A New Zealand agritech company has integrated several modes of technology to deliver ingenious, straightforward solutions for complex disease problems and is now working with farmers in the UK, as well as NZ.
Techion’s patented FECPAKG2 platform revolutionises parasite management. The innovative system enables anyone, virtually anywhere, to conduct faecal egg count (FEC) tests on animals.
Eurion Thomas, Techion european operations manager says: “Techion is an unconventional technology company and its unique cloud-connected, image-based diagnostic platform is revolutionising parasite management which previously relied solely on microscope based techniques.”
The Techion story originated more than 20 years ago when Greg Mirams developed the first generation FECPAK unit. After a decade of development and business successes, FECPAK International was sold to a corporate agricultural company in 2006 to develop the new online FECPAKG2 platform.
However, circumstances led the platform’s development being suspended. So, Greg Mirams purchased the business back in 2010 and formed Techion (meaning Technology in Action) to bring the FECPAKG2 vision to life.
“Twenty years of domain knowledge, customers, networks and credibility have laid the foundation for this innovative company,” says Mr Thomas.
Techion also offers a wormer resistance testing service (DrenchSmart) and the PhenR service which provides with valuable data to help performance recording sheep breeders select breeding animals that are naturally resistant to parasites.
After initially working with Innovis as its UK distributor, the UK arm of the Techion business was established in 2014, with its base in Aberystwyth, Wales.
“Both New Zealand and the UK have a proud heritage in agricultural production and innovation, and both have benefitted from the mutual sharing of ideas and technologies and will continue to do so,” explains Mr Thomas.
“Having not been reliant on subsidies since the 1980’s, the Kiwi industry has evolved to be very efficient in its focus which is demonstrated in the agritech that is developed there, much of which will be of benefit to the UK in its drive for more sustainable and greener food production.”
Irwel Jones is just one of the UK farmers currently benefitting from Techion’s innovative system.
Running 860 ewes, 200 ewe lambs, 1400 lambs and 40 suckler cows and calves on his upland farm in Carmarthenshire, Mr Jones says: “Monitoring on a regular basis and having quick results back via email without me needing to leave the farm means I can keep on top of the situation.
Although I don’t dose often, I have been able to dose earlier on the back of FEC results and avoided big drops in growth rates.”
The cloud-based nature of FECPAK proved invaluable to farmers during the Covid pandemic, as Techion was still able to offer their full service.
As well as being innovative, the team prides itself on being approachable and down to earth. “We refer to ourselves as a ‘muddy boots’ company as most of the team come from a farming or rural background,” says Mr Thomas.
“Our technology is designed by people who know the challenges and needs of day-to-day farming. So, despite being cutting edge technology its easily deployable and a helpful support team ensures our customers get the most out of their investment.”
“Techion will extend its offering later this year with the launch of its Fluke Egg testing module as an add on to the existing FECPAKG2 system,” reveals Mr Thomas.
“This will further strengthen our position in the marketplace along with some exciting growth plans in the pipeline - so watch this space!”
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