[Download PDF, 196 KB] 08 June 2011
WESTFLEISCH eG in Muenster is growing solidly / 1.93 billion Euros turnover in 2010 / More exports to Asia / “Aktion Tierwohl” and Animal Welfare initiative is popular in retail
“The Westfleisch group did well in 2010” Dr. Helfried Giesen, managing director of the Westfleisch-Group, stated at the shareholders general assembly in Muenster on 08 June 2011. “We mastered the challenges faced in 2010 well”. In the 2010 financial year Westfleisch produced 832,000 tonnes of meat and processed meats, 5.8 % more than in 2009. Group turnover increased in 2010 to 1.93 billion Euros, an improvement of 2.3 % year-on-year. “Export showed an excellent outcome in 2010 and generated a growth in volume”, Giesen stated.
Westfleisch’s slaughtering volume in 2010 was an all-time record for the group. The number of pigs slaughtered increased by 5.8 % to 6.58 million including sows. The Westphalian company slaughtered 319,400 cattle in 2010. That’s a year-on-year increase of 2.3 % although the trend in this category is downward. The group took third place among meat marketers in Germany and fifth place in Europe’s ranking.
Export continues to be the main emphasis
Nearly 40 % of the meat produced by Westfleisch in northwest Germany is exported. Growing exports safeguard the profits of the cooperative group and therefore the sales of domestic producers. The group exported a total of 343,000 tonnes of meat and processed meats. Asia is seen as the best current and putative future market for the group. Westfleisch exports to all major Asian markets except to Japan, which still banned for meat and meat products from North Rhine Westphalia in general. Turkey now once again permits beef imports after a 14 year interdiction. Our export turnover in 2010 was worth 623 million Euros, 32.3 % of the group’s total turnover.
We intend to maintain our unique position as a regionally based cooperative enterprise with good equity structure even though rapid structural change is the norm worldwide nowadays. Giesen presented his audience in Muenster some of the basic ideas behind the “Compass 2015” strategy concept. The principle here is to follow up the industry’s overall trends, develop them conceptually and arrange them actively, so that Westfleisch’s 4,500 members can furthermore be sure to have a reliable and successful partner shoulder to shoulder.
“Aktion Tierwohl” established
“The qualitative and emotional requirements to our products noticeably increase more and more”, said Giesen with a view to the development of “Aktion Tierwohl”, the Westfleisch Animal Welfare concept. Animal protection and well-being are becoming increasingly important on the meat and processed meat products markets. First presented in November 2010 at the Meat Congress in Frankfurt/Main the initiative was widely acclaimed in the retail market and rapidly achieved marketability. The 14 products in the initial range of pre-packed meat and sliced cold meats are available in the German retail since early June 2011.
The concept is part of the cooperative’s guiding principles of openly facing up to questions and press discussion of origin and production methods and the general debate on meat as a foodstuff.
“Aktion Tierwohl” has resulted in the well-being of livestock being objectively documented and traceable for the first time. Farmers are included in the programme if they meet both the QS and international Animal Welfare standards. We started with just 60 suppliers and in the meanwhile have the capacity to supply 350,000 pigs. A further 80 farmers are on the waiting list and could be included if demand makes it necessary. We pay a bonus of two to four cents a kilo slaughtered weight depending on gender for pigs from Aktion Tierwohl farms.
CO2 footprint now for veal too
“Agriculture involves responsibility for coming generations and that predicates sustainability” Giesen said with a view of annual audit of the “Westfleisch Partnership for Quality”. This is laid down in a manner that can be followed up in the twelve elements of mission statement 2011/12 and the CO2 footprints calculated for pork and now for veal as well. Giesen emphasised that Westfleisch has set self commitment goals that exceed explicitly current legal standards. This is documented in a comprehensive sustainability report meeting Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) requirements.
Financial director Dr. Bernd Cordes provided details of the relevant data. In the supply chain from stable to table cooperation contracts with farmers have been the reliable basis of Westfleisch’s Partnership for Quality for two decades. At the end of 2010 there were 2,238 BestSchwein contracts for over 5.2 million slaughtered pigs, 1,410 TranspaRind contracts for a volume of 98,000 bulls, cows and heifers, 312 BestFerkel contracts for over 420,000 piglets and more than 12,500 sows for slaughter and 31 BestKalb contracts for nearly 40,000 calves - all as planned annual production.
Westfleisch is the biggest piglet seller in Germany according to research undertaken by an agrarian magazine publication. The number of animals for slaughter grew by 2.6 % or nearly 2 million animals in 2010.
WESTFLEISCH eG ended the 2010 financial year with earnings of 7.8 million Euros (2009: 11.2 million Euros). The group has a very solid equity basis of 45 % giving it a really good economic base. Dividend payment of 4.5 % was proposed for shareholders. For the ninth time in succession our contracted business associates are able to share in the success of the cooperative - this year to the tune of 1.9 million Euros.
New financial director
The board predicted continued growth although this is not usual in the retail at the moment. In the first quarter of 2010 the number of pigs slaughtered by the group increased by 7.5 %, for example, which is well above the officially calculated average increase of 0.2 % publicised by the German Federal Statistical Office. 4.1 % less beef was produced in Germany during the year, Westfleisch suffered only a very minor drop of 1.5 % in 2010 in this category.
Finance director Cordes presented the Westfleisch group’s balance sheet for the last time. He retires in mid-2011 after 23 years. His successor Carsten Schruck joined the board in April 2011.
„Finances and Personnel”
at Westfleisch eG
|Net sales¹||1,930 million €||1,887 million €||+ 2.3 %|
|Total sales³||832,000 t||786,600 t||+ 5.8 %|
|Of which export³||342,700 t||319,600 t||+ 7.2 %|
|Balance sheet total²||261.4 million €||240.0 million €||+ 8.9 %|
|Annual net profit²||6.6 million €||10.7 million €||– 38.3 %|
|Equity²||118.9 million €||111.0 million €||+ 7.1 %|
|Capital ratio²||45.5 %||46.3 %||– 1.7 %|
¹ consolidated ² Westfleisch eG ³ Group without FVZ Westfood GmbH