Stefan Kuijpers, Director of Vitelia Voeders‘Independent specialists with a high level of authority.’

The partnership between Vitelia Voeders and Schothorst Feed Research (SFR) is still especially strong after many decades. “They take away your worries, they are true specialists and they apply their expertise to industry with ease”, states Stefan Kuijpers, Director of Vitelia. “Schothorst Feed Research provides a great deal of added value for us.”

“Our cooperative has had a relationship with Schothorst since the old days, just like all cooperatives, actually. The partnership between Vitelia Voeders and SFR goes way back, and as far as Director Stefan Kuijpers is concerned, it would not have been any other way. “Doing research costs manpower and a large budget, and for a sector with low margins, that is unaffordable,” he says. “In SFR, we can provide the funding jointly with fellow livestock feed producers. This enables us to carry out feed testing in which we all have an interest, and for all types of livestock. SFR provides a great deal of added value for that reason alone.”

Always the ability to apply to practice

Stefan is highly satisfied with the execution of the trials. SFR sets up a trial, conducts it and once it is complete, provides some extremely useful data. “They take away your worries,” summarises the Director of the Limburg-based company. SFR distinguishes itself markedly from other research organisations in this regard. “They are able to apply research to practice”, he notes, knowing that there are also other examples. “Many research organisations can present you with a really useful test result, but it remains unclear as to how our staff are supposed to then apply it in practice.” There is no such issue with SFR.

“The staff at SFR know how things work in practice; they are the only organisation able to apply research in the field.”

Independent specialist

This practical insight also means that Vitelia staff frequently request SFR employees to join field visits. “Whenever we run into problems with a livestock farmer or encounter something unfamiliar, we like to take an SFR researcher along”, explains Stefan. “Then you have someone at the table there who is a real expert, independent and also an authority.” The staff at SFR are able to contribute know-how and help you to reflect on a situation. “That is really useful for a livestock farmer, but also for us as advisers. We all get stuck in current thinking, and that is where SFR also provides added value.”

Stefan notes in this regard that it is important for SFR to look after its ‘figure heads’. “For dairy cattle, that is undoubtedly Wilfried van Straalen; there should be figure heads like him for other species too. Someone you can rely on that if they tell you something, it is true, an authority.”

Basic knowledge of new employees

SFR is also involved in the process of training new employees. “Our new staff acquire their knowledge of feed from SFR.” That knowledge starts with nutrient requirements and feedstuff tables, which is yet another great product from SFR that is the result of joint investment, notes Stefan. “All of our advising starts with the nutrient recommendations; that forms the basis for our work, and one that is also kept up to date by SFR”, adds the director. “That is added value yet again. We therefore have every interest in cherishing SFR.”


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"All of this makes that the collaboration with Schothorst in the last 12 years for us has been very satisfactory"

Suso Mendez, nutritionist Coren (Spain)

"Commercial nutritionist need to have an independent, trustworthy and scientifically orientated technical partner. AFGRI Animal feeds have found this assurance in our technical partners at Schothorts Feed Research"Dr. Franscois Crots, Technical & Sales Director Monogastric Nutrition