Growth in premium livestock feeds spurs by-product demand

Livestock feed company, Castlegate James Australasia, is seeking to purchase greater volumes of by-products from food manufacturers, and establish new suppliers, due to strong growth in demand for its high-performance products.

Castlegate James Australasia has been working alongside the Australian food industry since 1923, buying by-products from large FMCG food and beverage companies and converting these organic ingredients into highly sought-after premium livestock feeds.
The company supports many of Australia and New Zealand’s most respected food industry suppliers and large-scale livestock producers, converting what some may see as surplus into nutritionally balanced, performance-based feeds for the dairy, cattle and sheep markets.

Castlegate James Australasia’s Group CEO, Steven Chaur, is a 30-year veteran of the Australian consumer food industry and claims the growth potential for re-purposing or upcycling food industry ‘by-product’ into high-performance livestock feed is both on-trend and exponential.

Importantly, demand for improved on-farm performance, animal welfare and feed reliability are driving interest in and sales of the company’s unique product offer on both sides of the Tasman.

“Each year across Australia and New Zealand, we will convert over 700,000 tonnes of consumer food by-product into quality livestock feeds that would otherwise not be consumed. The ingredients include high quality materials generated as part of a food production process such as production line trimmings or grade-outs, out of specification, over production or unused raw materials. It’s all perfectly good quality and safe but it can’t be used for consumer product and there is increasing pressure on food companies not to add to landfill.”

Many of the ingredients purchased for the company’s unique feed rations include packaged bread, biscuits, dough, yeast, vegetables and fruits, brewers’ grains, food grains and nuts, flour, dairy powders and even confectionery. These ingredients are then formulated by the company to make a unique balanced ration depending on the livestock application and farm productivity goal.

“Our nutritionally balanced feed is produced from high quality, consumer grade food product inputs and because it’s been already fully or partially processed, the ingredient digestibility and calorific value tends to be superior for livestock, relative to a conventional grains based stockfeed, delivering better energy, protein and fibre in a way that increases weight gain, marbling scores or improved milk production. It’s a joy to see livestock chasing the feed wagon. Even cattle like confectionery, in moderation, or the sweet smell of brewers grain.”

Castlegate James operates 10 high volume production facilities across Australia and New Zealand, servicing both suppliers and customers through fast lead-times and unique processes that can efficiently de-package retail ready or bulk packaged foods. The company is planning production investment in both Australia and New Zealand over the coming 3 years to meet increasing livestock customer demand, as well as pursing innovative new high value markets.

“Because a large amount of the by-product that we purchase is branded perishable food, our production sites tend to be state based close to both the customer and supplier, ensuring we can handle significant volumes reliably and operate a fast turnaround to ensure the best quality feed is delivered to our large-scale farm customers, who demand reliability and consistency. Critically, we ensure our suppliers can operate efficiently by providing a professionally managed and timely on-site collection service, as well as confidentiality in dealing with branded packaging materials.”

Demand is growing rapidly for the company as it continues to explore new sources of by-product supply from food manufacturers, food retailers and QSR franchise operators.
“Importantly, we are not a site services company so we don’t manage general waste. We are every bit a premium food manufacturing company, we just feed livestock instead of consumers. We pay a premium for the consumer food grade ingredients used in our livestock feeds and so we have high expectations on suppliers for reliable supply and quality. In turn, we provide a consistent commercial service to our ingredient suppliers.”
“It is a win-win relationship and we’re delighted to play a key role in helping to make a unique contribution to food industry sustainability and support an important livestock value chain,” Chaur said.