DANBRED CEO: WE HAVE A WORLD-CLASS PRODUCT


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For more than 100 years, Danish pig producers have set the standard on the international market when it comes to quality and above all, financial efficiency in pig production. Thomas Muurmann Henriksen predicts a future where only the biggest and most adaptable genetic companies will survive.

We are talking about one of Denmark’s biggest export successes – Danish pig production. Thomas Muurmann Henriksen is the CEO of DanBred P/S. The 45-year-old director has worked with pig production for many years, so he is comfortable with the task. Thomas has over 20 years in the industry and he has experienced just how changeable and dynamic the industry can be from the get-go.
– I was attracted to agriculture and food production from an early age, so in 8th grade I already knew I wanted to work in the sector. I like the process and the different parameters you work with.
Thomas Muurmann Henriksen, CEO DanBred.

– One of my tasks is to look into the crystal ball and analyse market trends of the future, so that DanBred is prepared as much as possible to deal with the competition. Unfortunately, I cannot predict the future but I can ensure that the crystal call is polished as often as possible, that I have the clearest basis for assessing future prospects and know which way the wind is blowing.

Thomas Muurmann Henriksen, CEO DanBred

Motivation is a must
Thomas, however is not just DanBred’s CEO, he is also a family man who lives with his wife Bente, and their two sons, aged 13 and 16 respectively. The family’s home is in Stenløse, about 30 km northwest of Copenhagen. Thomas has comprehensive experience in the pig industry and there was never in any doubt, even as a child, where his career path lay.
– I was attracted to agriculture and food production from an early age, so in 8th grade I already knew I wanted to work in the sector. I like the process and the different parameters you work with. I considered becoming a farmer, but with my hay fever, I quickly accepted that I would have to take another path. So I chose books and the theoretical part, he explains.

Thomas took a bachelor in domesticate animal science and for his work experience, he spent a year working on a farm in Australia. After he returned to Denmark from “Down Under”, undaunted, he continued his studies and joined the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, where he worked as a genetic consultant until he started to work for DanBred International
in 2004.

At DanBred, he took on responsibility and even though he was only 30 years old when he became a director, he immediately generated results.
– I have always had the attitude that age is not necessarily a condition for someone occupying a particular position. Of course, I’m 14 years older now and worldlier, with a lot more experience. But for me, it’s more to do with having motivation, Thomas explains.

Look into the crystal ball
The motivation he refers to, is he that will make DanBred even more successful internationally. He will ensure that DanBred is a leader in a competitive sector where there are many players competing against one another. For this task, he needs more than his educational competencies and tools that he has developed over the years. Ideally, a director also needs to be a visionary and forward-looking.
– One of my tasks is to look into the crystal ball and analyse market trends of the future, so that DanBred is prepared as much as possible to deal with the competition. Unfortunately, I cannot predict the future but I can ensure that the crystal call is polished as often as possible, that I have the clearest basis for assessing future prospects and know which way the wind is blowing, explains Thomas.

Our feeling is that pig genetics will move in the same direction that we saw with poultry genetics. The end users will become even more professional, and only the strongest genetics companies who adapt their businesses will survive.

Thomas Muurmann Henriksen, CEO DanBred

However, no one needs a crystal ball to see that DanBred must fight to keep its market share. There are many competitors, for example, TopigsNorsvin and PIC.
– I clearly see them as our biggest competitors and of course, we respect them. But I also have to continue to make it known that we have a world-class product, a product that I fully believe in, Thomas says and points out the positive way Danish pig production is welcomed around the globe.
– When we enter a new market, we experience tremendous goodwill and respect for DanBred. It opens a lot of doors for us around the world, and it helps to create excellent customer relationships, which we can utilise to enter into new agreements, he explains.

The new agreements made in recent months support his claim. DanBred has entered into the Japanese, Vietnamese and Mexican market and now the Russian market is opening up again after a four-year period when the Russian government had banned the import of all living breeding pigs. Finally, a subsidiary has been created in the Netherlands, which shall strengthen and support the European market. Thus, many strategic objectives have been realised and are creating a good organisational basis for further expansion, even though the pig genetics industry is not markedly static in size.

A world of difference
The pig genetics industry is a dynamic industry and there is a world of difference between the industry in 2004 and in 2018. Thomas therefore does not believe that the market will be big enough in 10–15 years for all of the genetic companies that are currently competing in the market. A race for survival is already underway and DanBred is not hanging around on the starting block.
– Our feeling is that pig genetics will move in the same direction that we saw with poultry genetics. The end users will become even more professional, and only the strongest genetics companies who adapt their businesses will survive. We must prepare for the long term, when the market will be divided among a few players, but we have seen it coming at DanBred and we are ready for the fight, says Thomas as he explains the strategy.

None of our competitors generate the same financial results in production, which we can document – that’s a fact. But our business in relation to management and the optimisation of the production side are also areas where we can differentiate ourselves in relation to market competitors.

Thomas Muurmann Henriksen, CEO DanBred

The fight for the customers’ favour, is in simple terms, about having a strong product and above all, the bottom line for the individual producer, and this the basis for Thomas’s optimism. But additionally, the entire business in relation to management and advising the end users is deeply integrated in DanBred’s approach to the market.
– None of our competitors generate the same financial results in production, which we can document – that’s a fact. But our business in relation to management and the optimisation of the production side are also areas where we can differentiate ourselves in relation to market competitors. We must constantly optimise the value chain for the benefit of end users, says Thomas. “DanBred is in top form – just like our product,” ends Thomas.





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