Nutreco is a global leader in animal nutrition and aqua feed. Its advanced feed solutions form the core of food products for millions of consumers worldwide. Present in more than 37 markets, sales from its two global divisions, Trouw Nutrition (animal nutrition) and Skretting (aqua feed), span over 90 countries.
Nutreco is positioned at the critical junction between the surging demand for proteins and supplies that are struggling to keep up. This presents a momentous challenge for both the industry and the world at large, and lies at the heart of Nutreco’s mission of Feeding the Future.
Innovation, sustainability, and quality are the guiding principles of Nutreco culture. They shape everything from research and raw material procurement to products, models, and services for livestock farming and aquaculture.
Its strategic innovation and investment team, NuFrontiers, focuses on novel and potentially disruptive technologies that may, one day, become part of the global divisions.
The global spread of COVID-19 obviously impacted Nutreco’s operating environment, although this was limited in the first few months as demand for animal proteins remained stable. The worldwide measures taken to address the pandemic, however, had a material impact on the food service and leisure sector, leading to a substantial fall in the consumption of meat and dairy.
As a result, the effects of COVID-19 only became noticeable at the end of the first half of 2020. Farmers around the world began to reduce the size of their herds to reflect lower levels of consumption, which in turn affected demand for feed products. In addition, African Swine Fever continued to reduce herd sizes across Asia and Europe, again cutting the demand for feed.
From the start of the pandemic, actions were taken to ensure employees could work safely and effectively. Operations, including procurement and logistics, created a joint taskforce to react quickly to market changes across the globe and ensure minimal disruption to the business. Efforts continued to drive more sustainable sourcing of raw materials and delivery of products within the challenging operating environment.
Despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19, long-term prospects for the animal feed market remain healthy. Nutreco’s strategy aims to grow the company and become the supplier customers trust to provide best-in-class, digitally-enabled animal nutrition solutions and expertise. To drive future growth, Nutreco continues to expand its presence in developing territories projecting the highest increases in population.
During the year, Nutreco worked on a number of strategic priorities to address overall market challenges, further optimise the business, and meet strategic objectives. Actions were taken to improve operational excellence and cost efficiencies. At the same time, the product portfolio was enhanced with differentiated, distinctive, and value-adding products that are more cost-effective, more efficient, and support farmers in reducing their environmental footprint.
New products include Skretting’s CarbonBalance concept in Italy, which delivers carbon neutral feed, and RCX, a feed concept designed specifically for recirculating aquaculture systems. Trouw Nutrition also developed and introduced a number of new products, as well as a digitally-enabled integrated value proposition designed to offer many more farmers with animal growth models and provide (on-farm) nutritional advice.
In recent years, a successful governance model has been developed to drive product innovation and strengthen differentiation within the existing product portfolio – with a particular focus on customer-oriented R&D. In 2020, Nutreco announced plans for a new research unit, NuTech, to develop and introduce unique proprietary products such as feed additives and specialty ingredients.
NuFrontiers continued to invest in animal health and precision farming, including a number of land-based aqua-farming projects.
Nutreco’s sustainability strategy is built on three pillars: Health & Welfare, Climate & Circularity, and Good Citizenship. As an example, Good Citizenship comes to life in Community Development Projects that empower marginalised small catfish farmers in Nigeria and marginalised poultry egg producers in Guatemala, helping them to raise themselves out of extreme poverty
Climate & Circularity focuses on the continuous reduction of CO2 emissions. Measures include reducing the footprint required to manufacture a tonne of product, as well as increasing the use of green energy. In 2020 operations in Spain were powered by green energy alone, and those in Ecuador by hydroelectricity. In Guatemala, the installation of solar panels eliminated CO2 emissions, with other plants to follow.
In 2020 Nutreco stepped up its efforts to continue improving safety across the company. These included workshops with management to emphasise Visible Felt Leadership and hosting a Global Safety Week together with all Groups within the SHV family.
The e-learning-based Life Saving Rules continued to roll out across the company, with a particular focus on Severe Injuries and Fatalities (SIFs) and Potential SIFs. Global Health Safety Environment networks were also formed, with an increased focus on systemic issues and incident management.
Nutreco also focused on fully embedding ethics & compliance into all business operations over the course of the year. A number of keys steps included implementation of the Nutreco Compliance Risk Management Framework. In addition, a new Code of Conduct for Business Partners was created and distributed. Internally, special attention was given to the subject of Conflicts of Interest. A campaign aimed at local management was followed by the launch of a disclosure process accessible to all employees.
People remain at the heart of the business and, as a market leader, Nutreco continues to build on the strength and capabilities of its global workforce. A new online platform provides employees at all levels with access to a comprehensive set of functional and behavioural learnings, while virtual leadership development programmes were also established during the year.
Nutreco firmly believes that diversity leads to better decision-making and better performance. In 2020, over 40% of senior leadership appointments and more than half the number of emerging talents were female, putting the organisation firmly on course to meet targets. At the same time, cultural diversity has become the norm with the majority of leadership teams throughout the organisation consisting of two or more nationalities.
Nutreco had a strong start of 2020, with both COVID-19 and African Swine Fever having only a limited impact. The effects deepened in the second half of the year as demand for feed declined. This was balanced by the continued strength of demand for shrimp feed, growth in the feed additives business, and the effects of previous restructuring initiatives in Spain. Overall, Nutreco made a strong contribution to results.
Initial limited COVID-19 impact
Reduction of CO2 emissions