Premex, a global technology company that develops, manufactures and markets animal nutrition ingredients, is opening a new lab facility in RTP and is hiring. But bigger news may come down the road, the president of the firm tells WRAL TechWire.

Alejandro Mesa, the president of Premex for the past six years, talked with WTW ahead of the company’s open house today at its new Triangle location. And the company has big goals.

“We measure ourselves in terms of the number of plates of food we impact per day,” Mesa explained.

“We impacted 180 million plates in 2016, we aim to impact 400 million by 2020, and 1 billion by 2050.”

The firm, which operates in 29 countries, recently decided to locate its primary U.S. operations in RTP. A partner already with N.C. State University, Premex includes five business units:

  • Premixes and supplements
  • Special feed additives
  • Bovine
  • Animal production consulting
  • Global sourcing

Our Q&A:

  • Welcome to the Triangle! Please explain the reasons why you selected the Research Triangle.

The Research Triangle is globally recognized for life sciences innovation. The ecosystem and talent pool here, stemming from nearby universities, was a key driver in our decision.

Our mission is to help our customers produce “more protein, of a better quality, at a lower cost”. We as a society have the challenge to feed 9 billion people by 2050. We will have to increase animal protein production 50% to meet this goal. It will have to be with the use of technologies that are not even created yet. We are focused on being a part of the creation of those technologies.

  • What will be the focus of the work in the Triangle?

The Durham location will focus on development and innovation, with future plans to add a manufacturing operation.

  • Will you be hiring locally immediately and if so how many people and for what positions?

Yes, we have been hiring locally. Initially, we have been hiring scientists to work on key research projects.

  • Who will lead the Research Triangle office?

Paula Barngrover, development and innovation director. She has been with the company for 10 years and has been leading this project from the beginning.

  • Longer term, how many people do you anticipate hiring for this location?

This will depend on the projects we begin designing, but we expect our Triangle location to grow and scale.

  • What makes your company unique?

Our team makes our company unique. We are a knowledge based company where talent is our most valued asset. The approach we take in partnering with our customers to accomplish their goals also sets us apart.

  • Why have you partnered with NC State already? Did that impact your decision?

Premex has partnered with NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). We’ve been working on ways to raise healthier poultry by enhancing the animal’s natural antibiotics through nutrition. This partnership has been one of the key reasons we established Premex Innovation Labs in the Triangle.

  • Please tells us more about Premex. How many employees does the company have overall and where are they located?

Premex is headquartered in Medellin, Colombia, with operations in Florida, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala (serving all central America from there), and Peru. We are represented in 29 countries.

We measure ourselves in terms of the number of plates of food we impact per day. We impacted 180 million plates in 2016, we aim to impact 400 million by 2020, and 1 billion by 2050. We are 600 employees abroad.