Nordzucker Post 3/2023 - 27 July 2023
At the beginning of July, we were able to welcome many of our shareholders at our Annual General Meeting. In addition to the formal side, the event offered a wonderful opportunity to meet and exchange ideas in person, again. We appreciate this very much.
This is all the more important in a world that is changing more than ever before. Our path is clear, it is based on our strategy, which we are constantly developing and sharpening – especially in the area of sustainability. Growth and diversification are also important for the further development of the company, and we have concrete plans for this as well – for example, with our planned entry into the market for plant-based proteins. Forecasts by independent institutes show that the share of alternative proteins in global protein consumption will increase significantly by 2035. We want to participate in this growth market.
In the area of sustainability, it will be important to integrate these aspects even more strongly and clearly into Nordzucker’s business processes. To this end, we have set up further projects to achieve our ambitious sustainability goals along the entire value chain. This goes from procurement, through processing, for the products and to the people who make this possible and must therefore also be in focus. Be it with compliance with the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, occupational safety, health protection, a good work-life balance, further training and contemporary leadership principles. Everything plays a role. Together with everyone involved, we want to successfully shape the future of the company. We express this with our motto Nordzucker. Together. Sustainable, around which our annual report also revolves and which is also the theme of our current corporate video.
The topic of sustainability is particularly relevant for beet cultivation. We are currently observing the effects of climate change again – with longer periods of drought, heavy rainfall and unusual temperature developments. In many countries, the rows in the beet fields closed in mid/late June, later than in previous years. The cool spring and lack of rainfall led to the delayed growth. Now we are curious to see how the current, irregularly distributed rainfall and the coming weeks will contribute in total to yield and sugar content.
The climatic challenges and the reduction of pesticides prescribed by the EU Green Deal are major challenges and will possibly lead to greater fluctuations in yield and lower yield increases in the future. To find answers, we are developing concrete solutions for our growers with our Smart Beet Initiative – for example, through more intense cultivation advice, digital tools and practical demonstrations in more than 30 field trials. These include autonomous weed control and trials to promote beneficial insects with the help of flowering strips.
We have also sent a strong signal for beet cultivation with the offer for the 2024 sugar beet supply contracts. This is shown by the very positive response to the offer. In the spirit of sustainable management, however, we had to reject part of the “free quantity” offered to us for 2024.We will also achieve the cultivation volumes in our other countries to produce the sugar our customers need.
We are well positioned. Now it is a question of working together to move towards an even more sustainable and continued successful future: Nordzucker.Together.Sustainable.
Lars Gorissen, CEO