2019 a success – and 2020?
The Uelzena Group can look back on a successful business year. Uelzena has been able to build on the previous year’s positive trend and further expand its raw material base along with its production capacities. For instance, increased volumes from long-standing suppliers and newly gained milk suppliers has achieved an extra 21 percent in the milk received, setting a new record.
In view of the difficult agricultural conditions with drought once again, the EU Fertilising Products Regulation and growing social demands on animal husbandry, an economically competitive milk payout in the long term is a top priority. This objective was largely achieved in the past year.
For the Uelzena Group, 2019 was a year for strengthening its production base: Technologies, utilisation concepts for spray drying towers and quality standards were optimised in order to satisfy the rising demand – particularly in the high-quality contract drying sector. The necessary and also future-oriented requirements regarding the environment are also part of this challenge.
The Uelzena Group built on the previous year’s turnover of 648 million euros to achieve a turnover of 705 million euros in 2019. Given the increased payout price, this also made for an excellent group result, which means the investment projects to secure the future can be continued and put into practice. The number of employees rose to 780.
By continuing its participation in the QM sustainability module milk, the Uelzena Group is consistently pursuing its approach to secure milk production on a long-term basis. After a pilot phase of three years, the project is moving into a second round in July 2020. The aim is to continue actively addressing the current and foreseeable challenges in the dairy industry.
To consistently shape the process of sustainability management and strategy, and to identify new relevant topics, a sustainability management position was created in the reporting year to support the company's internal sustainability working group in future.
Uelzena started 2020 optimistic of a good year for milk production. However, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has overshadowed the excellent results from 2019 and has compelled the Uelzena Group to suspend some of the goals it set for the current business year. In particular, the markets for instant beverages and export have been affected by sales losses caused by the lockdown.
Uelzena has made every effort to protect the health of its employees and that production is maintained, primarily to ensure the processing of raw milk. Regular meetings are held to analyse the situation in order to readjust plans if necessary and calmly handle the crisis. In addition to necessary short-term measures, Uelzena is continuing to press ahead with the long-term investment strategy, thereby keeping its sights firmly on the future of the company and its cooperative members.
Chairman of the Board of Uelzena eG