Dutch Ambassador Visits UK Feed Mill

UK - Animal feed company, BOCM PAULS, has hosted a fact-finding visit by Her Excellency Laetitia van den Assum, Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, at its Tucks Mill in Burston, Norfolk.
calendar icon 22 October 2013
clock icon 5 minute read

Producing more than 300,000 tonnes of pig and poultry feed annually for farmers in Norfolk and Suffolk, the mill is the largest operated by BOCM PAULS, which is the UK’s leading animal feed company and is owned by Europe’s largest livestock feed manufacturer, ForFarmers B.V., headquartered at Lochem in The Netherlands.

The Ambassador was at Burston to find out more about the UK agricultural sector and how this successful international business operates as part of a programme by The Netherlands Embassy in London. Accompanied by Dr Henk de Jong, Agricultural Counsellor and Stella van Bemmelen, Agricultural Assistant, the Ambassador was welcomed by Bert-Jan Ruumpol, Chief Executive Officer, ForFarmers B.V., Iain Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, BOCM PAULS and Nick Major, Corporate Affairs Director, ForFarmers.

Following an introduction to BOCM PAULS by Mr Gardner, Mr Ruumpol outlined ForFarmers’ strategy, objectives and reasons for investing in the UK, while Nick Major discussed the opportunities and challenges for the UK’s food and farming sector.

Her Excellency was then shown around the mill by Ketill Lord, Regional Operations Manager, BOCM PAULS, providing an opportunity to see the entire production process, from raw materials being delivered to finished feed products being loaded for delivery to farms throughout the region. The visit concluded with a discussion on how The Embassy of The Netherlands might assist the company in its future development.

Summing up the visit, Her Excellency stated: “A critical part of my role is to find out how leading businesses in key market sectors operate and this is my first opportunity to visit a livestock feed manufacturer. I was delighted to learn more about BOCM PAULS and ForFarmers from the company’s Senior Management team and see for myself how these products are manufactured.

“The Embassies of The Netherlands are intent on helping businesses such as BOCM PAULS and ForFarmers, which are a critical driver of economic growth, to take advantages of the opportunities which exist within European and global markets. I was fascinated by ForFarmers’ rapid growth, its success in integrating different working practices and cultures across its constituent businesses, together with the company’s plans for future expansion.”

Mr Ruumpol added: “We are delighted that Her Excellency has taken the time to meet us, find out what we do and discuss how The Embassy can assist in taking the business forward.

“Population growth and rising per capita incomes are driving growth in global demand for meat and dairy products. As a ‘total feed business’ ForFarmers firmly believes that consumers should have the freedom to choose what they eat and through our core competence in feed technology we are working hard to find sustainable solutions which will allow farmers to meet this demand. In a new era of higher input and output prices, and within the wider global context of constraints on land, water and climate change, technology will ultimately have to provide the solution to this global issue.

“As a dynamic, innovative international business we are continually changing, adapting, improving and expanding as part of our ‘Feed to Farm’ strategy. To develop new opportunities and new markets we need the help of policy-makers, which is why we have been delighted to discuss how The Embassy of The Netherlands can help to further those objectives.

“Agriculture has an exciting future, providing ForFarmers with tremendous potential for growth. All of us within the company, including our UK colleagues within BOCM PAULS, are working very hard to bring together the best people and develop feed nutrition solutions which enable our customers to produce food in the most cost-effective, sustainable way. I am also very excited by the fact that our continuing development across international markets will provide an attractive working environment for the next generation who are looking for a company which will enable them to develop their knowledge, skills and career on a global basis.”

Manufacturing, selling and distributing over two million tonnes of animal feed per year, BOCM PAULS provides UK-wide coverage across all livestock species groups. Based at Ipswich in Suffolk, it has an annual turnover of £530 million, employs 1000 staff and operates 11 compound feed manufacturing sites, together with seven blend plants and a co-products division, Feeds Marketing. BOCM PAULS was acquired by ForFarmers B.V. in July 2012.

An essential link in the ‘Feed to Food’ chain, ForFarmers is a modern, rapidly-expanding international business focused on sustainable food production. A trend-setting, reliable partner in livestock nutrition, ForFarmers is active mainly in North-West Europe, has an annual turnover of €6.62 billion (2012) and feed sales of 8.6 million tonnes, including 6.3 million tonnes of compounds. The company employs almost 2200 staff and operates 39 feed production sites in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom.

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