Nutreco produces nutritious and high-quality food for the growing world population in a sustainable way. This is key to meeting the increased demand for high-quality protein in a world with limited natural resources.
The world population is expected to reach almost 10 billion in 2050. An increasing proportion of this population is gaining disposable income and this will lead to even greater consumption of proteins such as meat, fish, milk and eggs. Nutreco plays a critical role in ensuring the industry can provide the protein people need in a way that is more sustainable for the planet. With its purpose of Feeding the Future, the vision is to be recognised as a leading partner in providing functional and nutritional solutions for sustainable farming.
The year 2022 was extraordinary from a geo-political, economic and market perspective. After gradually leaving the global COVID-19 pandemic behind, the start of the year was marked by the Russia Ukraine conflict.
For Nutreco, the first priority was and remains the health and safety of its employees, business partners and customers in Ukraine, and to support the Ukrainian colleagues and their families in the best way possible. Furthermore, it was decided to divest the livestock feed operations in Russia through a management buyout and refrain from all other business activities in Russia.
The Russia Ukraine conflict also has had a significant direct and indirect impact on the businesses across the world, predominantly through surging raw material prices and energy costs. Furthermore, supply chains faced considerable disruptions. Through decisive actions it was possible to secure supply to customers, and the working capital challenges were managed successfully during 2022.
As a result of the challenging market circumstances, volumes (excluding the impact of the divestment of the Russian business and Sada) declined slightly. This was mainly driven by soft market demand in the large Canadian and Iberian markets, a decline in animal numbers in Europe as well as deteriorating economic circumstances and animal diseases such as Avian Influenza and African Swine Fever. Both Livestock and Aquaculture business in Latin America continued to show growth.
High inflation, high raw material prices, combined with lower volumes resulted in higher unit costs. Dedicated efforts to increase prices and optimise margins resulted partly in covering these but not in full.
In parallel with addressing the market circumstances, the implementation of the strategy was continued, together with initiatives to structurally lower the cost base. The head office was delayered and functional departments were reorganised to ensure a more efficient organisational structure. This process will be continued in 2023 to achieve further efficiency gains. Additional investments to enhance the efficiency of in the organisation were made by accelerating a number of global initiatives: Operational Excellence, Integrated Business Planning, One Procurement, and Transactional Finance.
Next to the exit from Russia and the sale of Sada, several non-core activities were divested while the production footprint optimisation continued. In Spain, one production site was closed to drive higher efficiencies across the rest of the plants. Furthermore, a majority stake in the poultry farming and processing operation Sada was divested to a strong local partner specialised in farming and processing. This will enable Nutreco to focus on the production of feed, while the partner focuses on the poultry operation. Lastly, the business in Myanmar was sold.
Nutreco also made several acquisitions to strengthen market positions. The shareholding in Eruvaka was increased to almost 100%. Eruvaka is an Indian supplier of cloud-based aquaculture pond management solutions – such as smart feeders and real-time monitoring devices – to shrimp farmers, especially in Latin America. Nutreco also acquired 100% of Mosegården in Denmark, a supplier of minerals and animal health products for pigs and cattle. A newly created joint venture in Canada with German genetics company ILD will enable us to increase our market share in the poultry feed business. Finally, joint ventures were set up, in Kenya for aqua nutrition and in Uganda for livestock nutrition.
The innovation efforts continued to focus on key themes that define customers’ needs: sustainability, health and competitiveness. New products were launched specifically aimed at young animals. Better nutrition in the early stage of an animal can greatly contribute to a healthier and more productive animal and hence a more sustainable way of producing proteins. Also, a digital offering was developed to create more insights into the footprint of feed formulation for customers. A new research centre for shrimp feed was opened in Ecuador and a first ultra-specialty product, developed by the new NutEx team, was launched for testing with clients in the USA.
NuFrontiers, Nutreco’s venture capital and investment team, continues to fuel Nutreco’s innovation pipeline by investing in technology start-ups, scale-ups, projects, and partnerships. During 2022, the team invested in Andfjord Salmon, a Norwegian sustainable aquaculture farming company, and Roslin Technologies, a Scottish developer of cell lines for cultivated protein production.
Due to lower volumes and higher costs that could not be fully passed on to customers combined with additional investments related to the restructuring and optimising of the organisation were the cause of a negative operational result. The write-offs following the closing of activities in Russia had an additional negative effect.
Direct and indirect impact
Strengthening market positions