Many milestones already achieved
Over the last few years the Uelzena Group has continued its successful development and business year 2017 was no exception despite the very difficult market situation. Within the Strategy 2020 we have reached not all, but the most important goals for 2017. Again, an independent chartered accountant audited and confirmed the achieved targets based on key performance indicators. Clarification on the status and measures taken are available in the respective explanations to the fields of actions on this website.
The most important economic challenge for us as a dairy were the prices for our key products milk powder, butter and cheese which fluctuated enormously . In 2017 the price for butter rose to a record high due to the large demand while the side product skimmed milk powder did not see the same demand and had to be sold at increasingly lower prices. Nevertheless thanks to our strategy which aims at diversification and differentiation, we were able to pay an above-average milk price despite the diametrical price development. At the same time the other key performance indicators for our cooperatively organized group of companies improved further.
Our top priority has always been and still is to secure a sustainable regional milk production because one fundamental of the corporate mission of Uelzena eG is to support member cooperatives and their milk producers. Equalizing market price fluctuations and paying a compatible milk price to the farmers is among our most important tasks and targets. Equally important, however, is safeguarding the environment and promoting the social acceptance of milk production.
We are aware of the impact milk production can have on animals and the environment and we know that some of our stakeholders cast a critical eye over these. Important topics are for example the type of animal husbandry and proper nutrient management. Up to now no respective data has been systematically collected in the company. Therefore, Uelzena eG is now participating in a nationwide pilot project that comprehensively explores sustainable milk production supervised by the federal Thünen Institute. The project has started to collect data; the evaluation on a federal level is expected to be available in the fall of 2018.
There is also another ecological challenge: We as an industrial company rely on the use of fossil sources of energy. The use of fossil fuels generates greenhouse gases that accelerate climate change. In order to keep this undesired impact on the climate as low as possible, our company is continuously investing in the energy efficiency of our plants.
Improving the high standards in our plants selectively in terms of environmental protection and quality is as demanding on our staff as is the start of construction of a new high-bay warehouse or the modernization of our milk drying installation at the Uelzen site. Other necessary investments will follow that will allow us to accept and process increasing volumes of milk raw materials in the future. As a medium-sized milk and food producing company we will continue to work with our business partners to develop industry solutions and international standards for sustainable and regional milk production and processing.
Dialogue and exchange with our business partners are important tools that enable us to follow the right path. Please come along with us in the future and put your trust in us.
Chairman of Uelzena eG