Where is the company at this moment?
When I joined, it had been quite an impressive record of accomplishment of bringing three countries and companies together. Many things have really been put into place and it was an optimal platform to start looking more dedicated to the global expansion, and I believe that is where we are now. Our vision goes outside, and it is just the next natural step in the development of the company.
Which department do you think is going to be the engine of the company now?
The motor is a combination of everything. You cannot pick one thing, and say; Okay, now the laboratory is not that important. Because if the laboratory is not doing the best to ensure quality and efficiency then that piece of the puzzle is missing and the engine will not work.
What are the specific goals?
The main specific goal is to support the home countries and maintain the strong market share that they have. The next step is to increase on export and have an export market at the same size as the home markets in terms of volume. The composition today is 75% home market and 25% export.
What do you think is your managing style?
I am 100% aware that you will not get one or two people moving a company like this, you need everyone to know what their role is, where do we go, and how can we support the goals of VikingGenetics. We have a culture where people both feel responsible and take responsibility. I have a lot of respect for people in different parts of the company that know much better what is going on than I do.
Why do you think VikingGenetics is the best choice for a farmer in the current situation with low milk prices?
The dairy production, in general, is under an enormous pressure right now and we want to underline what we at VikingGenetics have done right, and that is to have focused on the economically important traits such as milk production and healthy cows. This is for sure the strongest point for us.
Other companies also claim to have the best health traits. How does VikingGenetics handle this?
I actually believe that we are too modest compared to other companies that say that they have breakthroughs, and have new technology. These are things that we have done for 30 years; we have all data to support the health traits.
Can you describe VG’s style of approaching their clients?
Our strength is that we are a cooperative, so our members are our customers and our owners. Moreover, that means that they have a long-term interest in making sure every-thing is on the right track. I think that is healthy, compared to private companies that are looking at short-term profits and just making sure that you have the results ready for next year, and not being 100% concerned about the farmer by the end of the day.
How is VG approaching new markets?
We always show a lot of respect for the local market, and try to understand what the traditions, the values and the conditions are on the local basis. Moreover, one of our strengths is that we are not only offering just one breed; we have an extremely strong combination of three strong breeds.
What other competitive strengths does VG have?
It is all about making life easier. If you have the best genetics in your herd, you will also have less problems. I believe that this is the most important factor when you manage a farm, that you should not have extremely sensitive cows that you need to handle extra carefully. Instead, you can use your management time to make sure things work. If you have sustainable, healthy, long-lasting cows, you can use time in planning next steps instead of trying to repair troubles all the time.
How committed is VG in Research and Development?
We are very dedicated to that. VikingGenetics is probably the first global company to take in genomic selection 100% in the breeding program.
How does VG listen to, and get feedback from customers?
We have a close cooperation with the owner companies who meet the customers every day, and we get feedback from them. To make sure that the breeding objectives of the three breeds - and the beef breeds - are accomplished, we have breeding committees consisting of farmers from each country. When we work abroad, we work closely together with the distributors and put a lot of effort in understanding them and their situation.
Which markets does VikingGenetics prioritize right now?
We continue to serve customers in more than 50 countries around the globe. Having said that, we want to have a relevant market share in Australia, where we already have a VikingGenetics office. Then the United States (US) and Britain (UK) are our main focus markets at the moment.
Do you have a special message to employees and stakeholders?
I came into a company that already had an excellent record of accomplishment, and I am very happy that we can have this strong foundation with skilled colleagues in home market and export markets, especially right now in Australia where we have most people abroad. At VikingGenetics, we have a passion for what we do; everyone knows that what they do is important.
|Rex A. Clausager with VR Flame during one of his visits to VikingGenetics' office in Skara, Sweden. When times allow, he likes to see the bulls in the barn.|
|VikingGenetics CEO, Rex A . Clausager, giving a look to the straws with bull semen ready to meet the global market.|
|Rex A. Clausager in the barn in Assentoft, Denmark.|