Hubbard is the perfect fit
in Grimaud’s portfolio
ecent weeks have seen extensive
changes in the ownership of major
international poultry companies.
The first of these changes was the acqui-
sition of Hubbard by Groupe Grimaud
La Corbière of France.
Recently International Hatchery
Practice visited France and Groupe
Grimaud La Corbière, who are often
known as just Grimaud, to find out more
about the acquisition and Grimaud's
plans and aspirations for Hubbard.
So, who are Grimaud? Most people
know the company for their activities in
the duck breeding field, but there is
much more. Grimaud's activities fall into
other key areas. As well as duck breed-
ing, the company is a major player in the
breeding of pigeons, rabbits and colour-
In addition, the company operates in
upstream biotechnologies, such as the
development of avian stem cell lines for An aerial view of the Chateaubourg breeding complex.
the production of vaccines and pharma-
ceutical recombinant proteins. 1,300 staff around the world, with the nesses'. Why should this be so? The
The company also has downstream group’s headquarters in Roussay, France. answer lies in the fact that family busi-
activities centred in France and on the In addition to eight major operational nesses do not have to return a profit year
production of commercial day olds. centres in France, it also has operations in, year out to shareholders as multina-
in Italy, Holland, Malaysia, four opera- tional corporations do.
tional centres in the USA and two in As a consequence, they are better able
Multispecies breeder China, plus partners or distributors in to live with the commercial ups and
numerous countries including Korea, downs of the breeding world and can
Now, with the acquisition of Hubbard, Thailand, Syria, Jordan, Russia, Zim- reinvest all their profits to develop and
Grimaud will produce some 55 million babwe, Egypt, India and Indonesia. grow the business.
day old ducklings, including some 1.5 The group is 70% owned by Fred The Hubbard business fits very well
million breeder day olds, 30 million Grimaud and his family and the remain- into Grimaud's genetics business where
chicken parent day olds (including over ing 30% is owned by financial institutes it tends to complement rather than dupli-
a million grandparents), 200,000 guinea and so Grimaud is, in effect, a family cate their previous breeding activities.
fowl parent day olds and 30,000 breed- business. The only overlapping that occurs is in
ing rabbits. Similar changes in recent weeks have the area of coloured chickens.
The new group's turnover will be some resulted in Aviagen and Hendrix Corporately, Hubbard is divided into
150 million and it will employ about Breeders also becoming 'family busi- Continued on page 13
The breeder houses have controlled ventilation. Pedigree breeding pens.
International Hatchery Practice — Volume 19 Number 8 11
Continued from page 11
Hubbard LLC in the USA, Hubbard SAS
in France and Hubbard Polska in Poland.
Logistically, Hubbard falls into two
halves – 'America' which services North,
Central and Latin America and 'Europe'
which covers Europe, The Middle East
and Africa, Brazil and Asia.
Within the Grimaud organisation,
Hubbard is to retain its own identity and
will be run as an autonomous unit. It will
follow the group's philosophy of focus-
ing customers, people, investment, R&D,
the international market place and qual-
ity and will be typified by pragmatism
All of this is encapsulated in the
group's philosophy of converting
thoughts and ideas into words and then
converting these into action!
On site at Chateaubourg.
Two main areas of production focuses on its Classic, Flex, Yield and for birds to kill at 81 or 56 days. In
alternative products. addition, Hubbard has both 'white' and
Hubbard will continue to operate from The Classic has the highest output of 'yellow' males. The white male is for
two main areas of production – Europe chicks coupled to fast early broiler markets, such as Europe, where there is
(Brittany, France and Poland) and the growth and is the ideal bird for the tradi- strong consumer pressure for uniform
USA (Tenessee and North Carolina). tional whole bird markets of Central carcase colour in the face of production
In addition, there will be three R&D America and Asia. practices, which have a flexibility in
centres – Walpole in New Hampshire, Their Flex has the lowest live chick ingredient use and will change these if
USA, Chateaubourg in Brittany, France cost and the best FCR at broiler level and commercial pressures so dictate.
and Saint Loup d’Ordon in France, is ideal for portion production. Hubbard's strengths lie in its origins.
which will be the centre for the coloured Hubbard arose from the mergers of the
breeding activities. All of these facilities Hubbard, Shaver and ISA broiler gene
are company owned. Specialist bird for meat yield pools and so it now has a large and
Grandparent operations, which tend to diverse genetic pool. It has internal
be customer owned, are around the Their Yield bird has the highest output of biosecurity in that there are two breeding
world including in Mexico, Columbia, deboned meat and is the specialist bird operations – one in France and the other
Venezuela, three in Brazil, Spain, Libya, for that sector – it is especially popular in in the USA.
Egypt (three), Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, the USA. Most of Hubbard's business In addition, the company has, and will
Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Russia, Pakistan centres on providing a whole breeding continue to operate, a balanced breeding
(two), India (two), Bangladesh (two), package, but they can, and do, provide strategy that couples breeder perfor-
South Korea, China (four), the Philipp- split packages in the USA where such mance in terms of hatchability, number
ines, Vietnam, Thailand (two) and packages are still popular. of eggs, egg weight and fertility to com-
Indonesia. The alternative products are tailor- mercial traits such as FCR, weight, live-
North West Africa tends to be supplied made for the 'Label', 'certified' and ability, leg strength and meat yield.
with day old parents, which are trucked 'intermediate' markets that are looking The overall goals of this strategy are to
there from France. reduce production costs for their cus-
Hubbard has a stronger market position The Chateaubourg genetic centre. tomers and to give them increased added
than many think. They hold some 50% value in their businesses.
of each of the Russian and Syrian mar- Typically breeders at Hubbard are broi-
kets, 45% of the Egyptian and 70% of lerised until seven weeks of age and are
the Pakistani markets. then selected on a basis of FCR, liveabil-
Hubbard claim to be second in the ity, oxygenation capacity of their blood,
large Europe, Middle East and Africa legs, body weight and conformation.
market with 25% of that area's parent These are coupled to a feathering assess-
stock market. When it comes to coloured ment that is undertaken at about four
bird production Hubbard's share is some weeks of age. At the top of the breeding
two third's of the breeder market. pyramid the top 10% of females and the
In practice, Hubbard is the only top 1% of males are retained for the next
breeder serving both the conventional generation.
marketplace, which is looking for cost So, what does this mean in real terms?
effective broilers that can perform in a Through the 1980s and 90s FCR for a
high tech/high investment environment, 1.9kg broiler reduced from 1.85 to 1.57.
and the alternative marketplace, which is In recent years the bodyweight of pure
looking for quality, robustness, tradition line males has risen 3% per year,
and a consumer friendly image in terms whereas in the female line FCR has
of production style, taste and welfare. reduced by 2.5 points per year and body
When it comes to products Hubbard Continued on page 14
International Hatchery Practice — Volume 19 Number 8 13
The grandparent hatchery. A breeder farm.
Continued from page 13 There must be benefits all round. genetics and should benefit from techni-
weight has increased by 57g per year. Hubbard will benefit from the fact that cal and commercial synergism between
At the same time the reproductive traits its future has been defined and the its different breeding activities.
have been maintained. This is important uncertainties of recent years can now be In the breeding world Grimaud have
because in today's high performing broil- left behind. been very successful with their duck
ers one can not be solely reliant on the It also has the benefit of a parent who breeding activities.
male to provide all of the final genera- is in breeding, understands breeding and If they can bring to Hubbard their
tion's commercial performance. who understands the vagaries of the experience and that little bit of extra
Its third strength lies in its people who breeding world and can service the magic that worked with their commer-
have the variety of skills and strengths financial and managerial support that cial day old ducklings, Hubbard will be
that are needed to service the needs of this sometimes requires. It has a parent the real winners!
R&D, breeding, technical services, sales who is there for the long term. Those who ignore Groupe Grimaud La
and marketing and customer support. Conversely, Grimaud has become a Corbière and Hubbard will do so at their
So, what about the future? major player in the world of poultry own peril. I
14 International Hatchery Practice — Volume 19 Number 8