Summit Highlights

The virtual Animal AgTech Innovation Summit on September 14 welcomed over 500 senior-level delegates from 40 countries to address how the sector is transforming animal health, nutrition and precision farming.

The summit was joined by the world’s leading livestock and aquaculture producers, animal health and nutrition companies, technology providers, and investors from across the entire value chain.


“We thoroughly enjoyed engaging virtually with entrepreneurs, investors, and thought-leaders at the summit this year on how to scale new technologies and innovations to the protein supply chain.”


“In our effort to continue to deliver healthy, sustainable and affordable food for customers, this summit is essential to drive ongoing improvement in animal health and welfare in our supply chains.”

Agricultural Manager Poultry, Eggs & Feed, TESCO

“The summit gave our business more visibility and raised our profile. I connected with some interesting businesses that I wouldn’t have otherwise and it gave us material to share on social media.”

Sales Director, Animal Health, PROAGRICA

“Animal AgTech demonstrated again the benefits of partnering with companies in the value chain.”

Director Business Development, LELY

Relive the Action!

Hear the key takeaways from our sessions and speakers: 

Opening Keynote

Kristin Peck - Zoetis - Opening Keynote - Animal AgTech Innovation Summit

The Role of Animal AgTech in Future Food Security and Sustainability

“COVID-19 has been a stark reminder of the importance, passion, and perseverance of livestock farmers throughout history in the face of pandemics, wildfires, hurricanes and drought and they are tested time and again. Yet they continue to produce a safe supply of nutritious food that we all depend on. What farmers do is much more than a profession, it’s a purpose.”
Kristin Peck, CEO, ZOETIS

Opening Plenary

New Priorities for Innovation in Animal Agriculture, and Emerging Opportunities for Collaboration

“We need to explain to consumers how alternative proteins really work. It is much more important to show that we need cattle and ruminants. If we show where current products come from the shelf, consumers ultimately have the choice.”
Cees Jan Hollander, Global Farming Expertise Manager, DANONE


“We have everything at MSD Animal Health and we need collaborations and partnerships to scale animal agriculture. We already have the technology.”
Jeroen Van De Ven, COO, ANTELLIQ


“It would be naïve to believe that alternative proteins will disappear. They are here to grow, and important during the value chain. Feed ingredients such as insect protein are not necessarily to feed humans but to provide a better and sustainable product for the agriculture sector. There is a need for protein players to adapt and innovate.”
Sebastien Pascual, Director, Agribusiness, TEMASEK


“There were shortages in the US supply chain and once COVID-19 hit our four meat processors, there were job cuts and this led to a small workforce. The farmers didn’t have any issues, as they worked remarkably well during lockdown, but a small workforce in the meat processing factories demonstrated our weak spot. Automatization and robotics are the answer to these challenges in the years to come.”
Frank Mitloehner, Professor & Air Quality Specialist, Cooperative Extension in Department of Animal Science, UC DAVIS

Precision Livestock Farming

Is the Future of Slaughterhouse Automation Already Here?

“Digital twins will be a big hit for the meat industry. It’s an IT concept that many people talk about. It collects all the data so you can see it visually and you can follow all your machinery and robots. You can adapt the biological radiation.”

The Future of On-Farm Systems and Solutions in Livestock and Dairy

“As a business, we have looked at different technologies and we are bombarded with different opportunities. We need to see those that create value for customers. We deal with a complex supply chain and the simple message is that we need to take the customers on the journey with us.”
John KirkpatrickAgricultural Manager Poultry, Eggs & Feed, TESCO


“Throughout history, some of the most interesting innovations are a result of our greatest challenges. We know it’s more difficult to be on the farm. We know it’s more difficult to interact with customers. We’ve got to come up with new and unique ways to do that. For entrepreneurs and start-ups who want to make an impact, this is going to be the opportunity in all of this.”
SriRaj Kantamneni, MD Digital Insights, CARGILL


“One thing I have learned throughout COVID-19 goes back to an old adage by Charles Darwin. ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.’ That’s exactly what is happening now. Businesses that are very fast in adapting are the ones who are doing better during this pandemic.”
Henry Berger, Global Head of Marketing & Strategy – Animal Diagnostics & Monitoring, BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM

Animal Health

African Swine Fever Virus: Is Feed the New Trojan Horse?

“If African Swine Fever hit the US, it would cost the country $16.5bn in the first year, and would cause many problems. For instance, we export 30% of pork in the USA and this would stop immediately. It would depress the price of beef, poultry, and grain exports.”
Scott Dee, Director of Research, PIPESTONE VETERINARY SERVICES

Rob Kelly - Zoetis

Enhancing Animal Health – Prioritising Early Detection and Individual Treatment

“Animal health regulation used to be fairly straightforward, with a scientific-based approach. Now we face societal pressures and consumer concerns which is not scientific. This has happened through a lack of transparency, so now as long as we are honest more people are going to be more comfortable with processes.”
Rob Kelly, Executive VP & President International Operations, ZOETIS


“Consumers are voting with their pocket books. Research shows consumers would pay 15% more for burgers that were made with meat from animals managed with their individual treatment process.”


“We should be providing the most modern and up to date tools to ensure producers are meeting the expectations of consumers.”
Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, Executive Director, HEALTHFORANIMALS


“Using technology from the gaming industry such as AI are exciting things to communicate with consumers about the health of the animals they are eating, but also for the health of their pets.”


Installing Sustainable Aquaculture on Earth by combining IoT, satellite remote sensing, and AI

“We have launched Umitron Pulse, an Ocean Observation Service which uses satellite data for farmers working in the aquaculture sector.”
Masahiko Yamada, MD, UMITRON

Accelerating Innovation in Aquaculture – Harnessing the Power of Digital

“Salmon is not enough and that’s why we’re venturing into new species as we see the technological platform that we built is quite easy to adapt for new species, but you need the technological infrastructure to build upon.”
Bendik S Søvegjarto, CEO, BLUEGROVE


“Farm animals express 60% of their potential. Some other species such as poultry and salmon could be better by 70-80%. But if you look into other other species such as shrimp, you’re looking at 20-30%. There is room for improvement here.”
Laurent Genet, CSO, NUTRECO


“We are seeing so much more investment in this industry which is giving us a better pace to drive the industry forward. It always used to be a low priority industry to invest in, but I’m optimistic about how technology will speed up the sector than ever before.
Thue Holm, CTO & Co -Founder, ATLANTIC SAPPHIRE


Microbiome and Feed

Unlocking the Potential of Postbiotics for Livestock Microbiome Health

“Postbiotics is new in animal agtech and the technology can pellet more feed for chicken and pigs. It can survive that because it’s non-viable and you’ve got that benefit into animal feed and that’s always been a challenge for probiotics. How do we get that live organism all the way to the animal and how do they consume it? It’s still viable and they can still benefit. Postbiotics is exciting because of this application rout and the need to not worry about pelleting, heat stability, and of course shelf-life and storage facilities.
Lance Fox, DVM & VP, Health & Wellness – Animal, ADM

The Power of the Microbiome – Translating Novel Science into Real World  Microbial Solutions

“By using the microbiome, you can discover the ground-breaking bio-solutions of tomorrow and at Novozymes, that can be of course enzymes with new and exciting microbes that can be used as probiotics and can be inhibited into microbial substances that don’t have negative side effects.”
Martin Borchert, Director Animal Health & Microbes Applied Research, NOVOZYMES

“For us to adopt a product, we need to have confidence that it does something for us whether that is death or loss in animals, whether it is treating an illness or the cost of feed. In livestock you can do randomized controlled trials but sometimes it is still difficult to have confidence in an experimental program. Is there a reasonable method for what a product should be doing? What should we be seeing? All these things are important when making a decision.”
Ben Holland, Director of Research, CACTUS FEEDERS

“To regulate the microbiome and its products, we should be thinking about four things. One is getting the full identity of the microorganism that you’re interested in, second is to ascertain the property of the selective microorganism to make sure it’s desirable. Thirdly, you need to complete a full genomic assessment to identify any toxigenic or pathogenic sections of the genome, and the fourth is the microorganism amenable to production scale up?”

“For microbiome therapeutics, we have effectively stabilized many challenging anaerobic bacterias, as well as ground negative bacterias which are less desiccation tolerant. We have shown stability in the dry state with temperatures at 37 degrees that are much higher for years, with minimum to no activity losses. We have shown stability at high and low ambient temperatures for years across many compound types.”

Fireside Chat

Collaborating Across the Broiler Supply Chain on Innovative Welfare Technologies: Are the chickens “happy”?

“We selected six SMART Broiler research participants with a focus on precision audio and video monitoring. We’re also seeing some of the SMART participants start to collaborate with each other, even before the Phase II round. For example, they’re starting to consider if they had audio and paired it with video, their inferences get much tighter and the project becomes much more viable. It’s really exciting to see researchers working together and/or with commercial entities.”
Banks Baker, Manager Animal Welfare & Agriculture, MCDONALDS

“The opportunity to partner with Mcdonalds and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is an opportunity to foresee technology and development. New types of technologies will intervene in the grow out process and it’s a proactive approach to monitoring animal welfare.”
Karen Christensen, Senior Director of Animal Wellbeing, TYSON

Supply Chain Safety, Transparency and Traceability

Creating Connectivity between Industry and Consumer

“To be a success and get projects off the ground, we need to look at what stakeholders will be involved in. How do you sell the vision to stakeholders and get that critical mass of stakeholders involved? Then it’s the execution and how the participants need to share data. There are a lot of moving parts to this.”
Matt Earle, Sales Director, Animal Health, PROAGRICA

“There is no way you can own the whole value chain. A lot of early success examples are driven by a strong player that supplies a technology that is willing to share data. Other players are bringing in public and private companies so we can see the whole value chain from a different perspective.”
Claudia Rössler, Director, Agriculture Strategic Partnerships, MICROSOFT

“We can measure animal wellbeing 24/7. We live with monitoring tools and can bring data to the consumer and to the chain. The producer is not rewarded for that. The producer ensures great animal wellbeing and is not rewarded for that element. We need to create that win win situation across the value chain and that will increase the uptake.”
Johan De Meulemeester, Global Technical Manager, ALLFLEX LIVESTOCK INTELLIGENCE

“Trust and transparency are key and responding to consumers and community holders, there are a lot of folks that are interested about how we impact the environment and if it’s hidden they think we could be up to shifty business. It’s a constantly changing landscape and what consumers are concerned about does change overtime.”


Bringing Innovation to Market and Finding the Right Strategies for Investment and Collaboration

“Many strategics appreciate seeing innovation in the early stages. Large producers are very advanced and have a competitive edge to try out new technologies and products in their barns or get one of their customers to trial them. This can be successful to have these conversations earlier on.”


“It’s very important to have a supply chain perspective and a commercialisation model needs to fit the supply chain needs and align with corporate commercial goals.”
Robert Walker, European Growth Officer, ALLTECH


“For animal health and nutrition, strategic partnerships are key to reach the market faster. There are too many trials to make the proof of your concept. There are too many legal loopholes and locations to consider. It is not easy to address for entrepreneurs.”
Laëtitia Gerbe, Partner for Investments, SEVENTURE


“We spend a lot time at Paine Schwartz, working with and talking to strategics about what they want to see to drive an exit. A lot of our processes working with the companies we invest behind is to make sure we hit the right value points and value triggers for strategics, so it’s a strategic fit for that player. It’s different for each business we look at, it could be we tick off regulatory barriers, prove commercial scale, provide an additional R&D pipeline or pursue different geographies.”

Key Audience Insights

In several sessions, we invited the summit audience to get involved in some of the panel discussions using an audience polling system. The key insights from the audience are below.

Media Coverage

Who’s Who of the Animal AgTech Industry

Here are just some of the global players and industry leaders who joined us at the virtual Animal AgTech Innovation Summit on September 14, 2020:

Ecosystem - Animal AgTech Innovation Summit 2020