The International Aquafeed team visits
Dr Eckel International Aquafeed magazine visited Dr Eckel GmbH on-site on Friday 12th June. Founder and Managing Director of the feed additive
company, Dr Antje Eckel welcomed the team and gave a guided tour of the Dr Eckel site.
r Antje founded Dr Eckel GmbH in 1994 from humble beginnings in her own home. She has built up the business ever since then, remaining as the sole shareholder. In 2003 the offices were built, then in 2005 a warehouse was erected for stocking products. In 2009 production began and in 2014 the offices were expanded with an additional floor and outhouse on the current site in Niederzissen. All Dr Eckel’s own-brand products are produced on this single site and exported to customers all around the world. By the offices there is a pond with much plant life and bird life too – even ducks visit. A legacy of the development is a former wooden prefabricated office. It now fulfils a great role for on-site seminars and meetings with customers, distributors and Dr Eckel staff.
Quality is key
In every section of the site we went to, the quality and standards were impressively high. All machines, parts in the production facility and materials were of the best quality. Dr Antje herself said that she tours the production facilities once a week as part of the oversight procedures. The production tower has three floors (not including the
ground floor) and is quite a landmark in the vicinity. There are delivery doors and a control centre. The systems can be controlled by iPads but this is not normally done. Audits are carried out for the requirements of customers. On average, 20 tons of animal feed products are produced here daily. Everywhere we looked there was large-scale, high-quality machinery. Quality is a constant theme here, and such an investment will undoubtedly arrive at the end user.
Dr Eckel is an international company through and through. Its markets are diverse and constantly expanding. Although its first customers were on the German-speaking market, it is now expanding internationally. Marketing and PR director Sarah Mertens explained that Dr Eckel have an area manager for Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in Central and South America and they are keen to expand activity in the region especially in Aquaculture!
Dr Eckel today
Touring the site, it was clear that several strong missions drive the culture at Dr Eckel. First, ‘Ecknowlogy®’ is prevalent everywhere. This registered trade name is Dr Eckel’s own 38 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | July-August 2015
moniker for their blend of knowledge and technology in animal nutrition. It features in production, in the materials and information. Customers instantly see specialist scientific know-how combined with first-class customer service. The current warehouse holds one month’s stock. Delivery is based on a ‘just-in-time’ system. The warehouse has many solar panels on its rooftop, which supply sustainable solar energy to the warehouse itself.
Dr Eckel’s customers are mostly industry buyers; we were told that only in Asia does the company sell directly to end-users. Dr Eckel is also well aware of Asia’s potential for aquaculture. Recently, the Anta® aquaculture product range has been developed with a particular awareness of the large weighting of aquaculture in the Asia region. To this end, Dr Eckel have permanent staff in Asia such as Andreas Lewke and Yuwei Liao. After Dr Antje Eckel herself, we were introduced to Sarah Mertens, Dr Tilman Wilke and Monika Korzekwa. This group acted as our guides and provided great detail in their answers to questions. Monika Korzekwa told me her personal story: after a Masters degree thesis on Dr Eckel’s products with a study on quail, both she and the company agreed it was