Orffa makes its official bow in South Africa

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The Orffa team at the launch. From left is Nicholas Williams, technical commercial manager, Jaco Smit, technical commercial manager, Lien Vande Maele, central technical manager, Brecht Bruneel, central technical manager, Stefano Gianazza, regional manager, and Dr Eddy Ketels, chief executive officer.

Established in South Africa last year, Orffa is a European feed additive company that has been spreading its wings internationally. On 21 May they hosted an official launch at the Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre in Benoni to introduce the company to the feed and agricultural industry.

Their origins lead back to 1967 in Belgium, with current headquarters in the Netherlands. In 2018, Orffa expanded to Thailand, Columbia, South Africa and Argentina. They have ambitions to expand their footprint to Asia Pacific, the Americas, Africa as well as Russia. They are now centred mainly in some major European countries, and well established in the US, Mexico, Brazil, India, Vietnam, Japan and New Zealand.

In his introductory presentation Dr Eddy Ketels, chief executive officer of ORFFA, said that South Africa is to become a leading powerhouse for feed production in the future and that this is what drove them to establish their presence in this growing market. Overall they are currently based in 80 countries and sells over 160 000MT of feed additives per year to over 800 customers in Europe alone.

Engineering feed solutions

According to Dr Ketels, Orffa focusses solely on feed additives such as vitamins, minerals, raw minerals, and anticoccidials for everything from ruminants, pigs and poultry, to pets and the aquaculture industry.

What makes them stand out is the fact that the company is based on the philosophy of engineering feed solutions. Each solution is engineered with the help of global research and development partnerships. Orffa develops formulas in partnership with universities for the trial development of new products. Once a product formula has been perfected, they source specialist manufacturers to produce it. 

Dr Ketels emphasised that all their products are manufactured with European quality as a reference, which includes a compulsory certificate of analysis. Contaminant analysis is performed on every batch. An additional random analysis is also performed to further optimise quality control.

Orffa’s regulatory affairs department is also on top of all the requirements for the registration of all 180 products, with each country having very specific standards and regulations. In addition, they have submitted 100 dossiers in various countries.  

Speciality feed development

The lastest addition to their arsenal is speciality feed development. Examples of their specialised added value additives are high hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) emulsifiers, betaine and selenium, specifically L-Selenomethionine, the only form of this mineral that is properly absorbed by animals. It is also the first selenium product that is dust free and therefore cannot harm workers that often inhale it in air.

Selenium for improved performance

The role of selenium supplementation in animal feed was discussed in detail. Brecht Bruneel, central technical manager at Orffa, elaborated on the role of selenium supplementation. Selenium reduces stress in animals, whether it is caused by heat, transport, reproduction, or the strain of feed conversion. Major biological functions of selenium include thyroid function and maintaining a strong immune system.

If more selenium is available to produce selenium enzymes, it will allow the animal to cope better while under the same amount of stress. This means that feed conversion can remain optimal despite any stress the animal might be under.

The offspring of selenium-supplemented production animals also benefit from this, since it is transferred in milk and eggs. This also benefits the consumers of milk, milk products, eggs and even meat. Selenium trials done one poultry and swine indicated improved performance. In one trial done on broilers, the breast muscle of day-old chicks had higher breast muscle density. Orffa’s version performed better than other similar additives, according to the trial.

AFMA certification confirmed

Orffa received their AFMA certification during the launch. From the left are Dr Eddy Ketels, chief executive officer (CEO) of Orffa and De Wet Boshoff, executive director of the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA).

During the launch De Wet Boshoff, executive director of the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA) took the opportunity to hand over an official certificate of the AFMA Code of Conduct for the Manufacturing of Safe Compound Animal Feed. This means that Orffa is now an official member of the AFMA fraternity. – Ursula Human, Plaas Media