Fermentationexperts is built on the history of a concept with great potential that nobody could explain – but which one man believed in
Jens Legarth, founder and CEO of Fermentationexperts, explains how his unshakable belief in fermentation led him to build up an innovative company:
“I started to become interested in fermentation when I was export manager at a well-known liquid feed plant company in the early nineties. At that time, I couldn’t tell the difference between yeast and lactic acid bacteria. But then VSP (The Danish Pig Research Centre) published some studies which showed that fermentation made it possible to achieve a 10% better index, and that caught my interest. It also attracted the attention of around 80 farmers who invested in tanks and other equipment, but unfortunately couldn’t get the system to work. A lot of people and players – including VSP – tried to understand what was going wrong, but no-one found the answer. At the same time, I was becoming more and more interested in the field. I was convinced that the fermentation process had the potential to become a brilliant feeding system.
My curiosity led me to Peter Brookes in Plymouth, England, an expert who claimed that the VSP approach would never work. They were talking about natural fermentation, a process in which you have no idea what microorganisms you are dealing with. It is pure luck if it works! Brookes therefore came up with the following approach: ‘Follow the rest of the industry – do the same thing every time’. His strategy did not work every time, either, but I was convinced that he was on the right track.
I continued to work on the idea, even after I left my job as export manager. A lot of farmers had systems that were not working, and many of them called me directly. Against this background, I decided to take a chance on a career as an independent consultant in the field of liquid feed fermenting. In 2007, after years of experiments, I finally discovered how to control the fermentation process safely. I patented the strategy and founded Fermentationexperts and Vådfodereksperten in October 2007.
Things started to move quickly from that point, and Fermentationexperts is now an innovative company with subsidiaries in Europe and the United States. We believe that fermentation is the feeding technology of the future for pig farmers, and we continue to develop new areas where fermentation makes sense – for the individual farmer’s finances, for the health of their herds, and for the environment.”