The move follows an extensive review process.
"The mills in Izegem and Ingelmunster are located really close to each other. We assessed which mill offered the best possibilities to expand and to modernize. This turned out to be the Izegem plant. We continue to look at opportunities to optimize our mill location footprint," a spokesperson for ForFarmers told us.
In communication around its H1 2021 financial results last month, ForFarmers said it saw a decline in volumes in its operations in Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK.
The mill in Ingelmunster will remain operational until the end of 2022; the company is to transfer the volumes produced at that site to the refurbished mill in Izegem in Q4 next year, but not the production of poultry feed, which will be shifted to another feed mill, not yet publicly disclosed.
The quality of feed, services and delivery conditions will remain unchanged at the Ingelmunster site until production ceases in December 2022, stressed ForFarmers.
It is looking to retain the experienced operations team working at the Ingelmunster mill. The intention, it said, is to transfer all employees to Izegem following the closure.
Tom Timmerman, MD, ForFarmers Belgium, said: “By modernizing the factory in Izegem, we are emphasizing the importance we attach to delivering consistent feed quality and being highly reliable in terms of delivery. Increased storage capacity will allow our experienced team to deploy an even wider range of raw materials in the production of innovative and sustainable feed concepts. As a result, we can meet the requirements of our customers both today and in the future.”
In its financial update in August, ForFarmers flagged the need to ensure the organization and processes are optimized and efficient, and that they stay that way.
“One of the pillars of the Build to Grow 2025 strategy is operational excellence. This is linked to a cost-savings target of at least €10m in 2025 compared to the normalized level of 2020.”
The first step of that goal is to cut operating costs by €7m in 2021 and 2022, with the full effect of this being visible in 2023, it confirmed.
In order to achieve this, various projects have been launched, including the optimization of business processes, reported the company. In the first quarter of 2021, it undertook action in Germany, closing its feed mill in Bardenitz, while also starting refurbishment of a mill in Beelitz.
Progress has also been made in reducing the number of employees, added ForFarmers, with it noting that, at the end of June this year, the headcount was 2,502, compared to 2,569 in June 2020.