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Issued: Friday 16th November 2012
For immediate use
 
Affordable and higher quality food will result from new genetic advances inspired by a unique industry collaboration. Two of the world's largest animal breeding companies aim to achieve further breakthroughs in the field of genomics during the next three years of a joint development agreement (JDA).
 
Arkansas-based Cobb-Vantress Inc. and Hendrix Genetics B.V. which is headquartered in Boxmeer in the Netherlands initially set up the JDA in 2008 to share and promote expertise, particularly in the fast-growing field of genomics. Already new genomic selection tools have been discovered and developed, such as the cutting-edge SNP Chip for chickens. This is a glass slide that can analyze between 60,000 and 1 million variations in DNA sequences - or Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) - which act as biological markers and help scientists locate a range of genes associated with disease.
 
The extended agreement will intensify efforts to develop new tools and discover fresh insights into animal genomics in order to improve breeding programs and help increase world food production.
Dr. Gerard Albers, head of research and technology at Hendrix Genetics, said: "This is like two renowned chefs sharing recipes, swapping thoughts and ideas on how to create a perfect dish. There are many ways to create this dish, many ingredients that can be used, and with shared views we are able to come closer to this perfect dish."
 
The collaboration is the biggest within the animal breeding industry and will produce animals that are more productive, less susceptible to disease and at reduced cost, therefore helping to tackle global food shortages. According to the United Nations' World Food Program there are 870 million undernourished people in the world today.
 
The JDA will also strengthen Cobb's leading position in broiler breeding and Hendrix Genetics' renowned role in layer hen, turkey, pig and aquaculture genetics, while enabling the two companies to further explore joint venture business opportunities.
 
Cobb-Vantress is the world's leading supplier of broiler breeding stock and technical expertise for the chicken meat industry. It has about 2,500 employees and serves the industry in more than 90 countries.
 
Hendrix Genetics has nearly 2,400 employees worldwide and operations in 24 countries and provides expertise and resources to producers in more than 100 countries.
Jerry Moye, president of Cobb-Vantress, said: "The joint efforts of the Hendrix and Cobb R&D teams have provided valuable knowledge for both of our companies. Cobb is excited to continue our partnership with Hendrix Genetics. We look forward to discovering what opportunities may be in our future."
Antoon van den Berg, CEO of Hendrix Genetics, said: "Bringing together the resources and expertise of Hendrix Genetics and Cobb allows us to accelerate the rate of research and to meet the challenges of food production. In genomics, scale is important, and the basics of breeding and genomics apply in most animal sectors."
END

 
Cobb-Vantress Incorporated
Cobb-Vantress, is the world's leading supplier of broiler breeding stock and technical expertise for the chicken meat industry. The company, the oldest in poultry breeding industry, is based in the USA in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Successful products are distributed to the market and to customers through either direct Cobb-Vantress commercial operations or through the company's partnerships with over 50 distributors worldwide. A portfolio of products caters to different market requirements: The COBB500™, the world's most popular broiler breeder, is the product of more than 30 years' research and development. It is the standard for many producers, with a reputation for uniformity and ability to thrive on lower cost nutrition. The COBB700™ has increased emphasis on breast meat yield for deboned and further processed, value added products. COBBAVIAN48™ is targeted at customers seeking a responsive breeder and broiler combination and competitive chick cost required in many markets worldwide. Cobb serves the world's broiler industry in more than 90 countries with about 2,500 employees. www.cobb-vantress.com
 
Hendrix Genetics
Hendrix Genetics, headquartered in Boxmeer, the Netherlands-EU, is a leading multispecies breeding company with 5 primary activities: layer breeding (Institut de Sélection Animale-ISA,), pig breeding (HYPOR), turkey breeding (HYBRID), aquaculture breeding (LANDCATCH) and poultry distribution (GRELIER, GRELAVI, GRELEGER, STVO ,ALS, SFPA, INTEGRA, JOICE & HILL).
The company is dedicated to generating solutions for the animal protein sector that solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. Backed by a strong portfolio of leading brands, Hendrix Genetics provides expertise and resources to producers in more than 100 countries, with operations in 24 countries and more than 2.400 employees worldwide. With respect and care for people, animals and the environment, it is clear that now – more than ever before – Hendrix Genetics is ready and dedicated to delivering better breeding today, for a brighter life tomorrow. www.hendrix-genetics.com

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