25Which is the best decision Dr. Eckel took in the past 25 years?
There were definitely many decisions that turned out to be groundbreaking. However, one of the most important ones was to begin exporting our products. In 2005, when we held 25 per cent of the German market, we were faced with the decision to expand our product range or our sales markets. We decided to enter new markets, something many people didn’t believe we could do: they saw our strength in the domestic market and could not envisage that we could carry it over into international markets. But we could rely on our own R&D and product development from the outset, which was a major advantage. Consequently, we began exporting our proprietary products in 2006 and have never looked back.
24How will Dr. Eckel face the tough future challenges of the agricultural industry?
A lot has changed in these 25 years that Dr. Eckel has been around. And there's nothing wrong with that because, as Antje Eckel always says, “The only constant is change.” Indeed, we have always embraced change and acquitted ourselves well. Three things ensure our continued success: 1. Planning ahead and working sustainably, because only sustainable production that is considerate of people, animals and the environment can succeed in the long term. 2. Listening to our customers and finding the right solutions that will ensure their future success. 3. Excellent employees who put their expertise and experience to good use developing the ideal products for these modern animal production solutions. We invest more than 10 per cent of our turnover in innovation annually. With an eye on sustainability, profitability and animal welfare is how we will face the challenges of the future.
23Which fairs does Dr. Eckel attend with a booth of its own?
There is the most important international trade fair for the industry, EuroTier in Hanover (Germany), and also VIV and VICTAM trade fairs (both in Bangkok, Thailand). In addition to this, Dr. Eckel is also present at numerous national trade fairs in cooperation with our distribution partners.
22How high is Dr. Eckel's production volume per year?
In full operation, our plant can produce 15,000 tons per year.
21When was Dr. Eckel's production plant built?
This year, our production celebrated its 10th birthday: The plant was put into operation at our headquarters in Niederzissen in July 2009.
20Which Dr. Eckel product is most innovative and unique on market?
Our innovative product portfolio focuses primarily on resource efficiency and improving animal welfare. AirFresh, one of our latest innovations, was developed as a supportive and prophylactic measure for the respiratory tract, and to strengthen lung function. The soft shell guarantees that the active ingredients are released just when they’re needed. Thus, due to this unique product, less medication is used in livestock breeding, as was impressively demonstrated in a practical trial. Consequently, AirFresh makes a major contribution to improving animal welfare and the economy.
19Do you have any sales branch in East African countries?
Apart from its headquarters in Niederzissen, Germany, Dr. Eckel has a subsidiary in Bangkok, Thailand. Currently, there is no branch in East Africa.
18To how many countries does Dr. Eckel supply its products?
Our products are successful in a total of 57 countries around the globe.
17Can I buy Dr. Eckel products in South America?
Yes, Dr. Eckel products have been available in South America for a number of years. Indeed, Diana Pestka, one of our sales managers, has been specifically responsible for this market since 2018. We also work with various local sales partners in Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru, among others.01
16What languages are spoken at Dr. Eckel?
Our company’s main language is of course German. But since we have meanwhile become such an international team, we almost always communicate in both German and English. Our employees come from 25 countries and speak a total of 30 languages.
15What does Dr. Eckel have for aquaculture?
Dr. Eckel provides additives for aquaculture feeds. Our flagship product for aquaculture, Anta®Ox Aqua, supplies vegetable flavonoids and has achieved impressive results in feeding studies .Dr. Eckel also provides organic acid products in the form of its CaPlus products, some of which are tailor-made for customers. The fact that Dr. Eckel has an own aquaculture facility for feeding tests is an advantage, especially in the case of customer-specific solutions. The aquaculture market in Southeast Asia, where Dr. Eckel has been operating for more than 10 years and now has an own office, is very large. Fish and shrimp feed manufacturers here would like to benefit from our expertise. In order to be close to the customer despite the geographical distance, our sales staff comprises employees from countries with large aquaculture markets, such as Thailand, Vietnam and India.
14What percentage of Dr. Eckel’s staff is female?
Around 60% of Dr. Eckel’s staff is female. Almost half the department heads are female. In the case of management, women are clearly in the lead: three of the four posts are occupied by women.
13Why does Dr. Eckel have an aquaculture research facility?
Our own testing facility for fish and crustaceans makes testing new feed concepts and product innovations quicker and more flexible. And it promotes further innovation. We can conduct larger trials and immediately adjust them if necessary. This enables us to further improve the quality of our products and tailor them even more specifically to the needs of our customers. The facility has been in operation since 2012 and was extended and equipped with new aquaria and a powerful filter system in 2017. We can now perform realistic feeding tests in both fresh and saltwater. Dr. Eckel is currently the only producer of feed additives in Germany with its own testing facility.
12What product does Dr. Eckel have to improve the eggshell stability of laying hens?
Dr. Eckel’s PreAcid is a unique acid mixture that combines free butyrate with prebiotic gluconate in the innovative GlucoFence complex, stimulating endogenous butyric acid formation in the lower gastrointestinal tract. This results in more butyric acid in the entire gastrointestinal tract, improved structural characteristics of the intestines and more efficient nutrient utilisation. The benefits to laying hens include improved eggshell quality and fewer broken eggs.
11How many employees work for Dr. Eckel?
Dr. Eckel now has around 90 employees at its locations in Niederzissen and Bangkok.
10What does Dr. Eckel have for broiler production?
Our broiler portfolio includes a number of products with various benefits. Among them is our award-winning Anta®Phyt. Trials have shown that, in addition to improving performance, it can reduce the incidence of wet litter and enhance footpad health. Thus, Anta®Phyt promotes both profitability and animal welfare.
9Is there any new experimental data on Anta®Phyt?
Yes. The latest test results confirm the beneficial effect Anta®Phyt has on dairy cows. The study, which was conducted at the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, shows that the cell count in milk decreases while milk yield increases with the application of Anta®Phyt. This results in a higher quality product, more efficient production and improved animal welfare.
8Which liquid preservative by Dr. Eckel would be best suited for storing milled millet in a tower silo? How much should be used?
Dr. Eckel has several highly effective liquid preservatives that are suitable for all types of preservation. In order to be able to suggest an exact dosage, we would need to know whether the millet will be kept in anaerobic (airtight) or aerobic storage, and how humid the millet will be when stored. The dosage depends on all this. We generally recommend the propionic-acid–based products Propcorn NC and Mould Control LP2 NC for storing millet. Both products are minimally corrosive and easy to handle.
7Who’s behind Dr. Eckel?
Dr. Eckel is a medium-sized, entrepreneurial company that focuses on sustainable growth and innovative, sustainable economic development. Dr Antje Eckel, the founder of the company, is the sole CEO.
6What was ‘new’ about Dr. Eckel back then?
Dr. Eckel has focused on developing alternative solutions and pursuing ideas that others could not conceive of from the outset. When Dr. Eckel was established in 1994, antibiotic growth promoters were indispensable to animal production. We thought ahead: our approach, which involved re-inventing animal nutrition and providing solutions without antibiotics, was new and outrageous. Today, it is standard.
5How do modern phytases manage to release more nutrients at higher doses when the initial phytases could only achieve this to a very limited extent?
Modern phytases—such as Quantum® Blue—degrade phytates more effectively and extensively. High dosages therefore release more nutrients, as opposed to the older phytases, which would have already reached their limits.
4Why is the foreign branch office in Thailand of all places?
We decided in favour of Thailand for a number of reasons. First of all, the Asia–Pacific region accounts for more than a third of world animal feed production. Thailand is also a major hub between Europe and Asia, and has an excellent infrastructure. The people are open and very well educated, which of course facilitates market entry. We enjoy collaborating with Thai universities in various fields: a case in point is shrimp breeding, in which Thailand is the world leader. And finally, the Thai government supports innovative foreign companies, such as Dr. Eckel, that establish an office in Thailand.
3What has Dr. Eckel to do with animal welfare?
We have had animal welfare in our sights ever since the company was established 25 years ago, when we felt the need to provide alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters. Dr. Eckel is one of the first companies ever to produce feed additives that have been specifically developed to improve animal welfare sustainably and reduce the use of medication in agriculture. The right feed additives are critical in achieving animal-friendly, sustainable production. They can help reduce stress, prevent inflammation and use resources more efficiently.
2Where does Dr. Eckel manufacture its products?
All Dr. Eckel products are made in Germany. We started operating our own production facility at our headquarters in Niederzissen, Germany, 10 years ago. We have manufactured and shipped our products all over the world from Niederzissen ever since. Our location in close proximity to motorways, airports, the railway network and waterways is especially convenient for this.
1What was Dr. Eckel’s first product?
The first product we developed entirely ourselves was Anta®Ferm, a mycotoxin binder. There is great demand for this product, especially in southern countries, since more than a quarter of the world’s harvests are still contaminated with mycotoxins. Anta®Ferm binds harmful mycotoxins in the feed without affecting the important nutrients, thus protecting the animals while supporting performance and well-being.