Spierings confirmed as new chief executive of ForFarmers

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/gorodenkoff
© GettyImages/gorodenkoff

Related tags ForFarmers circular economy co-products

Theo Spierings has been appointed as CEO of the Netherlands based feed manufacturer, ForFarmers.

This resolution was taken during the extraordinary general meeting of shareholders of ForFarmers NV, which was held today.

Spierings comes to the Dutch feed compounder with strong ag industry credentials. He began his career at Friesland Foods in 1986, where he led the merger with Campina as CEO several years later. From 2011 to 2019, he was CEO of Fonterra, the leading player in New Zealand’s dairy industry. Since then, he has been helping companies transform and ensure their business activities meet sustainability goals, through his consultancy, The Purpose Factory.

He also has an MBA from the University of Glasgow.

Jan van Nieuwenhuizen, chairman of the supervisory board of ForFarmers, in November last year, acknowledged Spierings’ significant international experience in the dairy industry as well as his great drive, energy, and expertise in helping to future-proof the agricultural sector, while being mindful of environmentally sustainability objectives. “Spierings has the experience, expertise and personality to head up ForFarmers in its current phase."

Commenting on his nomination back then, the new CEO said the agricultural sector is innovative and progressive, and it plays an important role in the food chain, so there is a critical need to make it even more sustainable.

Strategy revamp

November 2022 also saw ForFarmers announce a revision of its strategy 2025, originally launched in 2020, with it emphasising a more local market approach, differentiation and sustainability-focused innovation in terms of feed products. The company also outlined how it was aiming for a consolidated return on average capital employed (ROACE) of at least 10% based on underlying operating profit (EBIT) by 2025.

Processors and retailers, outlined the feed producer, are demanding products that address societal concerns, with an increasing focus on supporting the circular economy, on lower carbon footprint, and on more regional sourcing, along with a reduction in nitrogen emissions, greater respect for animal welfare, a commitment to tackle deforestation, and reduce waste.

ForFarmers maintains that it has the expertise, the scale, and the means to support farmers in this respect, with it looking to invest in and use alternative raw materials, boost the use of co-products, develop concepts with farmers, tested on-farm, and work proactively with processors and retailers as well as the food industry, with the ultimate objective of creating all-round benefits for society, farmers, value chain, consumers, and shareholders.

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