Hochwald had a good 2018

Sales increased last year by 0.7% to € 1.5 billion at German dairy group Hochwald, although 2018 saw considerable volatility. Milestones for the dairy last year included the introduction of the quality and sustainability program MilchPlus. Half of the Hochwald farmers participate in the MilchPlus programme, which corresponds to about 75% of the cooperative milk, and thus secure supplements to the milk price. In 2019 the programme will be further developed.

In addition, since the end of 2018 a fixed-price model has been offered. Based on the stock market milking value, farmers can register quantities that are settled at a fixed price. Approximately 450 farmers have signed the agreement for participation.

In 2018 an above-average milk price of 34.5 cents/kg (+0.6 cent/kg compared to the previous year) was paid to the milk suppliers of the parent co-operative.

Significant investments were made last year at sites in Thalfang, Bolsward and Hünfeld. In Thalfang the construction of a new warehouse was completed and the installation of the fourth condensed milk line was prepared. In Bolsward, production of condensed milk in glass bottles started.

The Hünfeld cheese plant continued to invest in capacity expansion. In addition, initial payments were made for planning and permits for the new building in Mechernich.

The total investment in property, plant and equipment totaled €43.4 million.

“We have our strategic goals firmly in mind and continue to focus on sustainable corporate development. By restructuring our distribution, we are reducing time to market and focusing on the high-growth regions outside Europe,” says CEO Detlef Latka.

Hochwald attaches great importance to continuous and sustainable growth.

“In contrast to listed companies, we do not think in quarterly figures, but in longer-term dimensions. At the same time, our goal is to permanently achieve an above-average milk price for our producers. With projects such as the construction of a new dairy site in Mechernich in North Rhine-Westphalia, we are laying the foundation for this,” Latka says.

In May 2019 the construction of a new dairy started, which will go into operation in 2021.

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