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CRV Ambreed celebrates 45 years of business

Media release
For Immediate Release
16 December 2015

CRV Ambreed celebrates 45 years of business

It’s a momentous year for CRV Ambreed, who this-year celebrates its 45th year in business.

The company, now part of the world’s third largest artificial breeding company, has come a long way in the last 45 years.

It was set up by a small group of farmers in 1969 under the company name American Breeders Service. The founders began operating in a facility on the outskirts of Hamilton in 1970, with a core business of dairy semen production for the New Zealand market.

Managing Director Angus Haslett said the company has had ‘a couple of changes’ since then, the most recent and significant when it was purchased by a large 30,000-farm Dutch cooperative CRV Delta in 2003 to become CRV Ambreed.

“CRV Ambreed, or American Breeders Service as it was known at the time, was the first company in New Zealand to operate a licensed artificial insemination centre outside a producer border control when we began operating out of our bull centre in 1970,” said Mr Haslett.

“Now we have about 25 per cent market share in New Zealand and we are exporting high quality semen to South America, South Africa, Australia, parts of North America, and UK and Ireland. About 1.8 million straws of semen are distributed to domestic and export markets from its facilities each year,” said Mr Haslett.

“As we have grown we have adjusted our facilities to support that growth, but it’s only this year that we have taken our business to the next level and built a purpose built facility where we can create excellence and continue to grow well into the future,” said Mr Haslett.

The changing face of CRV Ambreed

In 1973, Animal Breeding Services Ltd merged its interest with American Breeders Service, the world’s largest AI company.

“This bought a far wider range of the top North American beef bulls to New Zealand, as well as the technical assistance of the vast American company,” said Haslett.

This merger was dissolved in 1976 when the Kiwi staff of Ambreed NZ Ltd. purchased the interest of American Breeders Service.

The new company operated as Ambreed NZ (1976) Ltd. for a short time, later to be changed to Ambreed NZ Ltd.

In July 1983, the total shareholding of Ambreed NZ Ltd. was purchased by Animal Enterprises Ltd., one of New Zealand’s largest livestock exporting firms. In 1989, New Zealand Dairy Board bought Ambreed NZ Ltd. from Animal Enterprises Ltd.

“At this stage, almost one-quarter of all the dairy cows in New Zealand were mated to CRV Ambreed produced semen,” tells Haslett.

NZDB continued ownership of CRV Ambreed until 1997 when once again staff successfully negotiated a management buyout. At that stage the company was supplying some of the highest merit sires to the industry and continuing to offer a wide range of genetics, ranging and services to the dairy industry.

In 2003, the company was sold to CRV Delta, a global AI company based in Holland who was world renowned for their capabilities in AI, herd recording, animal evaluation indexing and dairy cattle development. CRV Delta is a farmer cooperative with some 30,000 farmer shareholders.

“With having not far off half a century of experience in the local market, CRV Ambreed has been a pioneer in bringing the latest technology and herd improvement methods to New Zealand farmers.

“From introducing the first DIY artificial insemination training schools in 1972, to being the first to offer genomically selected bull teams and NZ-proven sexed semen in 2008, we’ve made it our job to provide the best and latest tools to help our farmer clients lead the world in grass-based seasonal dairy production,” tells Haslett.

He said next month’s opening of the CRV Bellevue Production and Logistics Centre will be more than fitting for a 45th birthday celebration for the company.

“The next 45 years are looking good for CRV Ambreed. We’d like to keep pace with organic growth and as we improve our product we will also improve our market share.”


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