In the 80 years since Meadow Feeds was founded, the company has undergone many changes and has evolved and adapted into one of the biggest animal feed companies in Southern Africa today. Michael Schmitz, Meadow Feeds managing director, takes us through the company’s journey so far.
A Meadow Feeds veteran himself, Schmitz started at the company as a technical advisor almost 35 years ago. He explains why celebrating 80 years in business is so significant.
“Celebrating 80 years is a significant achievement for any company, not only in the agricultural sector, but also if you look at the wider business environment. There are not many companies in operation today that have reached this milestone, and I think that is a true testament to the involvement of many, many people over the years who have been part of this company.”
Schmitz says that the Meadow Feeds brand has moved between various umbrella companies since its inception, a fact that emphasises the deep quality of the brand.
“You can imagine the number of people that are involved in the creation of the Meadow brand. It has been as wide as it has been diverse and this is reflected in the strength of the Meadow brand which we see today.”
The Meadow Feeds difference
For Schmitz, the company culture is what makes the Meadow Feeds brand stand out. He identifies consistency as a defining characteristic of the brand.
“I think consistency in everything we do is extremely important and this trait is embedded into the wider Meadow culture, and is supported by the many quality and productivity systems that we have in place, and that we’ve introduced over the years.”
The overarching framework that is used is the 20 Keys philosophy, Schmitz explains, which is used to effectively integrate management improvement methods in a coordinated manner.
“Firstly there is the improvement of efficiencies, and that’s through the whole business process, from administration through to production, engineering, and logistics. Secondly, we look at ensuring our quality standards are achieved and if necessary, where improvements are required. And then lastly, finding areas where we can reduce costs so we can be cost-effective in the market.”
Advice you can count on
Schmitz points out that, regardless of the size of your farm, expert advice is key to your success.
“Expert advice is extremely important, not only for the smaller farmers but also critical for large commercial farmers. The common goal for all these farmers is to optimise animal production where possible, as this drives profitability and ensures sustainability.”
This is why Meadow Feeds has a long-standing technical agreement with an international technical partner, which gives them access to effective computer modeling programmes that combines cost-effectiveness with the best in animal nutrition.
“Although we are well aware that we’re dealing with a biological animal and computer modeling will never be able to simulate exactly how the biological system actually works, it does, however, give us a better understanding and acts as an extremely valuable tool to determine what the animal’s response will be to either increased milk, meat or egg production when we alter the nutritional content of the feed.”
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