Company

Responsibility by performance

Our company is growing and is economically healthy. This success is the result of our motivation. Many benefit from this, none more so than all the members and milk suppliers of Uelzena eG.

We are a large medium-sized company from Northern Germany employing almost 700 staff and generating annual revenues of more than 500m Euros. We process more than 530m kilograms of liquid milk raw materials at four sites and our sales are growing continuously from one year to the next. See also Company profile

Many benefit from our business success: Approximately 98.4 percent of our added value goes back into the society in the form of milk payments to members, wages, costs of procurement and also taxes. Therefore, we have the responsibility of maintaining and expanding our performance as a company.

Our management approach: Company

The main focus in the field of action Company is the economic performance. A structured compliance management system was added within the reporting period as an element for long-term security. We report on these topics and address our members, milk suppliers, employees and relevant official authorities.

Our objectives: a competitive milk price and guaranteed sales for the members of Uelzena eG, permanently good corporate results and preservation of our independence in the long run. It is our most important task to reach these three objectives every year. In doing so, we utilize the economic strength that we have achieved based on sound judgment and a good feeling for balance. We expand and adapt these Measures for achieving our targets every year.

Investments and compliance

Within the reporting period, we have made many replacements and expansion investments aimed at increasing our productivity and competitiveness. These have included a new butter-packaging machine in our Altmark cheese making company, a new stretch film-wrapping machine for pallets in Warmsen while in Uelzen, a decision has been made regarding investment into a new mixer for instant beverages.

Moreover, in 2016, we developed an approach to manage the subject of compliance in a comprehensive and proactive way. Central elements of this approach are a Code of Conduct that was developed and communicated and the installation of a whistle-blowing system. Internal and external information on illegal practices may now be reported via a contact point.

"The business year has been satisfactory; we are on the right track. The spotlight shines on performance, not on size."

Uwe Radke, Managing Director Marketing and Sales, Uelzena

 
 

2016 Results: Company

100 percent! This is so far the best result for achieving internal targets with the field of action Company.  However, this cannot be taken for granted. A glance at the individual indicators and the respective background information highlights the achievement. See also Audit letter.

GRI indicators

Direct economic value generated and distributed (G4-EC1): The generated value was at almost the same level as in the previous year. This year it amounted to more than 530m Euros. The distributed value rose from approximately 516m Euros to more than 522m Euros. The largest growth in absolute figures was in operating costs which included the payment of milk raw materials to members - this is one of our most important indicators.

Compliance results: No fines for non-compliance with laws and regulations (G4-SO8), with environmental regulations (G4-EN29) and with laws and regulations concerning products (G4-PR9). No legal actions for anti-competitive behavior (G4-SO7).

Net revenues (sub-indicator G4-9): The consolidated revenues rose slightly from almost 526m Euros (2015) to approximately 529m Euros in 2016. Background information on the development of revenues: For most of the product groups, it was only lower prices that could be achieved on the market compared to 2015 despite increases in sales volume. The minor increase in revenues compared to 2015 is mostly due to fixed prices for butter and butterfat and a clear increase in sales of these product groups to industrial customers.

Uelzena’s own indicators

Annual average milk price for unprocessed milk paid to the member companies of Uelzena eG (UG-MG): In 2016, we paid to our milk suppliers a competitive milk price of 27.15 cent/kg (ex ramp of dairy, without VAT) for raw milk with 4.0% fat and 3.4% protein. This is less than what we paid in the previous year but still above the current Federal average of 26.73 cent/kg. In total, we are not at a satisfactory level. Development predominantly surrounds prices for the most important dairy products on the sales markets. These prices had heavy fluctuations in 2016 and 2015.

Equity ratio (UG-EK): The equity ratio rose from 35.5 percent in 2015 to 36.1 percent in 2016. By ensuring a strong equity situation, we are creating the sound financial basis necessary to push the strategic development of our company forward.

Our sustainable corporate strategy – overview on targets and measures

Company targets

  • To generate a competitive milk payment for our members and to purchase guaranteed quantities from our members.
  • To generate positive corporate results in the long term instead of maximizing profits in the short term.
  • To maintain the independence of the Group in the long term.

Reliable and guaranteed sales

We have committed ourselves to our members to buy their milk completely and reliably. We are fully fulfilling our obligation every year again and again. This is made possible because we make sure that our processing capacities and sales possibilities – the access to our customers so to speak – are always larger than the raw materials supplied by our members.

Balanced use of financial resources in order to achieve our strategic goals

The economic performance is expressed as the ability to generate appropriate revenues and to act cost-consciously. The revenues we generate make it possible for us to pay our member companies and their milk producers a competitive milk price (operational costs) while at the same time strengthening our equity with the surplus. Having a sufficient amount of our own capital is important because otherwise we would have to rely on a disproportionally high share of debt financing in the case of increasing capital needs for example for production lines. Equity is also a buffer in the case of an economically weak situation.

Diversification

We use diversification to create several pillars of earning that allow us to generate appropriate revenues. This enables us to better counter-balance unfavorable developments in market prices or sales in individual business or product fields. In total, it decreases the economic risk for the company and its member enterprises.

Differentiation

When it comes to products and services, we are a strong partner to our customers.  We take care of the requirements from demanding customers and market segments in a reliable way. In doing so, we create added value for our customers and ourselves and build a basis for a long-term partnership. This is what makes us stand out from the competition.

Compliance

Legal requirements to food companies are becoming more and more challenging. Apart from food quality and food safety on a national and international level, there is a broad range of regulations to be complied with: food law, worker’s rights, human rights, approval processes for production lines and also competition laws. Added to that, there are regulations from voluntary certification and management systems or international standards. Non-compliance with regulations may have serious economic and social consequences or in the worst-case scenario even jeopardize the existence of the company. This is why the Uelzena Group is further developing its own compliance management system so that the risk of legal infringements can be reduced by preventive measures and that any possible infringements can be identified and stopped as soon as possible. compliance