep pellet, and is in constant conversation with customers to ensure they get exactly what is required, while every raw material goes through the laboratory for testing.

Exports to Denmark form an important part of the business, and diversity is key to the its success.

A-One Feeds is a great supporter of our industry and of the NPA and the Young NPA. It sees them, along with the Awards, as hugely beneficial to the industry. Dan, himself, served nine years on the AIG.

“We see the NPA and our membership of the AIG as very important, impacting on everything around the pig industry and we’re very happy to support it,” he said. “We’re there to help our customers and help the industry as a whole.”

NPA chairman Richard Lister added: “A-One has always been very supportive of the industry and its reputation for quality and service is entirely justified.”

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About The Author

Sam Walton is a Yorkshire farmer and former pig producer, and the founding editor of Pig World.