GLOBAL – A milk equipment provider famed for automating the post-milking routine is now operating in 23 countries as it passes its tenth birthday.
ADF Milking operates 30,000 clusters around the world from the US, Poland, Belarus, Denmark, the Netherlands and Turkey, company founder James Duke told TheDairySite.
Headquartered in Slindon, West Sussex, ADF has seen its geographical footprint grow rapidly in the last five years following a five year growth period in the UK, which commenced in 2005.
“We can’t be everywhere at once – we need to be able to support the product properly in every country where it is available,” said Mr Duke, who underlined Germany as a particularly good market at the moment.
“We have technical teams in Germany offering clients assistance, and as you begin to work around the world you learn about how different countries like to do things.”
The UK market works on a dealer model, whereas Germans acquire machinery in a much more direct fashion, he explained.
He said ADF has recently incorporated a company in Canada and launched a new iteration of equipment in ADF5, officially unveiled last week at the Livestock Event in Birmingham.
Prior to ADF, Mr Duke was involved in two milking machine dealerships. He then patented a system which dipped and cleaned teats and then flushed liners as part of the post-milking process within the cluster.
Explaining how ADF Milking initially started, he said: “Fifteen years ago there was a drive for more litres per man hour and higher cow throughput – trying to increase efficiency through efficient labour.
“However, in some cases post milking routine suffered, and the automated process worked because it gave consistency.”
In terms of challenges, Mr Duke says he has been fortunate in that he has always enjoyed “fantastic results”. Five out of the last six Gold Cup winners have been ADF customers and with a growing trend in the industry for limiting antibiotic use and promoting cow longevity, he expressed confidence in the future.
“We have added 22 countries to our client base in five years, it could be 44 countries in another five years’ time,” he concluded.