The decision was taken in mutual consultation and it is a natural move after two terms, a spokesperson stressed.
Asked whether ForFarmers would look to recruit externally only for Knoop’s replacement, or whether someone internally might potentially step up to take on the CEO role, the representative would not be drawn, but she confirmed that the recruitment process was already underway.
Knoop said that he would continue to execute the management agenda with “energy and dedication” until April 2022, when his current term is due to end.
Having joined ForFarmers in November 2013, he became CEO in January 2014.
Jan van Nieuwenhuizen, chairman of the supervisory board of ForFarmers, weighed in on the development, acknowledging the achievements of Knoop over the years.
"Under his leadership, ForFarmers made the step into the growth market, Poland, and more balance was brought to the portfolio by enhancing the position in the poultry sector. In addition, Yoram embedded sustainability in ForFarmers’ strategy."
The company also said that, in light of recent challenges in the agricultural sector, it would be evaluating its Build to Grow 2025 strategy, originally launched in September 2020, with a view to tightening it.
One of the pillars of that plan is operational excellence, linked to a cost-savings target of at least €10m (US$11.2m) in 2025 compared to the normalized level of 2020.
Earlier this month, ForFarmers said it was holding off on providing a financial outlook for Q4 given the ‘unpredictable’ energy prices, though the Dutch feed producer stressed it was still focused on growth through M&A activity.
The significant increases in gas, electricity and diesel costs could not entirely be passed on to customers, with the Euronext Amsterdam listed company reporting that underlying EBITDA, consequently, declined by 22% in Q3 2021.
How energy prices will develop is unpredictable, said Knoop then. “We therefore refrain from providing an outlook for the results in the fourth quarter of 2021.”