The Nordzucker chronicle
The first sugar plants in the German-speaking world were developed during Napoleon’s Continental System, as this had prevented any raw sugar from being imported. Yet, the real founding phase began in the 1830s. Many current Nordzucker plants have their historical roots in this period. The Duchy of Braunschweig was the largest German producer of beet sugar outside of Prussia in the 19th century. In 1891, there were 406 companies there before a process of consolidation was introduced. This was the result of the expansion of the railway network, the constant modernisation of the plants and their increasing capacity for processing. After 1950, it was the division of Germany that primarily led to a restructuring of the sugar industry. The process of consolidation and the concentration on fewer sugar corporations stops short at Nordzucker AG in Northern Germany. You will find the milestones of Nordzucker’s development and the key events that shaped each financial year in this overview.
The Nordzucker History > 1838 to 1865
The year in which the fi rst sugar factory was established
in Klein Wanzleben. It still exists today. The company
was founded by Peter Wallstab together with 19 shareholders
on 11 February 1838. Back then, they never could
have known that 175 years later the company would be
the second-largest sugar producer in Europe.
(Image rights: Börde-Museum Burg Ummendorf)
The rise and the strategic focus of the factory were
heavily infl uenced by the involvement of two families,
the Rabbethges and the Gieseckes, who pushed for the
factory’s modernisation and expansion, and who began
to cultivate beet with extra high sugar content. „Klein
Wanzlebener Original“ beet seeds fi rst conquered the
German market at the end of the 19th century, before
going on to conquer the global market too. Within a
matter of years, the sugar factory became one of the
most productive factories in Germany and was the biggest
and most modern of its kind in the Börde region.
(Image rights: KWS Saat AG)
Julius Robert developed the diffusion process, in which
batches of beet cossettes are placed in a battery diffuser
and are then leached in hot water. It was possible to
extract a greater amount of sugar using this process
and it therefore rapidly became an industry standard.
The Klein Wanzleben factory was one of many to
convert to this innovative production process, and the
shareholders were more than happy with the success
[Translate to english:] Die Nordzucker Chronik > 1865 bis 1900
More plants were established, in Nordstemmen (1865),
Clauen (1869), Schladen (1870) and Uelzen (1883). There
were also some foreign plants established at this time
that still exist today. The Nakskov and Nykøbing plants
went into operation in Denmark in 1882 and 1884
respectively, while in Sweden, it was the Arlöv factory
(1869) and the Örtofta factory (1890). In Poland, Chelmza
opened in 1881 and Opalenica in 1883, while Slovakia
entered the new century with sugar production in
Trenčianska Teplá in 1900.
[Translate to english:] Die Nordzucker Chronik > 1900 bis 1950
When the German Empire declared war on Russia, an
export ban was decreed, which caused Germany to
instantly forfeit its leading position in the global sugar
business. The situation was seriously exacerbated for
the German sugar industry by the lack of supplies,
horses and workers, and investments were out of the
question back then. Nordzucker’s plants at that time
also suffered as a result of these developments.
Beet yields and production sank to a new low in the
autumn of 1918. The November Revolution also adversely
affected the factories in Northern Germany. The end of
the First World War on 11 November 1918 marked the
beginning of a new period of trials and tribulations.
The producers went to great lengths to reactivate abandoned
factories and beet-growing land. Economic and
social policies had to be rethought in the Weimar Republic,
and the industry had to cope with territory being
ceded to the victors, unchecked sugar imports and rapid
currency devaluation. (Image rights: KWS Saat AG)
Economic and political stability only set in once the
new Reichsmark had been introduced. A free market
was then soon reintroduced in the sugar industry and
regulated exports were also allowed once again: the
Golden Twenties gave the stricken sugar industry the
upswing it had long been waiting for. The Northern
German beet sugar businesses, among them Nordzucker,
benefi ted from this and invested heavily in
modernising and expanding their operations. However,
the global sugar market then collapsed on the back of
the global economic crisis and the Wall Street crash in
All of Nordzucker’s plants achieved outstanding results,
in spite of the crisis. The good times weren’t to last,
however – from 1931, the Northern German sugar
industry was only allowed to produce specifi ed volumes
of sugar, and the 1931 International Sugar Agreement
resulted in extensive export restrictions At the height
of the crisis in 1932/1933, only 20,000 tonnes of sugar
were being exported, compared with 400,000 tonnes
in 1930/1931. (Image rights: KWS Saat AG)
When the Nazi party seized power in January 1933, the
situation changed dramatically: the economy and society
were subjected to the process of Gleichschaltung
(being brought into line) and became state-controlled.
Associations and sugar agencies were disbanded and
all the sugar factories were placed under the auspices
of the „Wirtschaftsgruppe Zuckerindustrie“ (Sugar
Industry Economic Group). Subsidies meant that the
German sugar industry was initially better off than it
had been in 1914.
The Second World War began on 1 September 1939 and
sugar was classifi ed as „vital to the war effort“. The
production of what were previously by-products increased.
All of the sugar factories in Northern Germany
succeeded in maintaining their operations to a limited
degree right up to the end of the war in May 1945, in
spite of numerous adversities such as the destruction
of factories and land under cultivation. The consequences
of the lost war were devastating. With the division
of Germany, 70 per cent of all sugar acreage and 128
of the 201 operational beet sugar factories fell into the
hands of the Soviet occupation forces. The valuable
seeds, laboratory materials and cultivation documents
were courageously removed from the plant in Klein
[Translate to english:] Die Nordzucker Chronik > 1950 bis 1997
1951The establishment and construction of the most northerly sugar factory in Schleswig on the site of a former navy aerodrome.
1956Merger of the sugar factories in Schladen, Hornburg and Wendessen to form a joint company, the Vereinigte Zuckerfabriken Hornburg-Schladen-Wendessen AG. Closure: Wendessen
1957The sugar factories in Fallersleben and Salzdahlum merged to formFallersleben-Salzdahlum AG. Closure: Salzdahlum
1958With the resolution concerning the Braunschweiger Zucker-Aktiengesellschaft, Wierthe , the shareholders of the sugar factories in the Braunschweig area took a vital step in the later creation of Nordzucker AG. Sugar factories which chose to join the new company were the raw sugar factories in Eichthal, Broitzem, Vechelde and Wierthe. They were joined in the 1960s and 1970s by the sugar factories in Salzgitter Barum (1962), Groß Mahner (1971), Groß Lafferde (1972) and Bockenem (1977). The mergers led to the closures of the following factories:
Groß Mahner 1973
Groß Lafferde 1977
1962In the Hannover area, the Lehrter Zucker AGwas formed from the sugar factories in Lehrte, Algermissen, Clauen, Peine, Osterlinde, Dinklar, Sehnde and Groß Munzel. Closures:
1964The "Vereinigte Zuckerfabriken Hornburg-Schladen-Wendessen AG" and the sugar factories in Baddeckenstedt and Othfresen merged to form Nordharzer Zucker Aktiengesellschaft, one of the holding companies of Nordzucker AG. Closures:
196712 September 1967 saw the establishment of the joint distribution company Norddeutsche Zucker GmbH & Co. KG with its headquarters in Uelzen. It took over the marketing and sales of the incorporated sugar producing companies. Limited partners were:
Zuckerfabrik Uelzen AG, Uelzen (21.76%)
Lehrter Zucker AG, Lehrte, Clauen, Peine (19.13%)
Nordharzer Zucker AG, Schladen, Baddeckenstedt, Oestrum (18.13%)
Braunschweiger Zucker AG, Wierthe, Barum (15,37%)
Schleswig-Holsteinische Zucker AG, Schleswig (10.26%)
Zuckerfabrik Königslutter AG, Königslutter (6.48%)
Zuckerfabrik Fallersleben-Salzdahlum AG, Fallersleben (5.28%)
Zuckerfabrik Sehnde AG, Sehnde (3.60%)
1968The member states of the European Economic Community (EEC) agreed on quota regulations for sugar. The Common Market Organisation for Sugar regulated for each sugar producing country the maximum production volumes with guaranteed sales rights and limited price guarantees for sugar beet and sugar.
1969The sugar factories in Weetzen and Rethen merged to form Hannoversche Zucker AG Rethen-Weetzen , which later became Zuckerverbund Nord AG. Closure: Weetzen 1985
1981Norddeutsche Zucker GmbH & Co. KG acquired a 50 per cent stake in Amino GmbH and a 50 per cent stake in Norddeutsche Zucker-Raffinerie GmbH, both in Frellstedt.
1984Fallersleben-Salzdahlum AG and Zuckerfabrik Papenteich zu Meine AG merged to form Fallersleben-Meine Zucker AG.
1985Zuckerfabrik Uelzen AG merged with Braunschweiger Zucker AG to form Zucker-Aktiengesellschaft Uelzen-Braunschweig (ZAG) with its headquarters in Uelzen.
1986Hannover Zucker AG Lehrte formed from Hannoversche Zucker AG Rethen-Weetzen and Lehrter Zucker AG, which operated sugar factories in Rethen, Sehnde, Clauen, Lehrte, Groß Munzel. Closures:
1988The subsidiary Handels- und Transport GmbH, Uelzen of Zucker-Aktiengesellschaft Uelzen-Braunschweig acquired the producer of extended shelf life bakery products Karl-Ernst-Becker GmbH, Uelzen.
1989Zucker-Aktiengesellschaft Uelzen-Braunschweig acquired Moritz Eiskonfekt GmbH in Hamburg on 1 January.
1990Five sugar companies decided to restructure the north German sugar industry by merging their assets to form Zuckerverbund Nord Aktiengesellschaft (ZVN). This created a holding structure in which the participating companies Fallersleben-Meiner Zucker AG, Nordharzer Zucker AG, Hannover Zucker AG Lehrte, Schleswig Holsteinische Zucker AG and Zuckerfabrik Süderdithmarschen AG were largely able to retain their original voting rights. This was a major step forward in establishing a joint north German sugar company. Closures:
St. Michaelisdonn 1996
Establishment of Zuckerverbund Magdeburg GmbH (ZVM). ZAG acquired a 26 per cent stake in Ludwig Schokolade GmbH, Aachen.
1991The reunification of East and West Germany led to a restructuring of the sugar industry in the former GDR. Zuckeraktiengesellschaft Uelzen-Braunschweig acquired the three sugar factory companies Zuckerfabrik„Nordkristall“ GmbH i. A. (Werk Güstrow), Zuckerfabrik Salzwedel GmbH i. A. and Zuckerfabrik Wismar GmbH i. A. from Deutsche Ostzucker AG, Halle, and therefore acquired 13 per cent of the sugar quota held by the sugar factories of the former GDR. Zuckerverbund Nord AG acquired three sugar companies (Börde GmbH in Klein Wanzleben, Haldensleben GmbH in Haldensleben and F.C. Achard GmbH in Genthin) with seven sugar factories which were all shut down within the next three years:
Klein Wanzleben (1990)
Zuckerverbund Nord AG pledged to build a new factory as part of the restructuring of the sugar industry in Sachsen-Anhalt. Amino GmbH, Frellstedt, in which Norddeutsche Zucker GmbH & Co. KG, Uelzen held a 50 per cent stake, acquired esparma Pharmazeutische Fabrik GmbH in Magdeburg in July 1991. espama produced pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
1992Aktien-Zuckerfabrik Schöppenstedt and Zuckerfabrik Königslutter-Twülpstedt Aktiengesellschaft and their 100 per cent subsidiary Elm-Asse Ballaststoff-Produktions- und Vertriebsgesellschaft (produced dietry fibre from sugar beet) merged with Zuckeraktiengesellschaft Uelzen-Braunschweig. The Nordkristall GmbH sugar factorywas formed by the merger of the sugar factories in Salzwedel, Wismar, Güstrow and Lübz. The Güstrow factory took over the processing capacities of the other factories. ZAG pledged to modernise and expand the factory in Güstrow. Closures:
Construction started in Klein Wanzleben. ZVN built one of the most modern sugar factories in Europe from 1992 to 1994, with a beet processing capacity of 10,000 tonnes per day.
1993ZAG increased its stake in Norddeutsche Zucker GmbH & Co. KG (Nordzucker) to 36.1 per cent. In addition to the liquid sugar factory in Lehrte (running since 1973), Nordzucker GmbH & Co KG now also ran another plant in Groß Munzel. The staff magazine "Schnitzelpresse“.is issued regularly from June onwards to strengthen internal communications. The Shareholders newsletter as also launched in parallel to improve the flow of information. ZAG sold its operative business in Moritz Eiskonfekt GmbH, Hamburg andKarl-Ernst Becker OHG, Uelzen. Closure of the beet delivery centres in Groß Lafferde, Twülpstedt, Watenstedt Closure of Schöppenstedt Beet transport is to be arranged by the beet farmers themselves in the future by way of "machine rings". End of beet transport to the Uelzen factory by rail.
1994Completion of the expansion and modernisation work at theGüstrow factory. ZVN commissioned the new factory in Klein Wanzleben. All factories operated by ZVN, ZAG and Union-Zucker were certified on the basis of the international quality management standard DIN EN ISO 9001.
1995Consent given for the continuation of the Common Market Organisation for Sugar until 2001.
The EU comprised 15 member states whose sugar production of 15.495 million tonnes of sugar was higher than the previous year.
Environmental aspects play an increasing role in corporate governance. The companies implemented an environmental management system, and were amongst the first in Germany to be audited and certified pursuant to the EU environment commission regulations. Quality management, environmental protection and occupational safety were all part of an integrated system which guaranteed the high sugar production standards and promoted the active involvement of the employees.
1996Nordzucker GmbH & Co KG launches its "Blue World" brand on the market. The new uniform blue corporate design highlighted the unmistakable identity of all Nordzucker products.
Zuckerfabrik Nordkristall GmbH was renamed Nordkristall GmbH in March.
cff Calenberger Feinfrost GmbH & Co. KG in Barsinghausen, in which ZVN held a 26 per cent stake and a limited partnership capital of DM 16 million, was closed.
At the same time, BKW Bio-Kraftwerk-Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, in which ZVN also held a limited partnership capital of DM 140,000, was wound up.
The forward-looking East European orientation of the company's business dominated company policy in the following years. ZAG International GmbH bundled the activities outside of Germany and managed acquisitions and trade investments in central and east European countries.
ZAG forms a joint venture with the French Union SDA (Union des Sucreries et Distilleries Agricoles) to acquire a 33 per cent stake in the Czech sugar company Cukrovar a Rafinerie Cukru Dobrovice TTD (Thurn und Taxis Dobrovice) A.S., Dobrovice, which had a majority shareholding in Prazská cukerni spolecnost, A.S., Cakovice .
Establishment of Concukro Sp.Z.o.o., later Polska Sp.Z.o.o., Posen. This company represented the interests of Nordzucker AG in Poland, as well as preparing trade investments and advising farmers on beet cultivation methods.
1997The birth of Nordzucker AG.
Nordzucker AG was created by transferring the assets of Zucker Aktiengesellschaft Uelzen-Braunschweig to Zucker Verbund Nord AG, which was then renamed Nordzucker AG. This made Nordzucker the third largest sugar producer in Europe.
The owners of the company headquartered in Braunschweig were seven sugar companies:
Fallersleben-Meiner Zucker AG
Hannover Zucker AG Lehrte
Schleswig-Holsteinische Zucker AG
Zuckerfabrik Süderdithmarschen AG
Magdeburger Zucker Beteiligungs AG
Zucker Aktiengesellschaft Uelzen-Braunschweig
Nordharzer Zucker AG
A holding structure was chosen for the company with the aim of preserving the regional character and to provide maximum support for the capital strength of the new company. Nordzucker AG transferred shareholdings to the holding companies in return for the transfer of the assets and the operative businesses.
Nordzucker AG processed sugar beet at eleven locations in Germany:
It had trade investments in four factories in the Czech Republic managed by Nordzucker International GmbH.
The Institut für Technologie der Kohlenhydrate - Zuckerinstitut - e.V., Braunschweig was taken over by Nordzucker AG and Union-Zucker Südhannover GmbH as an in-house research institute.
NZAG aquired a 36 per cent stake in Prvni Ceská Cukerni, A.S., Hradec Králové, which owned several sugar factories in Bohemia. Together with Union SDA, Nordzucker AG holds a 40 share in the Czech sugar market.
[Translate to english:] Die Nordzucker Chronik > 1997 - 2015
Diversification of the business activities
The acquisition of NPE Natur Pharma GmbH in Bielefeld boosted the pharmaceutical business. NPE develops and markets pharmaceutical products as well as food and snacks made from natural products. Products include generic pharmaceuticals in the health sector.
As part of its core competence expansion strategy, Nordzucker AG and Union SDA (Union des Sucreries et Distilleries Agricoles) both acquired 50 per cent stakes in the Slovakian company WORD A.S., which itself holds a majority stake in three sugar facories and was Slovakia's largest sugar producer.
Suriansky Cukrovar a.s., Surany
Trnavsky Cukrovar a.s., Trnava
Povazsky Cukrovar a.s., Trencianska Tepla
Nordzucker AG therefore held a 45 per cent share in the Slovakian sugar market.
Nordzucker AG shareholders exercise their direct shareholding rights in Nordzucker AG. 4059 shares with restricted transfer rights were subscribed.
Closure of the factory in Lehrte
Poland seen as an attractive market with growth potential.
Nordzucker acquired a majority shareholding of 51 per cent in Cukrownia Opalenica S.A., Opalenica.
Adjustment of the organisational structure
Integration of employees in Nordzucker AG's expansion; start of the performance programme with a number of qualification measures for employees. These include the Brain Pool (since 1 August), which enables all staff to submit ideas for making improvements. The best suggestions win prizes and are implemented.
Nordzucker charts a course for diversification and expansion of its core competence with targeted trade investments in East European EU member countries (expansion of the Central and East European country business)
Growth potential in sweeteners market
With the acquisition of a 36 per cent stake in SYRAL S.A.S., Marckolsheim, by the take-over of the shares held by Union SDA, Nordzucker expands its product range in the natural sweeteners segment. Syral specialised in the production of glucose syrup from maize starch and hydrolysates, and therefore supplements the sweeteners segment. Other products included dextrose, maltodextrine and sorbitol.
Acquisition of Hübner/Medopharm group, Ehrenkirchen. Expansion of the segment for food supplements and pharmaceuticals from natural products. Exchange of ideas with NPE.
esparma GmbH moved into a new building in Osterweddingen near Magdeburg.
Nordzucker AG acquired a 14 per cent stake in the nominal capital of Union-Zucker Südhannover GmbH, Nordstemmen.
Poland: Establishment of Nordzucker Polska GmbH & Co. KG, a joint distribution company for all Polish sugar factories in which NZAG holds a majority stake, with the aim of bundling the marketing potential of the Polish sugar companies.
Nordzucker acquired a majority stake of 91 per cent in Cukrowina Wschowa S.A., Wschowa.
Majority stakes in the sugar factories in Szamotuly (Posener group), Chelmza, Krasiniec, Melno (Thorner group)
giving Nordzucker AG a stake of around 10 per cent in the Polish sugar market.
The liquid sugar factory in Lehrte is moved to Nordstemmen.
The first issue of the "Akzente" customers magazine. The magazine reports regularly on activities across the whole Group.
Establishment of Greenfox GmbH: Development and marketing of new products in the pet accessories market.
Filou, an organic cat litter material made of beet pulp is launched on the market.
The first employee survey is launched under the slogan "Satisfaction is measurable".
Poland: Closure of the Szamotuly, Melno, Wschowa factories
Czech Republic: Merger of TTD Dobrovice and PCS (Prazska cukerni spolecnost) to form Cukrovary TTD A.S., Dobrovice. Associated factories: Dobrovice, Melnik, Ceske Mezirici
Repurchase of first direct shares
After receiving the consent of the competition authorities, Nordzucker AG acquired Union-Zucker Südhannover GmbH, Nordstemmen.
Competence in sweetness
SweetGredients was a joint venture with Arla Foods Ingredients amba for the market-oriented further development of Nordzucker's core competence and for the industrial production of tagatose. Tagatose was a new type of sweetener made from lactose, which in addition to being low-calorie, also boasts a number of functional properties making it highly suitable for the functional food sector. Approved in the USA.
Diet preserving sugar
Organic preserving sugar
Brown tea sugar
Backträume (baking dreams) in three flavours: vanilla, rum and cinnamon
Corporate structure and trade investments
Increase in the stake held in French Syral S.A.S from 36 to 50 per cent. This made Nordzucker an equal partner with Union SDA (Tereos). Capital increase of Euro 4.6 million
Czech Republic: Closure of the Melnik factory after the 2003 campaign
Corporate structure and trade investments
Zucker-Aktiengesellschaft Uelzen-Braunschweig, Uelzen transfered its assets to Nordzucker Holding AG
Nordzucker GmbH & Co. KG as the distribution company, and Rechenzentrum Zucker (sugar computing centre) are integrated within Nordzucker AG.
The European-wide SweetFamily master brand now represents all Nordzucker's household sugar specialities in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in the typical blue design.
The Institut für Technologie der Kohlenhydrate - Zuckerinstitut - e.V. was renamed InnoCenter GmbH. Its aim is to develop new products and methods to support Nordzucker in expanding its "competence in sweeteners" and alternative sweetness. Another responsibility is to provide assistance to farmers with information on "biomass".
Nordzucker bundles within InnoSweet GmbH its activities involving innovative sweeteners such as polyoles and artificial sweeteners, and special sugar for food products. Nordzucker AG therefore positions itself early on to satisfy the new food trends for functional food and wellness, and harnesses the synergies with its core business.
Brown sugar in a handy shaker
Brown sugar cubes
Expansion of the European Union
With the entry of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary into the European Union, these countries are now also obliged to observe the regulations in the Common Market Organisation for Sugar.
The three Hungarian sugar companies (Matra Cukor, Szolnoki Cukorgyar and Szerencsi Cukorgyar) merged in July to form Matra Cukor. Nordzucker AG holds a 98.8 % stake in Matra Cukor.
Povazsky Cukor and Trnavsky Cukrovar a.s. were merged to form Povazsky Cukor a.s.
Nordzucker pledges to comply with the regulations defined in the Corporate Governance Code and to regularly publish its business processes and latest company metrics according to IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards).
Shares totalling Euro 20.6 million were subscribed as part of a capital increase. The authorised capital in 2010 amounted to Euro 32 million.
InnoSweet GmbH took over the activities of InnoCenter GmbH
Annulment of limited transferability of shares
The company is aligning itself in a step-by-step process to the inclusion of external investors, at the same time as maintaining the majority stake held by beet growers.
Launch of new products
The new products launched include white and brown mini sugar cubes to enable drinks to be sweetened in smaller doses, and the vanilla, cinnamon and rum Zuckerträume products.
Concentration on the markets and core processes
The old quota regulations of the Common Market Organisation for Sugar ended on 30 June.
Opening the markets to the LDC (Least Developed Countries) and ACP (Asia, Carribean, Pacific) countries, initiated much tougher competition in the sugar market. Nordzucker lost 200,000 tonnes of sugar as a result of the new quota regulations, reducing the amount of land under beet by 15 to 20 per cent. This meant the closure of the Wierthe and Groß Munzel factories. Nordzucker purchased an additional 72,000 tonnes of quota from the German Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection.
Research and development
InnoSweet GmbH closed its business activities. The authorised capital from 2002 to 2007 totalled Euro 50.9 million.
Strengthening the European market Position
Nordzucker together with its partners Cristal Union (Paris) and ED&F Man (London) applied to the director general for competition at the European Commission to establish an international distribution company.
Nordzucker holds a 51 per cent stake in the joint venture with the Serbian MKC group which had an annual EU import quota of 180,000 tonnes of sugar.
Entry into the bioethanol production market
With the construction of a bioethanol plant in Klein Wanzleben, Nordzucker opens up new business activity in the biomass sector, and specifically in the biofuel segment.
The second year of the reformed Common Market Organisation for Sugar
After approval by the Supervisory Board on 27 September 2007, Nordzucker shut down the Güstrow sugar factory after the 2007 beet campaign.
Matra Cukor reached a decision to surrender one third of its Hungarian quota. This also meant the closure of the Szolnok factory.
Group structure and trade investments
The German competition authority gave its consent on 25 May 2007 to the establishment of Eurosugar with its headquarters in Paris. The three equal partners - Nordzucker, Braunschweig; Cristal Union, Paris; and ED&F Man, London bundled their European sugar distribution activities within this organisation. The newly established company began marketing around two million tonnes of sugar in the EU in October 2007 and supplied clients across Europe.
The joint venture ESI was established in October 2007 by Eurosugar and the Italian company SFIR with the aim of marketing EU sugar and import sugar in central and southern Italy. It also set up a joint venture with Greencore plc. to establish Sugarpartners for sugar distribution in Ireland.
The bioethanol plant fuel 21 GmbH & Co. KG - a 100 per cent Nordzucker subsidiary - was commissioned on 15.12.2007. It is the first plant in Germany which produces bioethanol exclusively using sugar beet as the raw material. Around 130,000 cubic metres of bioethanol will now be produced annually in an annex plant next to the Klein Wanzleben sugar factory.
Three tanks, each with a capacity of 160 cubic metres were installed in Wanzleben and Nordstemmen in time for the 2007 campaign to back up the supply of raw materials.
Impact of the Common Market Organisation for Sugar
Nordzucker had already surrendered 13.5 per cent of the German production quota by 31 January 2008; the figure for Poland was 13.5 per cent, Hungary 31.6 per cent and Slovakia 10.5 per cent. The renouncement of the quotas made the company eligible for payments from the restructuring fund. Because the size of the renounced quotas in Europe was still inadequate, Nordzucker surrendered more quota in a second phase at the same conditions and renounced another six per cent of the German sugar quota and handed it back to the EU restructuring fund. The amount of quota surrendered by Nordzucker in Germany therefore amounted to around 228,000 tonnes.
Nordzucker's longest beet campaign lasting 139 days ran at the Güstrow factory before it was finally closed.
The management board of Matra Cukor announced the shut-down of sugar production from beet on 10 March 2008, surrendering its whole quota of around 146,000 tonnes. Matra Cukor's last factory in Hungary, the Szerenecs plant, was closed. In addition, the trade investment in Slovakia surrendered another 9,000 tonnes of quota in the second phase.
Entry into the raw cane sugar refining business
Nordzucker pushed ahead in Poland with innovative developments, conversion activities, and the distribution of raw cane sugar. It rigorously pushed ahead with the entry into the raw cane sugar refining business at the Chelmza factory where operations began in 2009.
Biogas generation pilot project
A pilot plant generating biogas has been running at the former sugar factory location in Groß Munzel since January 2008. The aim of the project, which was in a testing phase until the end of the year, was to find out whether biogas could be generated year round from beet and beet pulp. The biogas produced in this way is to be fed into the gas grid. The other partner in the project was a subsidiary of E.ON Climate & Renewables GmbH.
Group structure and trade investments
The molasses desaccarification operation at Melasse-Extraktion-Frellstedt was shut down in 2008. This was agreed by the two partners Nordzucker and Dr. Wolfgang Boettger Group from Berlin because the economic production of liquid sugar from molasses was not possible in the long term.
Nordzucker AG and Danisco A/S signed an agreement on 14 July 2008 on the acquisition of Danisco Sugar A/S. The acquisition was subject to the approval of the competent agencies and the competition authorities.
This increased Nordzucker's European market position to around 16 per cent, and expanded its marketing region by a large immediately adjacent area. It also permanently consolidated its position as Europe's second largest sugar company.
Expansion course: Acquisition of Nordic Sugar
Nordzucker acquired Nordic Sugar (previously Danisco Sugar) in March 2009. Nordic Sugar was Europe's fifth largest sugar producer. This makes Nordzucker the second largest sugar producer in Europe. Nordic Sugar contributed around 40 per cent to the sales of the Nordzucker Group this year. This led to the restructuring of the Group with the setting up of three regions: Central, Northern and Eastern Europe. On the one hand, this guarantees close regional links to suppliers and sales markets, and on the other hand, it also enables efficient controls.
Establishment of a new corporate structure on 1 August 2009
With five sugar factories and more than 1000 employees, Nordzucker has the main part of the business in Central Europe. It is one of the three largest sugar producers in Germany.
Nordic Sugar has five sugar factories in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Lithuania, as well as two refineries (one of which is a raw cane sugar refinery). The headquarters is located in Copenhagen.
Nordzucker also acquired the Nordic Sugar subsidiary Maribo Seed which produces and sells seeds - primarily beet seed.
Nordzucker Polska and Povazsky Cukor have two sugar factories in Poland and one sugar factory in Slovakia. There are also four Serbian factories. A new services holding for the Eastern Europe region (Nordzucker Eastern Europe GmbH) was established in Vienna in the 2009/2010 financial year.
Profitability plus programme launched
To ensure long-term improvements in efficiency across the Group, Nordzucker set up the "Profitability plus" programme to continually improve profitability. The programme focuses on 400 measures which have already been identified as helping to make sustainable savings. Measures affect every part of the company: production, marketing & distribution, purchasing and human resources.
"Fit for Market 2015“ initiative
On the basis of the four core areas of action, this initiative describes the course charted by Nordzucker to achieve its objectives, and the various aspects it is implementing to make sure it is in good shape to tackle the market challenges from 2015
Reintegration of sales and marketing
Nordzucker has been running all of its sales and marketing activities from a unit within the Group again since the beginning of the year because a regionally located sales and marketing structure enables the Group to react faster to market changes and the wishes of its clients. Nordzucker had previosly bundled the sales and marketing activities for Central and Eastern Europe within the Eurosugar organisation - a joint venture with an English and a French partner - which operated from 2007 to 31 December 2009. However, the competition authorities did not give their consent to co-operation between Eurosugar and Nordic Sugar's sales and marketing activities. Eurosugar therefore had to shut down its operating business on 1 January 2010.
Trade investments and subsidiaries
Nordzucker divested itself of its Serbian trade investment Sunoko (four sugar factories) with effect from 10 March 2010.
The newly established Norddeutsche Flüssigzucker GmbH & Co. KG (NFZ) bundles all of the liquid sugar activities previously operated by Nordzucker GmbH & Co. KG.
Nordzucker AG is the sole shareholder in the merged company which operates two liquid sugar factories in Nordstemmen and Groß Munzel.
Nordic Sugar sold major stakes in its subsidiary Maribo Seed - which produces and sells seeds - as of 30 September 2010.
After the complete surrender of the quota in Hungary in 2008, the decision was made in November 2010 to phase out the remaining packaging activities at Hatvan (Matra Cukor).
At the end of 31 December 2010, Nordzucker sold the Hübner Group, Ehrenkirchen, Anton Hübner GmbH & Co. KG to the pharmaceuticals company Dermapharm AG. The company primarily supplies products to health shops. The sale was part of the optimisation of the Group's trade investment portfolio and was also motivated by the business difficulties of the Hübner group.
20 20 20 yield initiative launched
Nordzucker commences its 20 20 20 project to boost the long-term competitiveness of sugar beet as a crop regionally and nationally. The goal is for 20 per cent of beet farmers in all Nordzucker growing regions to produce 20 tonnes of sugar per hectare by 2020.
Establishment of joint venture
On 18 March 2011, the sales and marketing joint venture NP Sweet A/S is founded with stevia producer PureCircle Limited, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with the aim of selling stevia and combinations of stevia and sugar for the food and beverage industry in the European Union. NP Sweet is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.
On 14 November 2011, the European Commission gives the green light for the use of stevia (stevioside) in food and beverages in the EU.
The corresponding regulation comes into effect on 2 December.
Sale of Maribo Seed
Maribo Seed: The remaining part of the business (Maribo Seed Spain) is sold in March 2011.
Nordzucker celebrates 20 years in Braunschweig
Nordzucker AG has now been headquartered at Küchenstrasse 9 in Braunschweig, Germany for 20 years. Its predecessor, Zuckerverbund Nord AG, moved into the premises on 20 October 1991. The entire building was purchased in 2002 and extensively renovated over the last two years.
Nordzucker opens office in Brussels
Nordzucker opens an office in Brussels in order to be closer to European political decision-making and play a more active part in it.
The cornerstones of our actions: fOur Values – growing together
Values process launched in all regions
All the employees within the Nordzucker Group give some thought to the company’s values. In spring, the entire Group is provided with a clear common profile, outlined by our four values under the motto of “Growing together”.
Our four values, responsibility, dedication, courage and appreciation, are the cornerstones for our company to expand and grow together as well as for our day-to-day work.
Office in Vienna closes – region is retained
The sales office of Nordzucker Eastern Europe GmbH in Vienna closes on 31 July. All of the company’s activities are transferred to other locations within the Group.
New product: SweetFamily’s stevia sugar
SweetFamily’s stevia sugar is launched on the market in December. The combination of stevia and sugar is an innovative product for the sugar shelf: fewer calories, tasty and easy to use.
Nordzucker and Boettger Group collaborate more closely
Nordzucker and Industrie- und Handelsunion Dr. Wolfgang Boettger GmbH & Co. KG (the Boettger Group) decide to collaborate more closely on the production of liquid sugar, beginning in January 2013. The Boettger Group takes over a 30 per cent stake in Norddeutsche Flüssigzucker GmbH & Co. KG (NFZ) which operates the liquid sugar production facilities in Nordstemmen and Groß Munzel.
Nordzucker celebrates its 175th anniversary across all regions and sites
The year 2013 marks a special milestone in Nordzucker’s history:
175 years ago, 19 entrepreneurs in Klein Wanzleben founded a public company for the purposes of advancing the production of sugar from sugar beets.
With starting capital of 15,000 thalers, the foundation was laid for the first sugar plant in Klein Wanzleben, marking the start of the company’s existence.
Numerous events across all of Nordzucker’s regions and sites take place throughout the year.
In addition to the festive events, the commemorative publication “175 years of Nordzucker” is published – a book which illustrates the main milestones in Nordzucker’s development, complete with expressive pictures. This chronicle is produced with the help of many former and current managers, who take part in interviews.
EU sugar market regime: Extension until 2017
In their negotiations on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the European Commission, the Council of Agriculture Ministers and the European Parliament agree on 26 June that the sugar market regime will expire at the end of the sugar marketing year 2016/2017 (30 September 2017).
This represents a political agreement; it is formally confirmed by the European Parliament after the EU’s multi-year financial framework is adopted following the summer recess.
Overall, the sugar market regime will remain in place in its current form for a further four financial years and only contain minimal changes.
Merger of Nordharzer Zucker AG with Nordzucker Holding AG
In July, the shareholders of Nordharzer Zucker Aktiengesellschaft (“Nordharzer”) and Nordzucker Holding Aktiengesellschaft (“Nordzucker Holding”) vote in their vast majority at the companies’ AGMs – 91 per cent and 97.7 per cent respectively – to approve the merger of Nordharzer and Nordzucker Holding.
With its entry in the commercial register on 11 September, the merger comes into effect.
Following the merger, Nordzucker Holding AG has a share of 84.05 per cent in Nordzucker AG.
fuel 21 becomes part of Nordzucker – new structure increases flexibility
On 1 March, fuel 21 GmbH & Co. KG, Klein Wanzleben, is merged into Nordzucker AG. Production of bioethanol from raw juice, thick juice and molasses continues there as part of what is now a single company. The new structure offers in particular the opportunity for the sugar plant and bioethanol plant to work together significantly more closely and efficiently.
Ertragskraft plus (Profitability plus)
Profitability plus efficiency programme successfully concluded
The Profitability plus efficiency programme is successfully concluded in the 2013/2014 financial year, one year earlier than planned. Launched in 2010 as part of the takeover of Nordic Sugar, the programme aims to make annual savings of EUR 67 million in the 2014/2015 financial year. Savings of EUR 73 million are achieved in 2013/2014. A total of 430 projects are attributed to Profitability plus.
Change team and core messages
On 17 September 2014, the Executive Board presented the new company objective to around 200 Nordzucker employees in Berlin. The company objective is the starting point for a change process to prepare Nordzucker for the new market reality after 2017 when the current sugar market regime expires.
The corporate culture needs to be developed so that Nordzucker can perform successfully in a market that will be significantly different and much more competitive after 2017. The aim is to accept the challenges of the market, to adopt a market perspective and to focus on the market and customers. The Change! project represents the launch of a comprehensive and long-term programme of transformation.
Nordstemmen celebrates its 150th anniversary
The Nordstemmen sugar plant – now the second-oldest Nordzucker site – traces its history back to 26 March 1865. The general meeting of 46 shareholders adopted the statutes and elected an Executive Board and Supervisory Board.
The plant in Nordstemmen in the district of Hildesheim was taken over by Nordzucker AG in 2003. Since then, the sugar plant has served alongside the plant in Uelzen as a second central location for sugar production for the SweetFamily trade brands.
A new efficiency programme named FORCE is launched in early 2015. The programme aims for substantial cost savings in all areas of the company. Over the coming years, various sub-projects are intended to deliver annual savings across the Nordzucker Group of at least EUR 50 million. Another important objective is a further improvement in cash flow. As part of the project, new processes and methods are established on a standardized basis throughout the Group in order to continue reducing costs and strengthen long-term competitiveness.
All of Nordzucker’s efficiency programmes are aimed at further preparing the company for the changes to the market and competitive situation that will take place after 2017.
Partnership with August Töpfer Zuckerhandels GmbH & Co. KG
Nordzucker and August Töpfer Zuckerhandels GmbH & Co. KG, Hamburg, build upon their existing customer relationship before the expiry of the quota system in 2017. Nordzucker acquires a 25 per cent stake in August Töpfer Zuckerhandels GmbH & Co. KG. Newly founded in 2014, August Töpfer Zuckerhandels GmbH & Col. KG is a subsidiary of the ATCO Group.