Annual report Together for sustainable business

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1 Annual report 2010 Together for sustainable business

2 Content Foreword 3 The Milcobel Group in Cooperative news 8 Key figures Industrial products and third-country export 13 Consumer cheese and butter 17 Consumer milk and functional drinks 19 Ice cream 21 Cheese packaging and distribution 23 Who is who in Milcobel 2010? 24 Financial report 25 Credits 47 Annual report Milcobel

3 Cooperative enterprise is sustainable entrepreneurship. 2 Annual report Milcobel 2010

4 Guido Veys - Chairman Foreword Jointly, the 3,300 members of Milcobel collect and market 1,100,000 litres of milk. Together with 1,800 employees, they provide it with added value and collectively bring to market finished products with a rich range of applications in consumers kitchens or food industries all over the world. The result of this is to be found in our cooperative milk price, in sustainable local employment and the future-oriented development of our group. It is encouraging that, thanks to our consistent approach and attraction of dairy markets in general, we were able to gradually increase the milk price in 2010 and are among the top European scorers with our annual average. This has caused the doubt that arose in the dairy farming sector in 2008 and 2009 to make way for confidence once again. This cooperative enterprise model is not based on a conflict between dairy farmers and the processing industry. It is a shame that European High-Level group proposals, which received so much trade union attention this year, do indeed have this as their basis. Although this expert group s proposals do advocate more cooperation, it initially appears that they know little of our integrated cooperative model in which cooperation extends far beyond mere grouping of the raw material of milk. Moreover, it was correctly pointed out in the discussion in the European Parliament that the Commission s analysis to the effect that the problem allegedly lies only between dairy farmers and the dairy industry, is incorrect. Further on in the chain, the free market system and the market players balance of power, in which regard one cannot escape the power of the wholesale distribution, play an important role. Not only the dairy and food events, but also developments in the rest of the world economy cause interest in the cooperative enterprise model to increase. Cooperative enterprise is sustainable entrepreneurship because it has a broad foundation of many strongly involved partners. Cooperative participants are long-term co-operators. An illustration of this is the manner in which our members voluntarily make capital contribution to our group and always support the administrative decision to make reserves more actively during the coming years. In this way, we jointly create financial leverage for further development at Milcobel. Our members confidence is based on 4 cornerstones: saying what we do and doing what we say, in both good times and bad times; transparent and direct translation of the markets into milk price results; offering perspectives in developing member companies; much attention for young people. Sustainable entrepreneurship is transposed into careful dealings with people and all production factors, into contributing to the economic sustainability of the member companies by jointly providing added value and ensuring market access. Sustainable entrepreneurship is part of our group s inherent nature. Current attention for this theme invites us to cultivate and appoint this even more emphatically. In 2010, Milcobel continued undiminished investment and market efforts in all its subsidiaries: our brands and concepts in consumer cheese became the tractors of increasing consumption of Belgian cheese in our country; our Brugge (Bruges) brands also constitute an important export lever; at Kaasimport Jan Dupont we recorded good distribution and packaging growth figures and the challenge to further develop this operation in Europe is being studied; in the case of liquid dairy products, consumer milk experienced a particularly difficult year. Steps were taken towards further specialisation and brand development to establish sustainable profitability; Ysco succeeded in maintaining and strengthening its European position and making a suitable contribution to our group result, despite a difficult market and declining volume due to the bad summer; powders and industrial cheese are commonplace for the dairy market and for Milcobel, in particular, they are the markets forming the basis of our milk price potential. Positive evolution in these markets does not prevent us from expanding our product portfolio here too and, in so doing, from limiting the volatility of these markets. The policy objectives for our continued development and investments in these markets were outlined in All our operations are borne by a competent group of employees for whom Milcobel is also their company. Together with them, we look forward to the future with confidence. Doing business jointly and sustainably reminds us of the basic idea to be found at the heart of the many decisions which the board and management have to make. The cooperative does not belong to you, you have not inherited it from your parents, you are borrowing it from your children. Guido Veys Chairman Annual report Milcobel

5 Milcobel will continue to develop a versatile and sustainable cooperative dairy group. 4 Annual report Milcobel 2010

6 The Milcobel Group in 2010 Milcobel s aim is to guarantee its member dairy farmers a sustainable sales volume of milk at a fair price. Milcobel wants to do this based on industrial and commercial activities and with clear concern for its members. 2010: a better year The dairy market recovered in 2010 after the deep plunge in The world started recovering from the financial and economic crisis and this could also be felt in the demand for dairy products. Nevertheless, recovery in 2010 was not straightforward. The market weakened about half way through the year. Large purchases from Russia, which had been hit by drought and fires, revived it. In the autumn the market plunged once again and for the rest of the year and the first half of 2011 the main mood was pessimistic. However, reality proved to be different. As of the end of November, milk powder and butter prices swung back up again thanks to high demand, while milk deliveries in Europe remained at a considerably higher level. Large consumer milk contracts had to be renewed at a time when prospects for the summer were less favourable and when prospects in October were bad. For this reason, it was only possible in each contract to realise a limited consumer milk price increase, which, a few weeks later, always turned out to be inadequate to keep up with the other products as far as value potential was concerned. Towards the end of the year, too, the belief in a better market by a number of consumer milk dairy groups, remained slight. This resulted in great competitiveness in contract renewal at that time, which meant that there were no price increases as yet and that prices were actually crumbling. By contrast, the cheese market did follow the movements on the powder and butter markets, albeit with some delay was a better year for dairy farmers. The milk price was at a more bearable level, although still insufficient to build up reserves for less favourable times. Maybe 2011 will provide such an opportunity. The Milcobel Group continued to actively work in the various market segments and product groups of the subsidiaries business. This variety in dairy products and market spread helps to achieve the objective in the new dairy situation. A new situation that is characterised by large dairy market volatility and therefore market risks. Scenarios were also developed to be able to meet the cooperative decision of following the development of milk production on the farms of the members in the post-quota era. The purpose of the group in this respect is to process all members milk into high-quality products and to sell those products on various markets at the best possible valorisation to satisfy our customers. Better results After two consecutively difficult years, the industrial products and third-world export departments (Belgomilk, Kempico and Kemfoods) were once again able to contribute positively to the company result. Butter prices, in particular, supported this. Industrial cheese could more than yield the average Milcobel milk price, while milk powder was only just inadequate. Recovery of consumer product sales, in particular, milk powder in small packaging and baby food, was slower. Nonetheless, Belgomilk could retain its position on the export markets. The consumer cheese and butter departments (Belgomilk and Kempico) grew spectacularly in The Brugge (Bruges) cheese types are a hit with the consumers. Brugge cheese is the engine driving the increasing success in the Belgian cheese category, Cheese from home. Nazareth and beer cheeses also made a profit. The demand for Nazareth, in particular, increased abroad. The success of the Belgian cheese specialities and of the Brugge cheese, in particular, has also not escaped retail attention, which has caused even further distribution expansion. At the same time, it appears that there is still much potential for Belgomilk brand cheese on the local market and definitely in our neighbouring countries. That is why everyone looks forward to finalising the expansion of the cheese factory in Moorslede. In the meantime, current production capacity in both factories, Moorslede and Gierle, is being fully utilised to meet rising demand to the greatest possible extent. Belgomilk s consumer butter was also able to consolidate its position on the foreign market, thanks to the Nazareth and Dixmuda brands. For Inza, as specialist of long-life consumer milk and milk drinks (Inza brand), 2010 was a difficult year. By contrast to the previous year, consumer milk prices lagged behind those of the other products. Inza therefore contributed negatively to the group result. Inza evolved further away from the private white label consumer milk segment. There will always be room at Inza for good concepts such as cooperative milk, as is the case for fair-trade chocolate milk which is put on the market together with Oxfam. Investments in brands Yogho!Yogho! and Choco!Choco! were intensified. As producer of ice cream and consumer ice cream, Ysco experienced a slightly less favourable summer than in This caused turnover to fall. Nevertheless, Ysco was able to conclude the year with a respectable result. This means that, through the consistent efforts over the past years, Ysco has reached a position in which it can achieve a positive result, even though the summer might be less favourable. Cheese packaging and distribution by Kaasimport Jan Dupont and Camal once again registered a volume and value turnover increase. Kaasimport Jan Dupont continues to distribute the best types of cheese originating in Europe, whether or not they pack them first according to the most varied and modern techniques. Because of Camal the sale of cheese increased in the south of the country. More milk processed once again The Milcobel Group processed 3% more milk than the year before. This increase was the result of the increase in members milk. The balance of sales and purchases with other industrialists remained almost the same, with the result that the group processed 32 million litres more milk in its dairy factories and the total processing amounted to billion litres in >>> Annual report Milcobel

7 2010 results The Milcobel Group s consolidated turnover rose by 8.5% to EUR 820 million in This increase can be ascribed largely to the increase in sales prices. There was a positive evolution in group results. All operations, except milk powder and consumer milk, were responsible for this, even though Milcobel paid a more competitive milk price to its members month after month. A milk price supplement of EUR 0.43 per 100 litres was paid with the result. After this milk price supplement in the amount of EUR 4.7 million, the group s final consolidated result is EUR 6,028,592. A dividend of 4% will be proposed at the general meeting. The remaining result will reinforce the group s equity. Besides that, members voluntarily used a substantial part of the post-payment to subscribe to and pay for shares. The group s own equity is thus reinforced in two ways. Milk price The milk price paid increased by 29% as compared to With this, the milk price was almost back to the 2008 level which, except for one year (2007) was the best year of the last 10. With a fat content of grams/litre and a protein content of grams/litre, an average milk price of EUR per 100 litres was paid. If this is converted into the standard milk in Belgium with 38 g fat and 33.5 g protein per litre, the average milk price for members amounted to EUR per 100 litres. Investments Milcobel is continuing its investments to perform its cooperative mission sustainably. Sustainable enterprise is only possible if factories are continually renewed and improved. group investment in fixed assets amounted to EUR 27.8 million in 2010, which is almost the same amount as the previous year. The expansion of the cheese factory in Moorslede absorbed by far the largest part of this amount. Further investments were also made in other Belgomilk and Inza dairy factories. Ysco s share constituted 10% of the total group investment amount and Dupont and Camal 6%. Personnel The group continued its policy of open communication and deliberation by way of appropriate official bodies, work groups and safety units. This is all with a view to a good working atmosphere, health and safety at work and continued improvement in the quality of the work delivered and of the final products. Milcobel wants to be a group where every employee is convinced of the objectives of the group in general and his or her division in particular. In that way each and every person will apply his or her talent with pleasure to achieve these objectives and will also be shown appreciation for this. The works councils approved the policy statement within the context of CLA 100 on corporate alcohol and drug policy (resources policy) in Based on the policy statement, regulations and a practical policy are currently being worked out in consultations. Corporate social responsibility Milcobel pays much attention to corporate social responsibility. This is characteristic of a cooperative enterprise such as Milcobel. The social character and solidarity are ingrained in the origin and nature of cooperatives. It is therefore characteristic that Milcobel is concerned about social issues and human rights. The step towards other issues of socially responsible enterprise is small. Care for the environment is a question of sustainability of the enterprise, society and the environment in which it must prosper. Because all these principles already formed part of Milcobel s corporate culture in 2008, it supported the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, an initiative of the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. This participation in the UN Global Compact is a stimulus not to leave the principles as mere principles but to actually convert them into daily practice in the company. Milcobel is one of the founding members of the Belgian Global Compact network. Ever more Milcobel Group branches are endorsing corporate social responsibility charters. In this way, an authentic value of cooperative entrepreneurship is expressed and realised in a modern manner. Prospects 2011 started well. The market improvement that had already started at the end of 2010 continued during the first weeks of 2011 without rocketing to the high prices which would cause an immediate fall in demand. Global demand is good and medium term prospects for the dairy market look good. It is expected that there will be an increasing demand for dairy products, particularly from China. Demand has also recovered in other parts of the world and production is lagging behind demand, which results in a rise for opportunities for European dairy products. However, political and social events in North Africa and the Arabic world are generating uncertainty, which is having a negative effect on further development. Dairy products are also retaining their fame on the local market. Increasing consumer attention for healthy food is an opportunity for dairy products which we must meet. Milcobel and its subsidiaries will provide maximum response to the demand for high-quality dairy products anywhere in the world and simultaneously also provide customers with excellent service. The expansion of the cheese factory in Moorslede, which will start up production at the beginning of 2012, will secure the successful development of brand cheese, with Brugge cheese as its flagship. The cheese packaging and distribution departments will be a fully-fledged independent associate for this, without losing sight of its versatile supply. After this master plan for consumer cheese has been developed, work will be concentrated on implementing the strategy for the industrial products department and third-country export. Further synergy with Inza will be finalised for the consumer product axis. The Milcobel Group s management and employees will continue to develop a versatile and sustainable cooperative dairy group. Milcobel s sustainability is the cornerstone for the sustainability of its members dairy farms and the sustainability of employment for its employees. 6 Annual report Milcobel 2010

8 Group structure Members Milcobel cvba Belgomilk cvba 50% Fassbel nv Kaasimport J. Dupont nv Inza cvba Ysco nv Milcobel NL bv 50% Les From. des Flandres GEIE (2) Cheeseline nv Ysco FR Holding SASU BMF-Lait SARL 50% Prodinco Cheeselink nv Ysco France SASU Bedrijvenpark Wingene nv (2) 7,07% Kempico cvba Zuivelindustrie Zandhoven cvba (2) Milcobel 3F cvba Kemfoods cvba Heritage 1466 nv (1) 20% Melkerij van Loenhout cvba St. Marie cvba Camal sa (1) as to asset mutation (2) not included Annual report Milcobel

9 Cooperative news For the dairy farmers, 2010 became a year of market and price recovery. After the fluctuations of the previous year, 2010 brought some stability with it. Because of this, the dairy farmers were (partly) able to catch their breath. Moreover, this had an effect on the relationship with the members and the functioning of the committees of regional members circles. During the course of 2010, much constructive work was done administratively and one of the highlights within cooperative functioning was the successful youth consultation at Milcobel. With reference to the amendments to the inhouse regulations, the 12 former member circles were reduced to 9. This restructuring envisages a certain rationalisation of the cooperative functioning of the members structures within the context of the further evolution within the sector. These evolutions relate to a decreasing number of dairy farms and, therefore, also fewer members. In a transitional stage which will result in newly composed committees of the members circles during the first half of 2011, work was continued on current committees in partly reorganised and merged form during These committees did excellent work and also prepared the trajectory that will lead to the composition of new committees. These committees remain important: no less than 10% of the number of Milcobel members are represented in the committees of the 9 members cirlces. In practice, this concerns more than 300 committee members on whom Milcobel continues to rely. In addition, at least 20% of the number of committee members are young farmers. This makes it clear that Milcobel continues to pay particular importance to substantial participation and involvement by the members and member structures! In addition, this is accompanied by a strong motivation to involve young people and the future generation too in the cooperative functioning and in co-outlining the strategic vision for the future. The extremely successful youth consultation day in 2010 was proof of this. Based on these results, Milcobel actually reinforced and profiled its strategic vision of and choices for the future. This is also appreciated by the members, who can outline their own company developments on a basis of this. Based on the youth consultation decision process, Milcobel takes the liberty of stating the following in no uncertain terms: the cooperative will remain closed until at least 2015 and there is no room for additional new milk. With this, the cooperative intends to continue to provide space and priority to milk originating from further development of the member companies; this also expressly implies that Milcobel will not initiate supply control or production management measures of its members; it has also been firmly established that - once additional new members are allowed again - this process will take place under strict admission terms and conditions; the idea behind this is that cooperative loyalty must be earned; moreover, the current and currently applied cooperative milk price mechanism remains intact; there is no consideration at all to possibly institute a system of differentiated milk price-setting on segmented milk streams. The fact that there is still indeed development, is to be deduced from the 2010 data on milk collection. Milk collection consisted of 1,098,473,243 litres, or an increase of +2.94% as compared to This milk delivery was supplied by an average of 3,296 members. This number of members fell by 2.49% in This continues to be a relatively limited decrease - as was the case in which, moreover, remains considerably lower than the general Belgian average of 4.3%. For 2010, the milk collection size of an average Milcobel dairy farm evolved to 333,275 litres, or an increase of 5.6% in comparison to the 2009 situation. Finally, it must be said that over 91.6% of the milk collection refers to Belgian-member milk. 5.5% comes from the Dutch members and 2.9% from the French members. During the course of 2010, members of Milcobel also confirmed that they still have confidence in Milcobel. The results of the procedure followed concerning the appropriation of the 2009 milk price supplement (= EUR 0.70 / 100 litres) prove this. Based on a selection of proposed choices and on a voluntary basis, more than 30% of the members spent this milk price supplement - partly or in full - on purchasing additional Milcobel shares. In this way, members used over 30% of the total milk price supplement to reinforce own cooperative equity. Particular attention was paid to quality monitoring of the milk collection during An updated policy statement on this was drafted and developed. In the light of a particularly good general quality result of the collected milk, more focus was given to a limited number of stubborn on-going problem situations. This led to a strategy which aimed at further source remediation and required a targeted approach. This, among other things, is the reason why more attention is again being paid to adequate storage and cooling tank capacity. More work is being done on an internal chain approach, whereby attention for milk quality is being positioned within a context of cooperation between logistics, collection and processing. In 2010 this led to, among other things, procedures being instituted to resolve and avoid problems regarding a limited number of milk deliveries and loads with visible derogations. In everyone s interests, this means that responsibilities must be allocated in the most objective manner. This is also a characteristic and objective of cooperative functioning and fits in completely with a professional dairy farm, where respect for animals must take precedence. Historically good figures for the general quality situation of the milk delivered were achieved during 2010: 97% of the milk collected met the standard for germ count of 50,000/ml and 93% of the milk had a cell count under the standard of 350,000/ml. 86% met the special quality standard of a coli count that continued to be lower than 50/ml. In more than 99% of the milk collected, inhibitor residue could not be shown. And in the cases where inhibitors could still be detected by way of systematic entrance checks, it is always possible to make the link to the responsible farmer. Such contaminated milk loads are removed to be destroyed appropriately in all cases. On an annual basis, over 80% of the milk collected met all quality standards jointly during 2010, which resulted in the allocation of additional quality premiums for this volume. Finally, much importance is still attached to communication with members and committee members. In 2010, electronic communication was intensified. This is the channel through which the board of directors informs committee members about its milk price decisions every month. Furthermore, over 80% of the members can be reached by way of an SMS message system for short messages on results regarding inhibitor tests, possible amendments to milk collecting schedules, requests to keep the entrance to the company clear during winter weather conditions and various other short announcements. This type of communication is experienced as an added value and members appreciate it in the cooperative relationship. 8 Annual report Milcobel 2010

10 Cooperative structure Milcobel-members board of the member circle 12 regional member circles statutory general assembly council of the cooperative 4 delegates per member circle 14 members of the board of directors Group structure chart milk collection - holding & coordination & group services Milcobel cvba Consumer milk and functional drinks Inza cvba Cheese packaging and distribution Kaasimport Jan Dupont nv Camal SA Consumer cheese and butter Belgomilk cvba Kempico cvba Industrial products and export third countries Belgomilk cvba Kemfoods cvba Ice cream Ysco nv Ysco France SAS Annual report Milcobel

11 Milk supply increased with 10% during the last 2 years! 10 Annual report Milcobel 2010

12 Key figures Key figures milk flow Milk from members farms 1,098,473,243 1,067,098, ,591,387 Available total incl. third parties 1,116,910,726 1,083,480,552 1,015,709,787 Total sales 69,901,889 68,527,451 47,737,070 Available for transformation 1,047,008,837 1,014,953, ,972,717 Key figures collection of the members Average number of suppliers 3,296 3,380 3,440 Quantity of milk supplied 1,098,473,243 1,067,098, ,591,387 Average fat content Average protein content Price paid for milk in millions of euro Euro per litre Key figures Milcobel Group (in thousands of euro) Turnover 819, , ,132 Investments fixed assets 31,523 29,105 29,228 Result 6,028 3,231 1,168 Capital and reserves 101,885 95,539 94,587 Solvability % Average number of employees 1,951 1,962 1,911 Annual report Milcobel

13 12 Annual report Milcobel 2010

14 Industrial products and third-country export 2010 was a year of recovery for dairy product market prices. However, experience has taught us that we must continue to think of volatility as a permanent market element. Market prices rose at the beginning of the year, but by the summer demand had fallen and optimism gradually faded. There was a short-lived revival in demand in September, thanks to additional demand from Russia which was faced with drought. This supported the demand during a time when otherwise, during other years, the demand is weaker. As of October, this positive mood swung back again. The combination of the following two factors was the cause for the fall in demand: an increase in the exchange rate of the dollar on the one hand, and, on the other, an increase in milk production. Most observers expected a further price decrease and the demand came to a halt. Until, during the course of December, the demand suddenly rose spectacularly and prices rocketed. So it is increasingly difficult to predict the direction in which the market will evolve. Furthermore, it has to be said that more extensive orders were received from ONIL in Algeria throughout the course of There was also a sharp rise in the demand from China, partly due to the melamine problem in Chinese milk powder. China is expected to consume 400,000 MT of milk powder in If this is correct, China will catch up with Algeria as the largest milk powder consumer. Apparently, India was also an important buyer of butter in Milk powder Compared to 2009, there was a 31.6% increase in the average price for whole milk powder. The price rose from a level of approximately EUR 2,500 per tonne of whole milk powder at the beginning of January to a peak of almost EUR 3,000 at the beginning of June. Subsequently, the price fell again to a level of approximately EUR 2,600 in November, rose again in December and closed at a level of almost EUR 2,900. Market prices for skimmed milk powder largely followed the picture of whole milk powder, even though the average increase of 23.3% as compared to 2009 was less pronounced for skimmed milk powder. From a market price (for human consumption) of approximately EUR 2,050 at the beginning of January, prices rose from April onwards and reached a peak of EUR 2,500 in May. As of then, prices fell gradually until they reached a level of just under EUR 2,000 at the beginning of November. In November and the beginning of December prices even temporarily fell under the level of 2009, increasing again to above the level of 2009 as of mid-december, with a final price of approximately EUR 2,250 at the end of the year. During the course of 2010, Belgomilk succeeded in further expanding the sector of sales to the chocolate industry. Various leading European customers came to audit the factory in Langemark and issued a positive report. Butter In 2010 the high butter market prices were most remarkable, to say the least. On average, they were 39.3% higher than in started off with a butter price of EUR 3,150 per tonne, and this further increased as of March to almost EUR 3,800 per tonne at the end of June. From then on, the market price remained remarkably stable, with only a slight fall as of November to a price of EUR 3,600 at the end of December. Whey and whey products Market prices for whey products also rose sharply in 2010: on average, up to approximately EUR 700 per tonne, which is 41.1% higher than in Here too, market prices temporarily fell to under those of 2009 during the period from the end of October until mid-november, to finally start a sprint to the level of EUR 800 per tonne at the end of December. Industrial cheeses Attaining a strong position in target markets based on targeted investments. The market prices for mozzarella also clearly showed a recovery in 2010, viz. an average of 31.2% higher than in The starting price at the beginning of January was almost EUR 2,700 per tonne and, as of March, the price started rising, reaching a peak of almost EUR 3,000 in July. Prices subsequently fell slightly month after month to conclude at a level of EUR 2,800 at the end of December. The experience was that French suppliers, in particular, offered lower prices. This encouraged people to continue focusing especially on mozzarella, to the detriment of cheddar because of better valorisation. In 2010, pizza producers once again showed interest in concluding long-term contracts. On average, cheddar market prices rose 21.0% in 2010 as compared to Baby food Within the context of the cooperation with FASSKA, baby food experienced further development in 2010, especially with the regular customers. During the first half of the year there was a temporary drop from the tenders. Outlook for the future At the end of 2010, Belgomilk started developing its vision, mission and strategy in more detail. In November, Milcobel Group management and the board of directors approved the first draft in this direction. According to this plan, Belgomilk wishes to continue its development based on three cornerstones. The first relates to consumer brand development. This includes baby food, growth-stimulatory milk, milk powders and other specialised dairy-based products. Nutritional aspects and health are continuously becoming more >>> Annual report Milcobel

15 14 Annual report Milcobel 2010

16 important. Furthermore, this concerns international markets. This is the specialisation of the factory in Kallo. Then there is also the focus on specialised components or ingredients based on dairy products for the food and drinks industries. This is pure business to business. Markets for these products lie mainly in Europe, although there are also opportunities outside Europe. Work targeting customer solutions and services play an important part here. The Langemark factory will specialise in this. Finally, there will be an aim to achieve cost leadership in the mozzarella cheese segment for pizza restaurants, the pizza industry and for instant whole milk powder for international co-packers. This, too, is business to business, where offering solutions and service to customers plays an important role. Aiming to achieve high and consistent quality for our customers is really essential. On the supply side, work must be as efficient as possible and the supply chain must - where possible - be optimised according to customers needs. Langemark focuses on mozzarella cheese, Kallo on instant whole milk powder. Belgomilk will have more whey available as a result of increasing cheese production in the Moorslede and Langemark factories. Belgomilk is studying current market trends for whey derivatives and the latest technologies to be able to meet these market trends. In this regard, internal use of whey products will continue to occupy an important position. There is a strong belief that technology can play an important part in the further development of our enterprise. For example, in 2010, Belgomilk decided to change to a new ERP system. The new ERP system will be implemented by the end of This will make it possible to monitor business processes even better and make them run more efficiently. Belgomilk is currently working on an investment plan for the years to come (until 2018). It already has the resources and willingness to invest and achieve the business plan. This implies targeted investments in target markets to attain a strong position and develop it further. Investment is also being made in state-of-the-art factory equipment to be able to meet the demand of these markets for superior products. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the amount of milk that Belgomilk receives from the cooperative. It is expected that this increase will continue unabated during the following years. Here, too, Belgomilk is ready to invest in the capacity required to be able to profitably process and market this amount of milk. Producing high quality Belgomilk has its quality system audited annually by BRC and AFS, among others. Once again in 2010, these audits yielded positive results. Furthermore, a considerable number of household-name customers also audited our factories in It is clear that quality is playing an ever more important role in Belgomilk s continued development. It goes without saying that food security occupies first place in this respect. Production environments are being ever better fitted out for total control of pathogenic micro-organisms. Furthermore, attention is paid to parameters which consumers use to judge products, such as taste, aroma and instant properties. In this respect, there is a continuous quest for improvement and the intent is to score better than two-thirds of the competitors in every case. Belgomilk wants to offer and guarantee B2B customers consistent high quality. Belgomilk also wants to be a leader in the field of innovation. For B2B, this means developing new applications and solutions in close cooperation with industrial customers. For B2C, this means developing new nutritional properties that can play a role in our consumers improved health. Corporate social responsibility Belgomilk thanks its success in 2010 above all to its people. This will not change in the years to come. That is why our employees are extremely highly regarded. Employees must agree with Belgomilk s essential values. These are ethical integrity, sense of entrepreneurship, customer orientation, dedication and the quest for excellent results, quality in everything one undertakes, ability to adapt to changing environmental factors, cooperating to achieve a result or solution, and communication. Employees must be able to fully develop at Belgomilk. One of our most important priorities is the safety of the people who work in our factories in Kallo and Langemark. Belgomilk opts for CSR (corporate social responsibility). This means that we want to continue to develop in a sustainable manner. Three points, the so-called three Ps, play an important part in this: people, planet and profit. People stands for people and ethics. Planet concerns our planet, the environment and ecology. Profit means that we aim to make profit sustainably. For example, Belgomilk participates to the United Nations Global Compact through the membership of Milcobel. With this we explicitly show that we respect the universally accepted principles of CSR. The factory in Langemark has had a CSR charter since This charter outlines in detail the many efforts that Langemark makes to put CSR into practice. And so it continues. The factory in Kallo endeavours to work in accordance with a CSR charter. Belgomilk is currently working hard to develop a CSR policy for the entire enterprise. Communication on this subject is important. Therefore, during the coming months and years Belgomilk will communicate actively on efforts and activities regarding CSR. Annual report Milcobel

17 16 Annual report Milcobel 2010

18 Consumer cheese and butter Within Milcobel, this department is responsible for developing and selling cheese specialities and consumer butter. It is once again with great satisfaction that we can look back on a very successful year. The concept of Brugge cheese (Bruges cheese) achieved a significantly faster growth than the overall Belgian cheese market and is therefore increasingly gaining market share. This strong performance has not escaped the distributors attention and the Brugge cheese range is therefore given a better distribution level on shop shelves. Various media campaigns, which concentrated particularly on the brand s authenticity, received an exceptionally positive response from consumers. This broke sales records, particularly during the second half of the year, and a substantial number of new consumers could be recruited. Strong media campaigns by VLAM (Flanders Agricultural Marketing Board) for the Belgian cheese category increased the Belgian chauvinism for Cheese from home and in this way, they also reinforced our own advertising efforts. Besides reinforcing and developing market leadership in the Belgian specialities segment of the Belgian domestic market, the Belgomilk B2C market also worked on internationally developing the Belgomilk brand cheese. During the second half of the year Belgomilk reaped the harvest of the investments and established Belgian cheese specialities internationally. Commercial agreements were concluded with a number of local cheese speciality distributors, with the intention to the support for and development of Brugge cheese. Systematic participation in international food trade fairs confirms these intentions. The Brugge cheese brand is the driving force behind the Belgian cheese category. The launch of the Brugge cheese with Rodenbach beer at the end of September was not only a bull s eye in Belgium, but also drew considerable international attention. This product has become our calling card abroad in a very short time, with sales exceeding even the wildest expectations. A number of pre-packed products are also being developed for privatelabel customers, in close cooperation with associate company Kaasimport Jan Dupont. Here too, the demand for Belgomilk services has strongly increased and there is more attention for high-quality and distinctive cheeses to cater for a broad public. All this growth acceleration naturally means that production centres worked under an extremely high occupancy rate. As is already known, additional capacity expansion is anticipated in the cheese master plan, which intends to further develop our consumer cheese activities. The growth rate during the last few months seriously exposes the need for such additional capacity and therefore there are also expectations that growth will have to be tuned down in Within that specific context, development and finalisation of the new cheese factory in Moorslede is afforded full priority, and everyone is looking forward to the start-up at the end of 2011 or the beginning of Belgomilk s consumer butter took advantage of the slight growth in butter consumption with the brands Nazareth and Dixmuda, they are strong assets on the butter shelf. They have consolidated their position in the Belgian domestic market. Annual report Milcobel

19 18 Annual report Milcobel 2010

20 Consumer milk and functional drinks Inza is Milcobel Group s consumer milk division. Inza is increasingly orienting itself towards producing and commercialising functional drinks and developing the product range under its own brands. Research and development, targeted investments, a comprehensive quality policy supported by IFS, ACS and GMP certificates, as well as experienced and dedicated employees, guarantee contemporary production apparatus and a broad range of quality products. Traditionally, Inza is well represented in all important distribution channels, either with products of its own brand, of a third party with a premium brand or with a private label. More than half of the total number of products is exported both in and outside Europe. Wholesale, wholesale dairy distribution and group schemes, such as schools and industrial kitchens are the traditionally important customers. Inza also works in the out-of-home market segment was a difficult year for consumer milk Produced volume and turnover experienced growth of 5% and 12%, respectively, as compared to This growth was mainly achieved in own brand product range. Large investments were made in the Choco!Choco and Yogho!Yogho! brands. In addition, a number of sustainable projects were started. In particular, the concept of cooperative milk was launched in cooperation with Delhaize and cooperation was started with Oxfam within the context of fair trade. However, turnover and volume growth were inadequate to follow the evolution of the milk price. Consumer milk prices continued to lag behind milk powders, butter fat, cheese and whey price developments. The resultant significant increase in the milk price could not or almost not be charged on in the consumer milk and milk drinks sales prices. Investment in 2010 was made mainly in further intensive process automation and in a number of energy-saving projects. The latter resulted in reduced consumption of natural gas, electricity and compressed air. Prospects for 2011 The share of milk drinks is continuously being expanded with added value products. In the light of the high volatility of the raw materials market during the last few years, it has become particularly difficult to draw up a reliable prognosis. It appears that the dairy market has become unpredictable and uncertain. It appears as though the dairy product price increase at the start of 2010 will continue in This will undoubtedly also cause the basic milk price to increase even further. Normally, the sales prices of consumer milk and milk drinks should also increase. In the light of the delayed effect of charging raw material price increases, the first half of the year will continue to be difficult for consumer milk operations profitability. Work on developing Choco!Choco and Yogho!Yogho! will continue in This will be accompanied by actions and campaigns by way of radio and posters, for example. In addition, further efforts will also be made to expand the product range with higher added value. Investments are aimed mainly at further intensive palletisation automation and storage capacity expansion for end products. This is intended to lead to considerable cost-cutting as a result. Challenges Having regard to scale, Inza is obliged to constantly expand its product share with higher additional value and to flexibly tap into market circumstances that are changing ever more rapidly. In this way dependence on the relatively large price fluctuations for private label consumer milk has diminished over the last few years. As far as this is concerned, innovation through research and development, not only on new products, but also on processes, takes centre stage. In addition, increasing attention will be paid to milk and milk drinks export outside Europe under the brand name of Incolac. This brand has already built up a strong position in certain countries in Africa and the Middle East and the intention is to use that to sell milk and milk drinks under the same name. In 2010 important growth could already be established as compared to the previous year. There is also an aim to develop cooperation further with strategic partners for specialist products. The purpose of this is to achieve sustainable operational development, in the interests of all stakeholders. Annual report Milcobel

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