Magnus will focus on developing a range of sustainable, successful poultry breeds for a variety of global markets
EDINBURGH, Scotland. – Magnus Swalander was recently named Global Vice President of Products for Aviagen. His appointment follows the approaching retirement of Craig Morton, Global Director of Products, who has passionately served Aviagen and the industry for 36 years and has been instrumental in building and strengthening the company’s breeding programs.
Aviagen customers – essential to product strategy development
Magnus emphasized that a vital ingredient to success in this role will be connecting with customers, meeting with them face-to-face at their home locations, listening to their challenges, and feeding their input into Aviagen’s product development strategy. So far, he has visited customers in Europe, India, Turkey, and the United States, and will continue to strengthen relationships with producers far and near. “It is important for us to develop products that meet the needs of our customers everywhere, and to do so it is absolutely necessary to talk to them, get their unique insight into not only what appeals to consumer tastes of today, but also the direction the market is headed for the future,” said Magnus.
Biodiversity: The right bird for the right market at the right time
This is where Aviagen’s corporate commitment of biodiversity comes into play. Magnus explained that Aviagen’s broad and diverse gene pool makes it possible to offer customers choice, with a broad spectrum of breeds to meet diverse market needs.
“In addition to customer input, we also rely on market intelligence to anticipate future global trends and integrate them into our sustainable breeding and new product development program. We have a variety of data science and data analytics experts throughout the company who leverage data to predict future trends. As a result of this analysis, our customers can rely on the right bird for the right market, and at the right time. They then have solid solutions for the marketplace and can supply a sustainable and affordable food source to citizens in their local communities,” explained Magnus.
Magnus went on to say that another product development priority is breeding for welfare and sustainability. Through decades of balanced breeding, Aviagen has achieved steady progress in broiler and breeder traits. Thus, performance qualities, such as broiler live weight and meat yield and egg production at the breeder level, are balanced with indicators of strong health and welfare -- robustness, cardiovascular fitness and skeletal strength. At the same time, biological efficiency contributes to the sustainability of the planet and the businesses of poultry producers.
Magnus reports directly to Alfons Koerhuis, Chief Technical Officer of Aviagen Group. Alfons comments: “This appointment underscores our commitment to R&D and its importance to product strategy. Magnus has a passion for our birds and our industry, and he will benefit this role with his extensive background and dedication to continuous improvement through innovation.”
Long and prolific poultry career
Through his more than 25 years of service to the poultry industry, Magnus gained in-depth experience in R&D management, including responsibility for global product development, optimization of breeding programs and implementation of new technology to maximize bird performance. His career started with British United Turkeys (BUT) in 1997 after achieving a Master of Science Degree in Genetics from the University of Edinburgh. Later in 2002, he joined Aviagen to focus on implementing the innovative Lifetime Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) technology in both chickens and turkeys. In 2005, Magnus became R&D Director at Aviagen Turkeys representing both BUT and Nicholas brands. In 2015 he moved back to the chicken side of the business, holding the dual role of General Manager for Aviagen Ltd and R&D Director of Europe, and began his current role in July of 2022.