BASF and Schothorst Feed Research collaborate for greater farm-to-fork transparency

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Khaosai Wongnatthakan
© GettyImages/Khaosai Wongnatthakan

Related tags LCA environmental impact Basf Evonik Schothorst Feed Research

BASF and Schothorst Feed Research (SFR) have signed a pact whereby SFR gains certain non-exclusive licensing rights to Opteinics, BASF’s digital platform designed to calculate the environmental impact of feed and animal protein products to identify opportunities for improvement.

Netherlands-based SFR said it will integrate the tool into its global animal nutrition consultancy services. Currently the software offers modules for pig, poultry and more recently dairy production and can be integrated with feed formulation software.

Layers will be launched as a fourth business model by mid-2023.

The partners claim their collaboration will foster digital integration of animal protein value chain for improved farm-to-fork transparency.

“We believe there are significant opportunities together to bring further synergy to the industry that can enhance sustainable production without compromising cost and nutrition,” said Tom Battagliese, senior manager, global sustainability metrics, BASF nutrition and health.

SFR is independent research company focused on poultry, pig, and cattle nutrition. Its core activities include the evaluation of raw materials and nutrient values and the degradation and digestion coefficients of feed raw materials.

Opteinics was launched by BASF in 2021. The German specialty chemical giant cited as a trigger for the tool’s development the fact that animal protein producers face ongoing critical questions from end-consumers, retailers, investors, and policy makers that are increasingly requesting farm-to-fork transparency.

The digital platform, it added, was built for organizations of all types and sizes, whether that is feed millers, farmers, integrators, animal protein producers, or larger cooperatives. The intuitive user interface allows nutritionists, feed formulators, farm advisors and sustainability managers to independently operate the software. “No expert sustainability knowledge is required.”

While least cost and adequate nutritional content remain at the center of feed formulation the software allows users to consider the environmental impact as a third pillar in feed formulation, said the developer. With dynamic analytics, organizations can run different scenarios with variations of the feed composition, animal performance and other parameters, as well as understanding the associated sustainability outcomes of these changes, and recognize the main impacts and opportunities in their production.

The software is also aligned with the GFLI database and ISO LCA models, said the firm.

Early adopters

September last year saw Evonik announce it was integrating the BASF tool ​into its global feed consultancy services. 

BESTMIX Software, formerly known as Adifo, was BASF’s first-to-market​ feed formulation software partner, enabling an integration of BESTMIX and Opteinics and the company collaborated with the University of Arkansas in the US, researching sustainability metrics and modeling in the feed and animal protein value chain in support of the digital platform.

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