Already 10.000 farmers are using the unique AHV approach
The unique AHV health approach has already helped more than 10.000 farmers worldwide. What makes this approach so unique and what are the plans for the coming years? We asked CEO Jan de Rooy and CSO Gertjan Streefland.
Jan and Gertjan passionately talk about the past, present and future of AHV. If we look at the development that the company has undergone, a lot has changed in recent times. “For example, we now have our own lab at our headquarters in Zwolle with a Research & Development department with our own microbiologists and vets. They are constantly testing and further developing our products. In addition to a lab in Zwolle, we also have a lab in Leiden where Peter Nibbering (Microbiologist/Immunologist at the Leiden University Medical Centre), among others, looks at how molecules, bacteria and biofilm react to our solutions. Which substances work against which problems? That is something that occupies our entire team of biologists every day,” says Jan.
Excellent quality materials make your product!
In addition to the R&D department, quality assurance has also been raised to a higher level. With the arrival of a quality department (Quality Assurance/Quality Control department) with several specialists with extensive experience, the next step has been taken. “When you use our solutions, you often have no idea what it takes to make a good product. There is an in-house lab with microbiologists and veterinarians, an R&D department, a production department, specialists on the road, and so on. However, when developing a product, it always starts with the raw materials. These raw materials have to be tested extensively in order to guarantee quality. With the expansion of our quality team, we can say with certainty that the raw materials used are of excellent quality,” says Gertjan.
Why do the solutions work so well?
If more than 10.000 farmers in more than 20 countries are using AHV’s solutions then it must be working, but why does it actually work? When we ask this question, we see Gertjan perk up, because as a veterinarian he likes to talk about this. “It is actually very simple. At the moment, we are the only company producing the solutions in this way. Of course, you hear of other companies that make a drink, gel or bolus, but nobody uses our unique quorum sensing technique. Sometimes, you hear that other similar solutions also work, and that is true, at least temporarily. When an animal ingests something it does not recognise, it reacts to it. However, even if you do nothing, eventually the problem will slowly diminish. Unfortunately, neither of these are long-term solutions, because problems hide temporarily in the body, but are still there. That is what makes our solutions so unique, we do tackle the problems.
With us, you do not only see a reaction of the body in the first weeks, but more importantly in the longer term. Studies show that animals that are given our solutions have less chance of recurring problems in the future. And that is what you want, not just to solve problems temporarily, but to prevent them in the future,” says Gertjan.
Self-learning computer systems must start predicting problems
Besides the technology and the way the AHV solutions work, there is more that makes the AHV approach unique. Jan says that there is much more to it than just delivering products to the farmer. “With AHV we are not just offering the farmer a product, we are offering a concept to optimise health. This does indeed include products, but the guidance and data analyses that are used are even more important. Making a product is one thing, but properly informing a farmer about its effect and the correct administration of it is another. Our specialists are trained to give advice based on robot data or milk recording results. If we look at our data analysts, they do not only analyse which animal is suffering from a problem, but also which animal is likely to suffer from one. Thanks to our self-learning computer systems, it is possible to detect problems at an earlier stage. Our data analysts are working hard on this, and it is one of the developments we will see in the near future. Because tackling health problems is satisfying, but preventing them is of course the ultimate goal,” says Jan.
6 million AHV tablets a year
Over the next few years AHV will continue to innovate, say Jan and Gertjan. A change that will take place in 2022 is the expansion in machines. Next year, two additional machines will be installed in Zwolle, which will increase production to 6 million tablets per year. “If we want to meet the demand of all farmers in more than 20 countries, it is necessary to expand. With 6 million tablets a year, we know for sure that we can continue to serve the farmers.”
Besides the machines, there are also many developments in the different countries where AHV operates. New offices have been opened all over the world and an internal academy has been set up at our headquarters to train our specialists. This raises the level of knowledge of the entire team, which benefits the farmer. What the future holds for us, we will find out for ourselves”, Jan and Gertjan conclude their conversation together.