At AB Agri we’re passionate about responsibly making animal feed, creating nutrition and technology based products, and offering data services for the agri-food industry.
We operate across the entire food industry supply chain, producing and supplying compound animal feed, feed enzymes, specialised feed ingredients and a range of value-added services to farmers, feed and food manufacturers, processors and retailers.
Our vision is to create a legacy.
We are passionate about producing affordable, high quality and responsible food. We will inspire excellence in the way our industry produces food for people and animals, pioneering responsible ways to build a more sustainable food chain.
We are united by our family values that represent who we are, how we work together and how we help our customers.
Curious, spirited and bold. We lead, the right way.
We create ways for our people and customers to thrive. That’s how we keep making a difference.
We seek excellence in all that we do.
Founded in 1984, we've grown from a small team to a global agri-food business employing more than 3000 people across the globe. We have a detailed understanding of agriculture's importance in our world and a desire to change it for the better.
Looking back over just three decades, we're proud of our progression:
Two people and a telephone
In 1985, British Sugar had a loss-making waste product – pulp – clogging up its sugar factories. The team tasked with managing this leftover waste could see huge potential for the product as a nutritious, cost effective animal feed. The small team set about creating a name for the product and evidencing its nutritional benefits with scientific trials at national agricultural colleges.
Building a proper feed business
By 1990 Trident Sugar Beet Feed was selling over 700000 tonnes to farmers, changing suppliers’ attitudes to ‘waste’ and securing contracts with national distillers.
ABF’s acquisition of British Sugar in 1991 created further opportunities for the ambitious team, including the 1992 purchase of KW Alternative Feeds. The acquisition of KW provided the business with a retail route to market, additional co-product relationships and a deeper connection with the farming community.
At home and abroad
Expansion continued throughout the ‘90s - both in the UK and with a new presence in China. The acquisition of Bibby, the third largest UK feed compounder in 1994, delivered a bigger UK footprint and transformed the co-products business.
Leading the industry
With the announcement of a possible link between BSE and mad cow disease on 20 March 1996, domestic sales of beef products in the UK declined by 40% overnight and export markets were completely lost.
The business’ ability to innovate enabled it to navigate this extraordinary time. AB Agri led the industry in designing the Feed Assurance Scheme that made feed traceability a standard in our industry and re-established trust with customers, government and consumers.
In 1998, we negotiated the purchase some of Dalgety’s feed mills. Dalgety was the UK’s no.1 feed compounder and acquiring the business further increased our UK reach.
2004 saw the business identify more new business opportunities at home and abroad, such as the development of a new feed ingredients business. This would become AB Vista, which has now grown into one of the largest players in the global feed enzyme sector.
Joining the dots
With the emerging global commodities market impacting the price of raw materials in the UK, the group continued to look forward, investing in systems and people to better serve arable farmers in the future. This drive to create a business fit for the changing commercial landscape led to the creation of Frontier Agriculture in 2005 – a ground-breaking joint venture with Cargill.
A powerhouse of nutritional expertise
Recognising the need to expand AB Agri’s offering to incorporate practical and nutritional expertise, the group approached two specialist nutrition businesses in 2007 and 2008: Premier Nutrition and Primary Diets. The Premier Nutrition business, with its internationally renowned animal nutrition specialists, added real depth to our offering and, combined with Primary Diets’ understanding of neonatal nutrition, created a powerhouse of nutritional expertise.
Driving responsible production
As the agricultural industry continued to consolidate, AB Agri strengthened associations with new and existing customers, brand owners and processors. These partners trusted AB Agri’s products, services and its proficiency in better connecting supply chains, building brand integrity and firming their relationships with farmers.
In 2009, our supply chain consultancy business AB Sustain designed a programme that took our knowledge of farming and, together with leading academics, created an on-farm carbon capture model that used data to drive new insights and efficiencies around carbon emissions on farm.
It was the first of its kind to be accredited by the Carbon Trust and led the way in extracting value from farm-level data.
Coming of age
At the beginning of 2012, at the International Poultry expo in Atlanta, the AB Vista business launched Quantum Blue. This enhanced E. coli-derived phytase, developed for use in animal feeds, would go on to revolutionise feed performance.
Reshaping for the future
Our businesses in the UK and China continued to advance and were reshaped to ensure their systems, people and structures were fit for the future. In 2014 we launched AB Neo – a start-up business within our group that focused on baby and maternal animal nutrition. Once again, we see our people stretching their thinking, and deploying science and technology to create tangible improvements in livestock production.
During our 18 years of operating in China we had developed a portfolio of businesses to meet the needs of our customers. In 2014 we brought together the ABCA, ABNA and the B2B businesses to form one AB Agri China business and built another new feed mill in Zhenlai, Northern China.
In 2015, Frontier celebrated its 10th year of trading. Today, it is the number one business supplying arable farmers in the UK, the leading supplier of fertiliser and the largest buyer of grain.
Investing in Alternative Proteins
In 2016, we joined forces with AgroKorn. This acquisition demonstrated our intent to bring new generation proteins to the animal feed market, and was in direct response to customers’ increasing need for high-quality protein ingredients that have a strong technological component.
A new area of expertise
Our first anaerobic digestion plant in Yorkshire was commissioned, enabling sales of new AD products and services under the Amur brand and stretching our expertise even further.
In 2018, AB Agri announced the appointment of José Nobre as CEO. "I am honoured to have been appointed as AB Agri's CEO. It is a privilege to be part of a community that delivers high-quality products and innovative solutions, to an industry I have been passionate about since childhood."
Advancing data and technology
At the start of 2019, the business established a new entity, Intellync, which brought together our existing businesses AB Sustain and Agridata. Intellync’s goal is to deliver connected intelligence that bridges the gap between people, data and technology in agriculture. Kilkenny, Ireland was selected as the location of the new technology hub. Further tech-based offers now include CowConnect, an app-based feed management system, and FarmWizard herd management software.
Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, we continued to drive the direction of our business with the launch of Livalta, our new ingredients business. Livalta will develop products and technologies to create functional, protein-rich ingredients for animal feed and responsible proteins for foods.