September 2020, the Netherlands. HatchTech, a leading manufacturer of incubation equipment, and Willmar Poultry Innovations (Willmar), a world-leading innovator of turkey-related products and operations, are collaborating on substantial research and development efforts to apply market-leading chicken HatchCare products to hatching day-old turkeys (so-called “poults”). HatchCare is a unique and widely-adopted hatchery system where day-old birds hatch under optimum, and uniform temperature conditions, and are provided with fresh water, feed, and light as soon as they hatch.
Years of investments and thorough testing of early feeding potential for turkeys has revealed positive results. Willmar is now in the process of extending their research and development facilities, adding HatchCare systems to their process, to increase testing capacity and enable large-scale field trials. Willmar and HatchTech will work in close partnership to monitor outcomes, gather data, and measure the performance and bird-health impact of these systems. Due to the expectation of a positive outcome of these efforts, Willmar has become the exclusive distributor for the sales of HatchCare for Turkeys in the United States of America and Canada.
Joost ter Heerdt, Commercial Director of HatchTech, sees this partnership as a positive move for both companies: “We’re excited at the prospect of HatchCare entering the turkey market through this agreement with Willmar. Their Turkey knowhow and our expertise with fresh water and feed for early birds will make this a great partnership. We believe all parties involved will benefit from this, especially our future customers.”
Mr. Rick Huisinga, CEO of Willmar has a similarly positive outlook: “Our small-scale tests with early feeding on turkeys have been extremely positive. Now it’s time for the next big step in our product development cycle; gathering full-scale data. HatchTech has developed the best solution in the world to deliver feed, fresh water, and an ideal environment to newly hatched chicks, and we believe the same potential exists in poults. The future of HatchCare for Turkeys is bright!”
Both companies are aware of the tremendous potential that fresh water and early feeding will deliver for day-old Turkeys. At the same time, they are fully aware of the fact that the genetics and behaviour of a day-old chicken and a day-old turkey are significantly different. It will be critical that they develop a close collaboration between their respective teams, including sales support, coaching, product modifications, updates, and training.
“There is a lot of similarity between our companies. Innovation based on scientific research is one of our key pillars and it’s great to work with a company such as HatchTech that has a similar drive. Their attention to quality and detail is key to our partnership” adds Mr. Jonathan Huisinga, Willmar’s Research & Development Director, “I look forward with great confidence to the first results.”
Willmar Poultry Innovations (WPI) is the research arm of a family-owned organization with multiple affiliate companies that have developed expertise and delivered innovation to the turkey industry for 75 years. WPI focuses on creating innovative products and service solutions to operations always striving to improve. They understand that business as usual is never good enough, and are committed to leverage their expertise and scientific discovery methodology for the advancement of the industry.
As a leading food technology company, HatchTech Incubation Technology enables poultry companies worldwide to maximize the genetic potential of their birds. Drawing on our unrivalled expertise in early-stage chicks, we create research-based products for incubation, brooding and storage and deliver and service our customers’ projects worldwide. Headquartered in the Netherlands, and with offices in China, Ukraine and representing agents in over 20 countries, HatchTech supports customers in more than 40 countries.
From l to r: Jonathan Huisinga, R&D Director of Willmar and Rick Huisinga, CEO of Willmar. Joost ter Heerdt, Commercial Director at HatchTech and Tjitze Meter, Founder and CEO of HatchTech.