ForFarmers is to replace BOCM PAULS as the name for the United Kingdom’s largest livestock feed business.

The UK company has a turnover in the region of £600m and a history of more than 100 years of feed manufacture and supply. It has 12 feed mills and six blending plants and has been a wholly owned subsidiary of European feed manufacturer and supplier ForFarmers since 2012, employing 1,000 people.

With an annual production of approximately 8.5m tonnes (75% of which is compounds), a turnover of more than €2.6bn (£2.1bn) and 2,200 employees, ForFarmers is Europe’s largest animal feed company, with about 12% of the EU-15 compound market.

Operating in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, the company is profitable and has expanded significantly in the past 10 years through sales growth and acquisition. In July this year it bought co-products supplier Wheyfeed Holdings, bringing more than 200,000t of liquid co-products into the group. Cheshire-based HST Feeds was purchased in February and the group is looking to expand further.

See also: Dutch feed giant buys BOCM PAULS

Originating from two livestock co-ops in the east of Holland, ForFarmers is still 70% farmer-owned. With a stock market listing promised, the value of its shares has risen 50% in the last six months.

Iain Gardner is chief operating officer of ForFarmers, with responsibility for the UK business. “Whilst some may regard the rebranding of BOCM PAULS as the end of an era, in reality it simply represents the next step in the history of a company which has evolved continuously for more than 100 years in response to changing market conditions and customer requirements,” he said.

UK livestock producers would benefit from BOCM PAULS being part of a professional international business with extensive R&D capability and able to attract and retain the best staff, he said.

Further developments could see the UK arm of the business supplying a wider range of farm inputs including fertiliser, seed and agrochemicals, as do many of the continental European parts of the ForFarmers business.

UK animal feed manufacturing had not seen anything like the investment that had gone into continental European feed production, said chief executive officer and group board chairman Yoram Knoop. “A typical (continental European) plant is 200,000t to 300,000t,” he said. “There’s nothing like that in the UK.”

Sustainability was one of the company’s biggest challenges and improving livestock feed efficiency was an important part of meeting that challenge.

“Our efforts are entirely focused towards helping customers to improve their returns. We do this by providing them with best-in-class nutritional solutions, specialist expertise and world-class technical advice to promote faster animal growth rates, make more efficient use of feed, improve animal health, as well as minimising agriculture’s impact on the environment,” said Mr Knoop.