Danish Crown wants to be market leader in northern Europe by 2021

Danish Crown has declared that it wants to become market leader in northern Europe by publishing an open and transparent statement of its new strategy and objectives, heading towards 2021.

Calling the new strategy 4WD, which it says can be read as both “Forward” and “Four-wheel Drive”, the company is aiming to make the Danish Crown Group so strong that if can always choose the direction that best serves its owners and customers without having to pay too much attention to the “road conditions or prevailing traditions”.

Following last week’s promise to pay producers in Denmark a settlement price in 2021 which is DKK 0.60 higher than the weighted average of the settlement prices paid to farmers in Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands, the group’s new strategy has now revealed the detail behind the promise.

Key strategy points, listed alongside four headline objectives, include:

  • Four clear home markets – Danish Crown will consolidate its existing strong positions in Denmark, Sweden, the UK and Poland, which will make the group market-leading in northern Europe.
  • Consumer focus – Danish Crown will invest in innovation to strengthen its position within the retail business, foodservice and ready-meals solutions. At the same time, the plan focuses on the establishment of a number of global product categories based on product groups with global sales potential.
  • Focus on high-value products – Danish Crown will focus on boosting the value of the group’s raw materials, including organic products, pigs raised without the use of antibiotics as well as local speciality products.
  • A single unit – Danish Crown’s business units must work more closely together so that valuable knowledge is shared across the group. At the same time, synergies must be realised internally, for example through the joint procurement of everything except meat under a group purchasing manager.

“I am extremely proud of our strategy, and my expectations are high,” said Group CEO, Jais Valeur (pictured above), adding that the keywords for the next five years are focus, value creation and growth.

“With this plan, I am promising our owners that, at the end of the strategy period, they will own a company which is more valuable, has higher sales, is more profitable, can afford to make relevant investments and, not least, will pay higher prices for its raw materials than competing countries.

“Our target is a return on invested capital in excess of 10% and, believe me, the owners will hold me to this promise. However, if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, you can then go where you want. It’s just a question of getting going.”

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