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The dairy and food group from Northern Germany generated growth in all strategic business fields.
The Uelzena Group found that milk processing, number of employees and environmental efforts have developed positively:
At the general meeting of Uelzena in Uelzen, Germany, Claus-Peter Witt, chairman of the management board, presented a mixed picture of the 2016 business year. Because of unfavourable market situations, the Uelzena Group was not able to maintain last year’s sales level. It fell by six% to €526m. Contrary to this, the sales volume for the main product groups rose by more than 21% to above 211 million kg. Sales and turnover in the strategic business fields of ingredients, instant beverages and health foods experienced positive development. With the targeted expansion of the business with industrial customers, the Uelzena Group will continue to assume a leading role in specific market segments.
The delivery of milk raw materials rose in 2015 by almost 4% to a new record high of approximately 528 million kg. The number of employees rose by 8 to 663. According to Witt, milk price payments had to be reduced by 8.4 ct/kg to 29.19 ct/kg due to the poor market situation in 2015. Nevertheless, the price was again at the national average for the fifth consecutive year. While for Frank Schuppert, chairman of the board, the prices were not satisfactory from the producer’s point of view, he did emphasise that the Uelzena Group has developed into one of the best dairies in Northern Germany over the last ten years.
The largest product segment with a 32% share of sales has been milk powder, followed by butter and butterfat with 21%. The expanded sales volume for milk powder is the result of strategic cooperation of the four cooperatives that joined forces in the milk powder plant MTW Norddeutschland, Neumünster. In the field of non-dairy specialty products, which includes instant beverages, health foods and contract manufacturing, a 6% growth was generated; these segments now contribute with 21% to the overall group sales. The cheese production at the Altmark-Käserei Uelzena as well as the production of sweetened condensed milk and dairy products for the delicatessen industry at the WS Warmsener Spezialitäten were cut back slightly because of market prices.
For the second time, the Uelzena Group presented a sustainability report for the business year 2015. The production at the Uelzena sites during the last four years developed very positively and clearly improved in terms of environmental friendliness. Compared to the reference year 2012, the wastewater volume was reduced by 14%, the wastewater load by 26% and CO2 emissions by 49%. Witt emphasised that an integrated business strategy aimed at sustainability does not only secure the broad acceptance of milk production but is also required for success in the industrial customer sector because an increasing number of brand producers take sustainability criteria into consideration in the selection of their suppliers.