You are on page 1of 2

Industry profile

Dr Eckel modern nutrition for food-producing animals

by Tom Blacker, Milling and Grain magazine

ith 20 years of experience and a multi-award


winning track record for both leadership and
innovation, Dr Eckel GmbH is one of the
most widely regarded companies in the global
animal nutrition sector.
Managing Director and founder, Dr Antje Eckel set up the
company from her very own home in 1994. She remains the
sole shareholder, and the company has continued to grow ever
since it began life in 1994.
Dr Eckel GmbH reported a turnover of approximately 24
million in 2014, with a market share of approximately 25
percent in this particular processing segment in Germany.
All own-brand Dr Eckel products are produced on the
companys single site in Neiderzissen, Germany and are
exported around the world to an international customer base.
I visited the company with fellow Milling and Grain
colleagues (Tuti Tan, Roger Gilbert, Ivan Marquetti and Darren
Parris) where Dr Antje herself greeted us for a detailed tour of
the company premises.

Key development steps

The growth that the company has undergone in recent times


is evidenced by the expansion of its buildings and office space.
In 2003, the companys main offices were constructed. In 2005,
the warehouse was constructed and began stocking products
and in 2009 the large-scale production unit began. By last year,
demand saw a further floor extended in the office.
A remaining legacy that reflects the development dating from
this time is that of a former wooden pre-fabricated office. It
now fulfills a great role for on-site seminars, and as meeting
room for customers, distributors and staff. This provides a
useful facility and service, in the heart of the scenic German
Rhineland.
One thing of particular note was the beautiful pond
70 | Milling and Grain

next to the companys office. It is a key example of how


a conscious engagement with the environment and the
overall environmental credentials of the company cannot be
ignored.
In every section of the Dr Eckel premises, the quality
and standards were impeccably and impressively high. All
machines, parts in the production facility and materials were
of the best quality. Dr Antje herself said that she tours the
production facilities once a week as part of the oversight
procedures.
The production tower has three floors above the ground floor,
which is quite a landmark in the vicinity. There are delivery
doors and a control centre.
The systems can be controlled from iPads if necessary. Audits
are carried out for the requirements of customers. On average,
20 tonnes of animal feed products are produced each shift, on
average twice each day.

Quality is a constant

The investment made in hardware, science, research and staff


has undoubtedly lead to the building of its reputation in the
market place. Its four colour-coded categories act as a theme
through its product portfolio for the pig, poultry and ruminants
sectors: performance, health, protection and function.
As Dr Antje says on the matter,
Our customers asked for a simple and straightforward
system to target specific challenges, simply and effectively.
We listened and created an innovative specific target group
orientated system.
It will make things more efficient and facilitate the selection
of just the right additive. In a complex and constantly evolving
market such as the animal feed market, this development is
crucial. It is reassuring to know that the solutions are much
easier to find now.

Left: The Milling and Grain team meet


with Dr Antje Eckel, Sarah Mertens and
Dr Tilman Wilke

Product innovation

In recent years there has also been a growing focus on


aquaculture feed additives.
In addition, five different product groups: acidifiers, minerals/
trace elements, mould inhibitors, phytogenic additives and
specialities also compartmentalise their products into groups
easily for customers.
For example, products from its performance-line focus
on key factors to efficient livestock production: specificallyselected organic acids and probiotics stabilise the gut flora,
optimise digestion and assist in the uptake of essential
nutrients.
Its award winning natural-line health product is founded
on plant-based ingredients and is proven to improve animal
welfare and vitality. Meanwhile, mycotoxin binders offer
through protection-line improve feed hygiene and reduce the
spoilage of feed by mould and other pathogens.
Finally products from the functional-line assure optimal
supply of amino acids, vitamins, trace elements and minerals
for livestock. Additionally, this product encompasses
interesting alternatives in the area of sensory additives.

Communication is key

Customers can keep in contact on a regular basis with the


company who offer frequent newsletters, publications, trade
event participation and local staff in different regions of the
world.
With innovative, patents, trials and tests on their own
products along with respective published results, the innovative
solutions and positive outcomes breeds success.
For example, in Trends, Issue no.3, ruminant animal
methane content after a week of use of AntaPhyt RU+ was

over two percent lower. The environmental and health benefits


of such solutions are huge over a large scale, as animal feed
really is.
An interesting slogan Dr Eckel use and show in many
places is Ecknowlogy. This is a phrase to be defined as a
combination of technology, knowledge and the unique style of
Dr Eckel GmbH. It shows the companys culture is embedded
in what they do and what their customers can do. Their website
even has an Ecknowlogy Portal - it certainly captures the
imagination!

International markets

Dr Eckel is an international company in many ways. Its


markets are diverse and growing all the time.
There are well over a dozen different languages spoken by the
team today and this provides them with real understanding and
ease of serving customers.
Sarah Mertens, Marketing and PR director, explained that
Central and South America is one region where Dr Eckel have
an area manager for Spanish and Portugese speaking countries
and they are keen to expand activity in the region.
After Dr Antje, we were introduced Dr Tilman Wilke and
Monika Korzekwa who were able to answer our questions in
great detail.
Monika Korzekwa told me her story: after a Masters degree
thesis which focussed on Dr Eckels products and quail birds,
it was an unavoidable and essential choice to continue with the
company: both from her personal opinion and the companys
opinion. As a highly qualified animal nutritionist, Monika is a
real asset to the future development of Dr Eckel. The future is
very bright and the potential is clearly great.
www.dr-eckel.de
July 2015 | 71