Our team of nutritionists have vast experience in technical and commercial feed formulation, feed milling operations, feed mill quality control (QC), and research. All our nutritionists are registered with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP), as required in terms of the Natural Scientific Professions Act (27 of 2003). Our team has a large global network and continuously communicates and interacts with other experts around the world.

Both Heiko Köster and David Brandt were chief technical offers or technical directors at major feed and poultry integration companies in South Africa. Heiko was also the procurement director at one of the biggest feed companies and later at one of the major food companies in the country. Both Heiko and David were responsible for managing feed mills and were involved in the design, construction, and successful start-up of no less than seven greenfield feed mill projects. Their experience does not stop there – they also recommission old feed mills.

Meet our team of nutritionists at Feed First

The team of nutritionists at Feed First are experts at developing least-cost formulations to ensure optimum performance for the lowest possible feed cost, as well as the evaluation and interpretation of raw analytical results. They also provide full-time support for traveling consultants, capture customer diets on the matrix, and are available for special projects, should the need arise.

David Brandt

Managing director

MSc(Agric) Animal nutrition  
Pr. Sci. Nat. Reg. No. : 400101/02

David Brandt has 25 years of experience as an animal nutritionist and has spent the last 10 years as a poultry feed consultant. David is a dynamic scientist with a passion for modelling growth performance and converting client data into useful information. He strives to add value to each client by optimising margin over feed cost. He prides himself on building long-term relationships with clients and seeing them thrive. David has experience in all facets of animal feed, including feed mill optimisation, feed specifications and formulation, modelling and statistics, research and trials, and business management, as well as extensive experience in broiler, breeder, and layer management.

Heiko Köster

Procurement specialist

MSc(Agric) Animal science
Diploma in purchasing management
Pr. Sci. Nat. Reg. No. : 400139/07

Heiko Köster is a qualified animal nutritionist that specialises in raw material procurement and feed mill optimisation. Heiko has more than 25 years of experience in raw material procurement and his animal nutrition background gives him a unique insight into optimisation of feed rations and cost-saving opportunities. He is an experienced raw material trader with an in-depth understanding of markets and market trends. Heiko is currently responsible for raw material procurement for several small- and medium-sized poultry integrators in South Africa, including hedging and component pricing on the South African Futures Exchange (Safex). Heiko further supports his clients by advising on logistics and micro-ingredient procurement. Heiko currently serves on the US Grain Council.

Roné Vermeulen

Technical manager

MSc(Agric) Animal nutrition
Pr. Sci. Nat. Reg. No. : 013381

Roné Vermeulen is a passionate poultry nutritionist who enjoys working in the feed chain to produce safe and affordable food for a growing nation. Roné prides herself on having an in-depth understanding of feed formulation principles and the correct application of enzymes and additives for maximum performance output. Rone has experience in integrated broiler production systems, with her focus mostly being on cost-saving and business optimisation. She has also been involved in product development. She is currently responsible for facilitating the research and trial functions within Feed First.

Dewald Steyl

Technical manager

MSc(Agric) Animal nutrition
Pr. Sci. Nat Reg. No. : 116915

Dewald Steyl works extensively as consultant in various African countries, including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania, and Eswatini and is knowledgeable about the specific challenges faced by the African producer. Dewald prides himself on building long-term trust relationships with his clients and helping them reduce feed cost and improve efficiencies. Dewald has extensive experience in implementation of good manufacturing process (GMP) and quality control systems within feed mills and supporting new feed mills through their commissioning phase. Dewald is also involved in integrated poultry facilities to optimise the business and model broiler performance.

Anri Leeuw

Technical nutritionist

BSc(Agric) Animal science
Cand. Sci. Nat. Reg. No.:

Anri Leeuw started her career gaining on-farm experience in New Zealand and has experience working in the operational chain at a feed mill. She is deeply knowledgeable on all aspects of quality control and has a special interest in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) quality systems. She enjoys helping clients improve their quality control and passing audits, as well as implementing good management practices.

Christof Naude

Technical nutritionist

MSc(Agric) Animal breeding and genetics
Cand. Sci. Nat. Reg. No.: 119029

Christof Naude spent the first five years of his career as an operational nutritionist and understands all facets of feed mill management. He has also spent a number of years working as a technical adviser and understands the on-farm needs of farmers, as well as the marketing aspect of the feed business. Christof was responsible for the quality and processing of full fat produced at a prominent processing facility and gained valuable insight into the challenges and opportunities within the context of full fat production.

Carlien Dames

Technical nutritionist

B.Sc.Agric Animal Science & Agricultural Economics
Cand. Sci. Nat. Reg. No. : 117737

Carlien Dames is a passionate nutritionist based in Namibia. Carlien has experience in formulating and working as a nutritionist for a large poultry integrator, as well as experience collaborating with breeders and broilers. She prides herself on attention to detail and ensuring accuracy. Through constantly working towards improvement she helps her clients achieve excellent production results.

Felicity de Lange

Laboratory administrator

Felicity de Lange is passionate about customer service and all things analytical. Felicity has a chemical analysis background and sound understanding of laboratory processes. She enjoys helping clients and is always ready to offer service with a smile. Felicity aims to provide fast turnaround times and accurate results at all times.

Ophelia Gatsi

Laboratory assistant

Ophelia Gatsi can always be found in the Feed First laboratory, sorting samples, and running NIR analysis. Ophi has nine years of lab experience and is always willing to assist with a smile. Ophi is responsible for processing samples, ensuring accurate results and fast turnaround times.