We talk to CEO Yoram Knoop

ForFarmers aims to grow organically and through further acquisitions

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

ForFarmers aims to grow organically and through further acquisitions
ForFarmers sees plenty of opportunity for greater market share in piglet feed in the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, says the CEO.

In an interview with FeedNavigator today, Yoram Knoop, said the piglet targeted products it has been developing with Nutreco, under their renewed NPD and marketing alliance, will be launched in all the countries ForFarmers operates in.

The new piglet feed range is set for release in the next few months. “While ForFarmers is the largest overall swine feed supplier in the UK, we have some ground to gain in terms of our piglet nutrition positioning there and elsewhere,”​ said the CEO.

ForFarmers has existing piglet products but not one piglet nutrition program, which the collaboration with Nutreco will enable. “The piglet range harnesses the combined knowledge of both feed producers – it encompasses an overarching approach that can be adapted to local pig market needs,” ​said Knoop.

The ForFarmers CEO said he was “satisfied”​ with the group’s recently published results​for the first half of 2015 given the “very challenging”​ market circumstances, particularly for the ruminant and swine sectors. “Looking back, there were not that many surprises in the first half of the year,”​ he said.

Growth plans

And, despite such conditions, ForFarmers demonstrated it was able to grow organically, said Knoop.

The company’s operating result, excluding incidental items, jumped by 8.7% to €32.6m compared to €30m in the same period last year.

“However, we recognize that in order to consolidate our position in markets such as Belgium and Germany, further acquisitions will be required. So asset building certainly remains the focus in those countries.

We are not ruling out a similar strategy for the UK but with three recent acquisitions in that market — HST Feeds, Wheyfeed and Countrywide —we are not in any rush to buy. We first need to complete the integration of those businessesinto the ForFarmers organization​.”

He said ForFarmers’ plan to plough £10m into the expansion of an existing feed facility in Exeter is another example of the commitment the company is making towards the UK farming sector. “This project is combining production and logistics know-how from Dutch and UK experts. We are still awaiting final planning permission but we don’t anticipate any issues around that given the multiple benefits – commercial, logistical and environmental - the initiative will generate for all stakeholders,”​ said Knoop.

The build is expected to take 18 months with the extended facility set to have capacity of 300,000 tons by then.

Knoop also said it is full steam ahead for the company to switch from the current external trading platform for certificates to the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange in 2016: “We are on track. We have taken most of the necessary steps and we are currently in discussions with banking institutions to help us move the process on. Ultimately, we await the AGM in April next year to formalize the listing.”​    

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