Under the Health & Welfare pillar, our focus is to address and reduce antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the animal husbandry industry sector. We will do this by assisting our customers with nutritional solutions and a holistic, best farming practices approach to avoid the need for antibiotics that are used prophylactically and for growth promotion and that are on the World Health Organisation (WHO) overview of Critically important antimicrobials for human medicine (6th revision).

At Nutreco, we are not opposed to the responsible use of antibiotics and recognise that if an animal gets sick, it has a welfare right to receive treatment, but under professional supervision.

In 2021, Nutreco developed an AMR Working Committee consisting of two individuals from Trouw Nutrition, two from Skretting and one from Corporate. The goal of this working committee is to create customer value by working together to co-create solutions at client production sites. As a component of our focus, Nutreco mapped and measured the use of antibiotics in all products that we sell. 

As a direct result of this baseline exercise, in early 2022, we will launch an initiative at Trouw Nutrition Brazil focused on our poultry clients, with collaboration and knowledge-sharing from Trouw Nutrition Iberia, and experts from other Trouw Nutrition business units, including the global Feed Additives group.

Our progress

In 2021, Nutreco mapped, measured and developed systems to monitor the use of antibiotics in the products we sell. We also established a baseline that will enable us to start tracking our progress in even greater detail from next year onward. For Skretting, we found that all antibiotic treatments were prescription-based.

Some 558 tonnes of antibiotics (active ingredients) were processed at Nutreco businesses in the year 2021. Of this total volume of antibiotics used, 18.6% (104 tonnes) were classified as critically important for human health by the WHO, also referred to as Critically Important Antibiotics (CIA). Our businesses report that 12% (66 tonnes) of the total volume of antibiotics were used as antibiotic growth promotors (AGP) and the remaining volume as curative or prophylactic treatment. The fact that, out of the 66 tonnes used as AGP, 21 tonnes were classified as CIA, is especially worrying and underlines the urgent need to improve the responsible use of antibiotics in the animal husbandry value chain.

Since the publication of RoadMap 2025, we have launched initiatives in various businesses to stimulate a more responsible use of antibiotics. We have already seen early signs of a declining use of AGPs and CIAs. In order for us to move towards zero CIAs and zero AGPs by the end of 2025, it has become apparent that we will need a more detailed tracking method of antibiotic use within Nutreco. As a result, we are developing a system to report on antibiotic use in compound feed equivalents, which should be operational in most of our businesses before the end of 2022.

More in-depth analysis of antibiotic use within Nutreco's aquaculture activities is published in the Skretting sustainability report.


3.1 Antimicrobial resistance
3.2 Animal welfare