PHW Group profits from stable chicken consumption
Rechterfeld, 15 April 2015. There remains a steady trend towards healthy eating and therefore towards increased poultry consumption. Per capita poultry consumption has risen by 10% over the last 10 years. Based on initial estimates by industry market research company Marktinfo Eier & Geflügel (MEG), the per capita chicken consumption was 11.8 kg in 2014. The PHW Group has continued to enjoy growth in its core business sector, poultry speciality: turnover increased in this sector by 4.8% – from around € 1.4 billion to € 1.5 billion. The positive development of the recent 2014 BBQ season, which was given an additional boost thanks to the World Cup, also contributed to a growth in production capacity. Overall, sales of poultry specialities including chicken, turkey and duck as well as convenience and sausage products have risen by 3.7% to 555,518 tonnes. What’s more, the PHW Group`s international business thrived in the area of poultry specialities. The two Polish subsidiaries operating in the poultry sector, BOMADEK and DROBIMEX, contributed around € 160.6 million to the total turnover of the Rechterfeld-based family business, which rose by 3.1% last year (effective date 30.06.2014) to € 2.27 billion (previous year: € 2.21 billion). The other business sectors of the PHW Group can also look back on a successful reporting year. Turnover in the "Animal Nutrition and Health" sector with feed manufacturer MEGA Tierernährung GmbH & Co. KG (Rechterfeld), GePro Geflügel-Protein Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG (Diepholz) and Lohmann Pharma GmbH (Cuxhaven) remained stable at € 494.5 million. Another real boost also came from the "Human Nutrition and Healthcare" sector with the Cuxhaven-based international company Nutrilo GmbH, where the expansion of global business, in particular, contributed to a turnover growth of 5.1%.
Increase in investments and personnel
In order to be able to continue offering high-quality poultry products in compliance with the most stringent safety and quality standards, the year 2013/2014 saw the PHW Group invest around € 66.6 million into the modernisation and construction of new production facilities as well as into the improvement of animal welfare and conservation of resources. Last year, this figure was € 46.9 million. Over € 40.0 million has been invested into the "Poultry Specialities" sector alone. Over € 7.0 million has been invested into the Convenience sector, and from there into the development of additional production lines. For the Poultry Breeding, Animal Nutrition and Health, Food Technology as well as International Business sectors, the PHW Group allocated an investment volume of € 26.6 million. The number of employees has also increased: the PHW Group had 5,082 employees in the financial year ended (previous year: 5,012), which was primarily due to the growth in the Convenience and Food Technology sectors. In the year under review, a total of 15 to 20% of employees in the PHW Group were engaged under contracts for work and services through a contract staffing agency, and were employed exclusively by German contract staffing agencies. The contract employees are currently paid at least € 8 per hour, which will rise progressively to at least € 8.75 per hour by 1 December 2016 as defined in the collective agreement for the meat industry. Moreover, the payment notifications are checked at least twice a year by independent auditors.
Possible move to Privathof poultry
Last year`s public debate within the poultry sector has shown the following: enhanced animal welfare continues to be a top priority for consumers, politicians, the media and NGOs. With the Privathof poultry rearing concept, Wiesenhof has already managed to address many of the issues and questions currently being discussed: with the low livestock density stipulated for Privathof poultry, the slower growing breeds and the resources on offer – perches, bales of straw and pick stones – high-welfare, economical and consumer-friendly chicken breeding is made possible. Furthermore, Privathof farmers have not had to administer a single antibiotic treatment to well over 95% of chickens; reserve antibiotics have not been used even once since the launch in 2011. For the first time, the German Association Food without Genetic Engineering (VLOG) recently awarded the label "Ohne Gentechnik" (without genetic engineering) to Privathof poultry, now providing Privathof, in addition to enhanced animal welfare, with another valuable asset: "The `Ohne Gentechnik` label on our Privathof products creates additional transparency for consumers, thus increasing their freedom of choice. We are also continuing to work intensively on the development of the Privathof concept. We see Privathof as a model for the future, and we are in principle in a position where we will be able to move almost all of our farmers from conventional rearing to the Privathof poultry concept. This requires that consumers and trade want to see this new method of animal husbandry in Germany and are also willing to help foot the bill for enhanced animal welfare. If this is the case, we will make this journey with them", Wesjohann emphasises.
Sustainable dialogue and implementation
In 2015, the PHW Group will continue to enter into constructive dialogue with all stakeholders about possible changes to the keeping of livestock. A responsible approach to the environment, lowest possible emissions and waste materials as well as the resource-friendly use of raw materials are also important guiding principles of the PHW Group`s sustainability and environmental policy. The initial slaughterhouse operations have therefore already been successfully certified in accordance with the "Sustainable Food Business" standard developed by the Centre for Sustainable Corporate Management (ZNU) at the University of Witten-Herdecke. "Our declared aim is to have all of Wiesenhof`s production sites certified in accordance with the ZNU standard in the near future", explains Wesjohann.
*) The previous year`s figures have been adjusted for reasons of comparability (sale of Lohmann Animal Health)