Poultry feed supplier BOCM Pauls rebranded as ForFarmers

Long-established poultry and animal feed business BOCM Pauls is being rebranded as ForFarmers, taking on the name of its Dutch parent company, following acquisition two years ago.

Work has already started on rebranding the fleet of feed lorries and mill signage – a process that could take six months – and all corporate material, emails and websites now carry the ForFarmers name.

Introducing the new identity, UK chief operating officer Iain Gardner explained that the company has been through many changes in the past. Having been created from the merger of Unilever’s and Harrisons and Crosfield’s feed businesses in 1992, BOCM Pauls was then subject to a management buyout in 1998, before sale to ForFarmers in July 2012.

“While 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 that has evolved continuously for more than 100 years,” he said.

And while the company was changing name again, producers would still be dealing with the same sales reps, seeing the same lorry drivers and phoning the same numbers to place orders as in the past.

In total, ForFarmers produces more than 2m tonnes of compound feed at 12 sites in the UK, dominated by pig and dairy rations. It has UK sales of £590m. The company is a significant player in the UK poultry sector, with monogastric mills at five locations – two in East Anglia, one at Bristol, one at Preston and one at Selby.

About 15% of the company’s total of 3m tonnes of animal feed (which includes blends and liquid feeds) is destined for the poultry sector, supplying both the egg and meat sectors. ForFarmers has contracts with both independent operators and some of the main integrators.

Mr Gardner said the company had aspirations to grow, both organically and through further acquisition, in response to consolidation throughout the farming industry.

“The resulting economies of scale and optimum use of resources have enabled us to further increase the value proposition which we offer by maximising our customers’ production, returns and profitability,” he claimed.

Dutch chief executive Yoram Koop explained that ForFarmers was Europe’s largest feed manufacturer, having been formed by the merger of two small farmer co-ops in eastern Holland in 2000 – namely ABC and CTA.

Following several years of expansion, the company then invested overseas, with the acquisition of Bela in Germany. It was then that it changed name to ForFarmers – an English name that could be “internationalised” across four countries, while reflecting the fact it was owned by farmers.

In 2010 the company was listed, enabling farmers to trade their shares and external investors to come in. Then in 2011, ForFarmers bought the Hendrix animal feed business – “our main competitor in the Netherlands” – followed by BOCM Pauls in the UK in 2012.

Today, ForFarmers operates in Holland, Germany, Belgium and the UK, has 25 production sites, makes 6.4m tonnes of compound feed, with sales of £1.95bn. The company is still 70% farmer-owned, with pigs accounting for 37% of sales, ruminants 32% and poultry 22%.

Mr Knoop said ForFarmers was aiming for further consolidation, with “better feed at a lower price”. “Efficiency and operational excellence are critical in a highly competitive industry.”

It also has aspirations to move into a fifth country market, and to be the number one or two operator in each of its operating areas.

See more: Dutch feed giant buys BOCM Pauls