UK regulator clears ForFarmers’ acquisition of Bowerings

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/MicroStockHub
© GettyImages/MicroStockHub

Related tags Organic feed ruminant Dairy Poultry mill closure

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved ForFarmers’ purchase of the business and certain assets of Bowerings Animal Feeds, located in Somerset.

The clearance​ was announced yesterday (May 13).

In December 2018, the Bury St Edmunds-based, ForFarmers UK, announced it had agreed to acquire Bowerings Animal Feeds, which sells around 27,000 tons of feed to organic and conventional farmers in the dairy, beef, sheep, pig and poultry sectors throughout the South West.

Steven Read, COO of ForFarmers UK, commenting in December, said the company could improve its offering to both organic and conventional farmers by acquiring Bowerings. “The addition of the organic part of the business allows us to develop further in this specialized and growing market. The purchase follows ForFarmers’ recent acquisition in the Netherlands of Van Gorp Biologische Voeders, also a specialist in the organic feed market.”

UK sales trend

Evaluating performance in the UK market in its Q1 2019 results, published earlier this month, ForFarmers said it sold less feed to the ruminant sector, particularly to sheep farmers but volumes in the dairy sector remained stable.

“Contrary to last year when sheep were kept inside because of the cold weather and there was consequently demand for compound feed, the animals generally went to pasture in the relatively warm winter months of 2018/2019.”

The company said volumes sold into the UK swine sector declined further and it cited as the principal reason the fact that a large customer sold fewer pigs but also that it due to “the sharpened commercial proposition in which margin improvement is an important element.”

Volume growth in the poultry sector continued, however, especially in the broiler sector, it reported.

Mill closures

ForFarmers UK operates 15 manufacturing sites, both production and blending mills. In February, however, it said it was to close a feed milling site in Blandford, Dorset, in Q2 2019, with the loss of 30 jobs.

The company said the move was in line with its previously announced objective to optimize its supply chain in the UK, both in terms of modernizing existing mills and in its footprint of site locations. 

In terms of restructuring in the Netherlands, ForFarmers announced on Wednesday [May 15] that it will transfer the production activities of Van Gorp Biologische Voeders, which currently take place in Schalkwijk to the manufacturing facility of Reudink in Lochem.

Reudink, an entity within the ForFarmers group and active in organic feed, acquired Van Gorp Bio in October last year.

The transfer means all activities at the Schalkwijk site, currently involving seven production employees, will discontinue. The company said it is investigating the possibilities to relocate those employees.

No decision has been taken yet on a possible future use for the mill in Schalkwijk, it added.

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