Fronted by father and son Robert and Charlie Hogg, Millstream Animal Feed manufacture and supply rich animal feed using surplus food collected from factories and bakeries. Not surprisingly, as they significantly lower production costs, these high-quality, low-cost alternative feeds are in huge demand. We travelled to Wexford and met Head of Sales Charlie Hogg to find out more.
In challenging economic times where market conditions are far from favourable, farmers and producers nationwide are more focussed than ever on the bottom line. Thus, Millstream Animal Feed has arrived as a veritable Godsend, lowering producers’ feed bills with the supply of high-performance, value-for-money alternative feeds since 1995.
Using an in-house fleet of vehicles, these rich animal feeds are delivered in bulk to dairy, beef and pig farms across the country on a regular basis and, as the business approaches its 25th anniversary, it is in an exceedingly strong position going forward. Combining excellent products with outstanding levels of service, Millstream Animal Feed generates direct employment for a team of 25. One gets the distinct impression that this particular success story is destined to continue for many more years to come!
As they also run their own pig unit, the Hoggs appreciate only too well how much it means to farmers to have an opportunity to reduce their costs of production whilst keeping quality levels high. Thus, Millstream Animal Feed was formed with one major goal in mind: to provide farmers with high-performance animal feed at the lowest possible price.
This is achieved by sourcing high value by-products and surplus foods from the food industry in Ireland and the UK for use as animal feed materials. In the quarter of a century since the business’ inception, Millstream Animal Feed have saved their longstanding customers thousands of euros per year by educating and supplying them with their alternative feeds.
Ireland’s trailblazing surplus-food recycler sells its bread, biscuit, cake, confectionary, oat feed and pot ale syrup feeds directly to farmers and also to mills and merchants nationwide. “My father started the company in 1995,” Charlie confirms. “He used to go around the factories and collect surplus foods to use as farm foodstuffs as he knew that his was the most efficient and effective way of feeding his own pigs.
“He came to realise that vast volumes of this surplus food were being dumped, which was a tremendous waste, so he started a separate company selling his own animal feed.”
The first of its kind in Ireland, Millstream Animal Feed has maintained its place at the forefront of the market through large investment in staff, equipment, licences, fleet, facilities and systems and also through forging strong partnerships with major food businesses throughout Ireland and the UK.
The competitive advantages of feeding keenly-priced former foodstuffs to livestock are obvious but there are a number of other key benefits to the alternative feeds produced by Millstream Animal Feed from their base in Bunclody, County Wexford. These include consistency, high digestibility, high energy, improved palatability, enhanced feed intake and enhanced nutrition.
“We’re distributing from Kerry to Donegal and from Galway to Wicklow,” Charlie continues. “We’re getting more and more enquiries because our feed is great value. It’s at the lower end of the price range but you get the same high performance associated with more expensive feeds.
“We’ve built lasting relationships with a lot of repeat customers but historically have had to turn away new customers to guarantee that we’ll have sufficient supply to satisfy existing customers. However, we’ve recently taken on new factories and bakeries so we’re now in a good position to expand. We have bigger supply now and are looking for new customers.”
Considering the clear and obvious opportunity that exists for customers to save money, it shouldn’t take long to find buyers for this increased supply!
Approved by The Department of Agriculture, An Bord Bia and QS, Millstream Animal Feed have also achieved the highest level of conformity with FEMAS (the Feed Materials Assurance Scheme), which guarantees that their feeds are collected, processed and supplied to the very highest standards.
Their best seller is Bread which is a straight feed product made solely from surplus produce collected daily from bakeries (to ensure freshness from factory to farm) and de-packed using state-of-the-art equipment. Another top seller is biscuit meal – a dried compound feed manufactured from a combination of bakery, pastry, cake, confectionary and biscuit products no longer fit for human consumption.
“We have grown gradually down through the years and a lot of our 25 employees work on the collection side of the business, which is Millstream Recycling. Millstream Animal Feed is the distribution side,” Charlie explains.
“95% of the food waste we collect goes into animal feed, which is the most environmentally-friendly way of dealing with food waste. Essentially, it never leaves the food chain.
“The main appeal to farmers is how much lower their costs of production are when using our feed. With our extra supply now, we are ready to take on new customers and this is a great opportunity for them to get their hands on serious feed at a reduced cost.”
As Millstream Animal Feed are vastly experienced, have invested heavily in their business and are fully approved and highly regulated, purchasing their high-quality, low cost alternative feed represents a win-win transaction if ever there was one!
Millstream Animal Feed are customers of Solar Electric, who started the Solar PV revolution in Ireland early in 2012.
“Robert Hogg and the Hogg family have been long time renewable electricity producers having a hydro electricity generator at their home and business for a long number of years when other people only dreamed of such things in Ireland!
“I have known Robert for a few year`s through sport and when I started Solar Electric in 2012 on a day out at our chosen sports activity, I would mention to him that he might look at Solar PV as an option for his pig rearing and fattening business at some stage. He always had the same answer for me “When the time is right and the price drops for the cost of PV in Ireland I will look at it then”
“Thankfully during 2016 when the time was right and the prices for PV modules had come down to a reasonable viable level, Robert started to look at the possibility of using PV to supplement his grid fed electricity usage with Solar PV. He identified the buildings he would like to install the roof mounted PV system on. In Solar Electric we then set about to design a 93kWp PV system located on two of the South facing piggery roofs and electrical design for inverters and grid protection switch gear that satisfied ESB Networks requirements. Robert having checked out some of our previous installations and customers and secured some quotes from a few competitor PV Companies, after some good humoured haggling, he placed the order with me in Solar Electric just before Christmas that Year on the 6th of December 2016. We installed the system and switched on the system in early 2017 and this system has performed very well for Robert so much so that he has now placed an additional order for a 108Kwp PV extension for one of his East/West facing piggeries on the same site. This system will be installed in early November this year and will further help Robert and the Hogg family on their journey to self-sustainability.
“In Solar Electric, we thank Robert and his family for his continued business with Solar Electric and his investment in PV to copper fastening his electricity costs in to the future for his business and the next generation whom are actively in involved in this very successful family business based in County Wexford.” – Tom Foley, Solar Electric.
Millstream Animal Feed,
Bunclody, County Wexford.
Tel: 053 93 77323
Fax: 053 93 76031
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 7 No 7, Dec 2019/Jan 2020