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Reporoa feed company taking on the world

Reporoa feed company taking on the world

After exporting its equine feed products into Asia for many years, Reporoa-based company Fiber Fresh has also now launched its calf feed products into the international marketplace.

Fiber Fresh is New Zealand’s largest animal nutrition export company, specialising in high nutritional equine and calf feed products. It celebrated 30 years in business earlier this year.

The company’s launch into the calf feed market in Japan also includes a research partnership with the school of veterinary medicine at Rakuno Gakuen University in Hokkaido.

Fiber Fresh founding director Michael Bell says launching into the Japanese calf market is a milestone for the company.

“We have been exporting to international equine markets for nearly 30 years, with many of the world’s top thoroughbred horses fed our products. It’s extremely exciting to now see developments in the international calf market, particularly in Japan, where we see many synergies with our fibre feeds.”

Since the early days, Fiber Fresh has worked alongside scientific institutes in New Zealand and conducted multiple trials in order to support its claims that its fermentation processes, by which the forage feed’s nutrition is enhanced, produces the best possible feed for both horses and calves.

“The partnership with Rakuno University is our first international research partnership, and involves trials on the health benefits of rearing calves on Fiber Fresh for their first 100 days. The results have the potential to be revolutionary for Japanese farmers and production,” Mr Bell says.

Initial research involved rearing a trial group of dairy calves on FiberStart and milk alone for 100 days, as well as a control group fed the traditional grain-based diet.

Results of the 100-day trial astounded researchers, with the Fiber Fresh-reared calves showing fully-developed and more robust rumens and papillae, larger lymphatic systems, no weaning checks once milk was stopped after 45 days, as well as more natural growth patterns, better muscle and bone growth, and less fat deposits.

Amongst the research team at the university is renowned Japanese expert, Dr Masateru Koiwa, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Rakuno University.

“The 100-day programme is totally different to the way Japanese farmers rear animals and I think this new way of feeding will be very good for the Japanese ruminant industry,” says Dr Koiwa.

The trial will be published in the Rakuno University Journal next year and further research is currently underway with Wagyu and Holstein animals for the beef market.

Fiber Fresh is supported by the New Zealand government through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Callaghan Innovation Fund, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. It also works in partnership with the likes of Massey University and crown research institutes.


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