Tom Overbay, DVM, partner with Covenant Animal Health Partners, discusses the livestock’s industry’s trends, challenges and opportunities.
Editor’s Note: TechAccel announced a partnership with Reliance Animal Health Partners to focus exclusively on bringing animal health innovations to market under the name of Covenant Animal Health Partners. Covenant is dedicated to the development and registration of “revenue-ready” animal health products. It will address critical market needs across production and companion animals.
Vet-Advantage: What are the major trends you see in the livestock industry on the producer side?
Tom Overbay: The production of ample protein using strategies that address public concerns on food safety. While producing the safest food in the world, producers will find themselves utilizing more vaccines, other biologicals, and managing the microbiome.
Vet-Advantage: How has the industry adopted new technologies?
Tom Overbay: The industry is very open to new technology. The challenge is making that technology cost-effective and capable of being delivered in a manner that accommodates production systems as well as the epidemiology of the condition being addressed. Data to support efficacy and economic benefit is also critical in driving adoption.
Vet-Advantage: What are the issues the marketplace has to address?
Tom Overbay: Viable products and strategies to minimize the use of antibiotics without compromising animal health or welfare. Production of ample, high-quality protein to feed a growing population. Developing rapid response strategies in the event of an emerging disease or bioterror threat. Increased consumer demands for food safety and transparency.
Vet-Advantage: Where do you see the areas of growth in the livestock industry?
Tom Overbay: Easy to envision growth across the sector as a growing global population with increasing disposable income demands more animal protein from a variety of sources – fish, poultry, cattle, etc.
Vet-Advantage: Are there any new product segments that are making a difference in overall sales and margins?
Tom Overbay: Biological products that prevent or minimize disease – both traditional and non-traditional targets – offer the promise of improved margins for the animal health industry and producers alike.
Vet-Advantage: What are the main challenges in serving livestock customers?
Tom Overbay: Ability to provide products that are suited to the needs of the industry. Products that offer efficacy but remain safe. Effective products that do not compromise trade or regulatory surveillance. Cost-effectiveness. Generation of meaningful economic data without risking regulatory approval or development costs/timelines.
Vet-Advantage: What types of emerging products or services (or product or service categories) will help address the changing livestock industry?
Tom Overbay: A broader range of biologically based interventions. Products that address the microbiome (especially of the GI tract). Better diagnostics (faster, more precise, animal side). Tools to track and validate the use of products.
Vet-Advantage: What are the prominent trends among livestock producers that will most affect animal-health companies and distributor sales representatives?
Tom Overbay: The continued shift to larger operations, managed by increasingly well-educated and informed men and women, will require companies to provide technical information and support in the context of business and production criteria.
Vet-Advantage: As you look ahead, what are the trends in veterinary products distribution that will most affect the industry?
Tom Overbay: Consolidation of decision-making authority over larger populations of animals. The demand for just-in-time delivery of products. Tracking and validation of the use of products on an individual animal basis. Fewer distributors offering a greater range of products and services in order to remain relevant. Continued consolidation of animal health manufacturers.