Dispatches from World Nutrition Forum in Cancun, Mexico
DSM and Firmenich complete merger, announce new brand
The resulting new company, called dsm-firmenich, includes nearly 30,000 employees. Dimitri de Vreeze will be the dsm-firmenich CEO as Geraldine Matchett, current co-CEO, is to pursue her career elsewhere, as of September 1.
"dsm-firmenich now stands out as a category of one, uniquely working at the intersection between what people individually want and what we collectively need, without costing the Earth." Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, Co-CEOs of dsm-firmenich.
Ivo Lansbergen, executive VP of animal nutrition and health, dsm-firmenich, on the back of his keynote address at the Mexican event, told us about where his division fits into the new organizational structure, where potential synergies with the former Firmenich business may lie, and the company’s heightened focus on sustainability initiatives.
“DSM and Firmenich were not really able to exchange information with each other, up until today. It [the integration of the two firms] was a fascinating process, but not always an easy one.”
Thus, the exploration of potential synergies between the two companies really starts now, he said. Despite being poles apart in focus, Lansbergen reported that he has had the most contact, so far, with Firmenich's perfumery experts due to the potential offered by their blending knowledge and digital tools. So, it is case of watch this space, he stressed, as to the new directions both teams might go.
Making the invisible visible
A key theme of the animal nutrition lead’s keynote speech at the WNF was “making the invisible visible” in other words, the opportunities presented by the tools dsm-firmenich has at hand to provide farmers with an understanding of the environmental impact of their businesses and how they can make measurable improvements.
He sees transformational changes happening in the agri-food industry, with the ability of stakeholders to affect consumer choice in a new and empowering way. “I can see a future where every item on the supermarket shelf carries environmental labelling, meaning consumers can compare and choose products, both within food categories and between completely diverse types of products. To make this a reality we need reliable, accurate nutritional and environmental data flowing through every stage of the value chain.”
Lansbergen called on delegates at the WNF – global experts in science, academia, research, veterinary medicine, animal nutrition, genetics, business, and feed manufacturing – to take the lead in the "race to the top in terms of sustainability.”