Cast your mind back 35 years. The year was 1985. Madonna, Wham and Sister Sledge all scored UK number ones. Back to the Future was the highest-grossing film of the year, ahead of cult classics like Rocky IV and The Goonies. Hairdos were all over the place.
But our favourite memory from 1985? It has to be the fact that Volac opened the first commercial production site for Megalac rumen-protected fat, based in a new site in Liverpool.
To celebrate 35 years of producing Megalac at our Liverpool factory, we have been sharing playlists, prize draws and memories from our staff. We also sat down for a chat with the Managing Director of Volac’s Animal Nutrition business, David Neville, to discuss his take on the past 35 years and look ahead to what the next 35 years may bring. There’s a summary of the key points below. Or watch the 15-minute video interview right here.
A short intro to David Neville…
David Neville is Managing Director of Volac’s Animal Nutrition business - working at the core of the Company established by his grandfather in Cambridge 50 years ago. He’s been with the business for 28 years, starting out as a Sales Trainee.
“It’s been a great journey, we’ve seen the business really grow – developing a really good team and group of products that work for farmers.”
Why did we open a factory in Liverpool?
A big part of running a successful global business is making sure your processes are efficient. Having a factory in Liverpool makes it easy to ship in the raw materials we need and get them into our production facilities with the least hassle possible.
“Our site is right on the dock. Even today it’s wonderful to see the ships coming in with the raw material and offloading right next door to the factory. It couldn’t be a more efficient place to be producing Megalac.”
It’s all about the team…
Of course, a great site is nothing without great people. Our knowledgeable staff are always looking for new ways to improve the production process, which has enabled us to grow more efficiently across the world.
“The real standout for me in Liverpool is the team. They don’t allow the grass to grow under their feet. There are continuous improvements to the production process. Those are things that we’ve been able to learn from when building other factories across the world.”
Helping farmers make more money
The reason Megalac has stood the test of time is the fact that it works. At the time, many companies were trying to create a fat product that could be fed to a ruminant, passing through the rumen without upsetting the delicate fibre-digesting microbes. Our team were the first to crack it – and Megalac became a global success very quickly.
“The driver of success for Megalac is a versatile product that answers a lot of questions and solves a lot of problems for farmers. There must be very few products on the market that have as much research behind them. It really has been a tool to help farmers become more productive and, in essence, make more money.”
For us, success rings hollow if it comes as the expense of the planet. That’s why Volac partnered with Wilmar to provide our key raw materials.
“Wilmar give us security about where our raw materials are coming from, giving us traceability and sustainable activity to ensure there’s no deforestation and no exploitation of people. It means Megalac has the provenance behind it to allow farmers to feed their herd with a clear conscience.”
Watch the full fifteen-minute interview with David right here.