Ahead of the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit, we spoke to Jamie Brannan, President International at Zoetis about his journey into animal health, innovative technologies emerging in the sector and making new connections.
Tell us what inspired you to work within the animal health sector?
I studied life science, so it’s not surprising that I started my career in healthcare. I held several commercial positions in a variety of healthcare companies. What I learned from my healthcare experience is that I am passionate about innovation that drives market growth – launching new products and making them succeed in the market is a great satisfaction. I’ve always enjoyed the B2B customer relationship and have always felt that focusing on customers’ growth is the only way to succeed. Last but not least, I am inspired by Zoetis’ purpose as we truly work to make a difference in the communities where we operate in bringing value to our customers as we nurture our world and humankind by advancing care in animals.
You were appointed as President of International Operations at Zoetis in July and you’re speaking on the Opening Panel on ‘Innovating towards Carbon Smart Farming in the Race to Net Zero’. How have the UN Sustainability goals impacted on your role?
At Zoetis our commitment to sustainable agriculture and healthy food producing animals is in direct support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-Being, Gender Equality, Climate Action and Life on Land. Of course, our aim is that increased animal health benefits livestock farmers around the world. We are thus actively advancing care in animals via meaningful innovations to emerging markets and creating solutions tailored to each geography’s specific needs. As an example, our Zoetis A.L.P.H.A initiative aims at increasing availability of veterinary medicines, creating sustainable diagnostic networks and providing training and education to farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our training offered through this program also focuses on closing the gender gap by ensuring a balance of men and women participants.
Which innovative technologies are you most excited about in the animal agriculture industry?
We strongly believe that healthier animals build a healthier world. Zoetis provides solutions across the continuum of care to broaden the scope of the veterinary toolbox to help veterinarians predict, prevent, detect and treat diseases across the animal’s entire lifecycle. I am particularly excited about the opportunities in the area of genomic prediction. We have leveraged a deep understanding of the bovine genome and can accurately predict the relative risk of the most common diseases in dairy cattle. Through selective breeding, farmers can now nurture healthier herds while safeguarding productivity. We have proven this through detailed trials in the US and Europe.
Tell us about your predictions for the animal health industry in the next 5-10 years?
Even as we find a “new normal” after this unprecedented pandemic, the impact of our industry’s digital evolution will be felt in a number of ways in customer interactions. First, there’s a change in pet owner demographics; millennials and Gen Z have a different approach to digital and pet care. We believe that digitization will continue to increase and influence the way that they engage with their vets. Second, from a livestock standpoint, farmers and producers want to connect with companies in a more direct manner. There is an appetite to get information frequently and easily, which was accelerated by COVID-19. Artificial intelligence solutions will continue to accelerate data-driven decisions and ultimately improve sufficiency and sustainability of farms.
What connections are important for you to make at the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit, and how does connection and partnership benefit your own organisation and the industry at large?
Over the past five years, Animal Health has grown an average of 5-6%. To continue this growth trajectory in the future, the industry will continue to look for external partnerships for research, manufacturing and commercial development. The connection and partnership with the Animal Ag Tech Innovation Summit will give us the opportunity to exchange on the key critical factors to help us work with partners on industry dynamics and evaluate working opportunities for the future.
The Zoetis team is joining the virtual Animal AgTech Innovation Summit on October 19-20. Jamie Brannan, President International at Zoetis will discuss ‘Innovating towards Carbon-Smart Farming in the Race to Net Zero’ during the Opening Panel on October 19 at 13.10 CEST.
Plus, Drees Beekman, Senior VP East-Europe, Middle East & Africa at Zoetis will host a roundtable discussion on ‘Innovating Towards A Healthier and More Sustainable Animal Protein Production Industry’ on October 19.