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Responsibility at Apetit News from Apetit Group Wellbeing from vegetables
We are updating the material themes of our corporate responsibility
We are updating the material themes of our corporate responsibility - by answering the survey, you can influence Apetit's corporate responsibility actions Apetit is updating the material themes of its corporate responsibility. The material themes determine the key actions and objectives of the Apetit Group's corporate responsibility. It is therefore important for Apetit to hear the views of its stakeholders on what food industry company, which is firmly based on Finnish primary production, should pay particular attention to in its corporate responsibility. Sustainable actions Sustainable actions is one of the strategic choices of Apetit's renewed strategy. During the current year, we have, among other things, developed and implemented environmentally friendly cultivation methods, improved the material efficiency of production and promoted the use of renewable energy sources. By answering the survey, you can influence the emphasis on actions in the Apetit Group's corporate responsibility. We hope for the most comprehensive answers possible so that we can do our best to meet the expectations on Apetit Group's corporate responsibility. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the survey. The survey is closed. Thank you for answers!
Safety at work is developed by means of proactive operating model
Safety at work plays a significant role at Apetit and is one of the key themes of its personnel strategy. The goal is to reduce occupational accidents to zero and to reduce sickness absences. Safety at work training is organised at all Apetit Group operating locations. In 2019, some 280 Apetit employees took part in safety at work training. In addition to on-site safety training and occupational health and safety days organised at the production plants, topics related to safety at work are regularly covered in Apetit’s online learning environment. The training activities have led to a substantial increase in the number of safety observations, for example. Key measures to develop safety at work include increasing communication about occupational safety, in addition to more systematic safety observation practices and the further development and harmonisation of location-specific occupational health and safety committees. In order to prevent occupational accidents, Apetit regularly updates occupational safety guidelines. In addition, we have improved our know-how in risk evaluation and incident investigation and systematically conducted risk assessments regarding production tasks. In 2019, Apetit continued to offer a reward for days without any incidents at each location.
Räpi Experimental farm is part of Carbon Action project
Apetit’s Räpi experimental farm, located in the Satakunta region, joined the Carbon Action project along with more than a hundred other Finnish farms. Carbon Action promotes the wider adoption of climate-friendly farming practices, helps farmers implement farming practices that sequester carbon and improve soil fertility, and conducts scientific research to verify soil carbon storage. Carbon Action is a joint project by the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) and it combines top-level research with work in the field by farmers. Apetit is offering the use of the Räpi experimental farm for the project for a period of five years to promote research, development and practices associated with carbon farming. Apetit has made a Baltic Sea commitment for 2019-2025 Apetit made a Baltic Sea commitment for BSAG for the period 2019-2025. The core purpose of Apetit’s commitment is to generate data that can be used in contract growing especially in improving soil fertility and related to carbon sequestration. The objective is to promote, through Apetit’s contract growers, a sustainable food chain and to commercialise carbon farming methods that help sequester carbon. The commitment has two parts: Apetit will include the best growing practices proven by the carbon pilot in its contract farmers’ farming guidelines and provide training to all of its contract farmers on farming methods that improve soil fertility and carbon sequestration. Apetit will also include the Räpi experimental farm in the research project to promote measures that advance carbon farming. Under the commitment, Apetit will also join the company network of the Carbon Action platform which enables the various parties in the food chain to collaborate and to develop their own operations with regard to carbon farming.
Apetit reduces its environmental impacts by investment in a bioenergy plant
One of the objectives of Apetit’s corporate responsibility programme is to reduce the Group’s carbon dioxide emissions* per production tonne by half by the end of 2022, using the current level as the baseline. This target will be achieved with the help of the bioenergy plant to be built at the Kantvik vegetable oil milling plant. Oil milling is the Group’s most energy-intensive process. The bioenergy plant will replace the current energy solution based on non-renewable fuels, which means it will have a significant impact on CO2 emissions. The bioenergy plant will also make the production facility more self-sufficient with regard to energy. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, the bioenergy plant creates the opportunity to make more efficient use of production side streams in energy production. The bioenergy plant can be used to burn byproducts such as the straw waste included in seed deliveries and waste from screening processes. In the future, the steam energy required by the plant will be produced by the bioenergy plant. The plant is scheduled to be completed in the end of 2020. The size of the investment is EUR 5.2 million. *The calculation of Apetit’s climate impacts is based on the energy consumption of the company’s production plants and the way the energy is generated.
Packaging protects the product
The main purpose of food packaging is to protect the product. Good packaging makes processing easier in the distribution chain, keeps the product fresh, ensures product safety and protects the product, thus preventing food waste. Good packaging also tells the consumer about the product’s content and properties. Plastic is used for food packaging because it is such a versatile material. It is light and durable, which is good for logistics, and it provides excellent protection for many types of products. Around 20 per cent of the packaging material used by Apetit is currently plastic. Roughly half of this material can be reused if it is recycled. For instance, the Apetit Tuorekset containers are recyclable plastic. 70 per cent of their raw material is recycled. Apetit continually improves its packaging to eco-friendlier. Apetit has the following goals for packaging materials made from plastic: to use recyclable packaging materials where possible to increase use of packaging materials made from renewable raw materials where possible to reduce the amount of packaging materials used by making them thinner where possible New handy bag-in-box packaging for rapeseed oil Apetit has launched a new, handy and easy-to-use bag-in-box rapeseed oil packaging of for professional kitchens. Thanks to a tap, the packaging is easy to use unlike heavy dispensers. The tap also prevents spillage. The packaging is also hygienic and protects the oil from sunlight and oxidation. Its environmentally-friendly corrugated cardboard box is made of 100 per cent recyclable raw material. When empty, the cardboard packaging can be recycled and the bag can be used as energy waste. Compared to conventional plastic dispensers the manufacturing of the bags requires almost 80 per cent lower amount of plastic.
Apetit is a partner of the yrityskylä learning environment for young people...
Apetit will continue as an Yrityskylä partner over the period 2018- 2021. Apetit has been involved in the Yrityskylä project since 2015. Yrityskylä offers school students an opportunity to learn about how companies and the society works by working in miniature companies. The job descriptions of the employees in Apetit’s miniature company are like a scale-model of the real Apetit. The students negotiate with other miniature companies in Yrityskylä on contract growing and make Responsible Growing contracts, engage in product development and design new products, plan marketing and organise tastings to collect customer experiences and sell products to customers.
CEO's review H1/2021
Esa Mäki, CEO: “Apetit Group’s net sales declined and profitability decreased year-on-year due to the continued weakening of the Grain Trade segment’s result. Oilseed Products continued its strong profit performance in the second quarter. The result of Food Solutions improved year-on-year but was slightly in the negative due to the seasonality of operations. On a positive note, the profit performance of Apetit’s processing businesses was good for the entire first half of the year. In Food Solutions, retail demand remained strong in the second quarter, with sales being boosted particularly by the mixed vegetable products launched in the spring and targeted at the barbecue season. A clear recovery from the effects of the corona pandemic has also been seen in the Food service channel. It is particularly pleasing that profitability improved substantially in all sales channels. In May, we announced we will invest approximately EUR 2 million in a new frozen pizza production line at our Pudasjärvi plant. The investment covers the modernisation of the entire production equipment in the existing building. The investment will bring about significant improvements to Apetit’s range of frozen pizzas, particularly with regard to taste and texture: we want to offer Finnish consumers even more delicious pizza made from ingredients with as high a degree of domestic sourcing as possible. The redesigned range of pizzas will be launched next year. Retail sales in Sweden continued to grow in line with our targets throughout the first half of the year, and we have recently also seen a slight recovery in the Swedish professional food service segment. The value of food exports grew by a third and amounted to approximately EUR 2.5 million in January–June. The demand for oilseed products remained strong in all product groups in the second quarter, with end product prices increasing substantially due to higher raw material costs. Towards the end of the review period, demand in the food service channel also returned to the pre-pandemic level. The excellent result was attributable to demand as well as the strong refining margin. Our focus in the development of our rapeseed ingredient has been on the commercialisation of the product development project. We will begin test production of the ingredient at a subcontractor’s premises in August–September. The produced rapeseed ingredient will be delivered later in the year for production testing by customers as well as to be sold. In the initial stage, the end product use of the ingredient will be focused on plant protein products and gluten-free baked goods. Our aim is to start commercial scale production in 2022. The Kantvik bioenergy plant was commissioned at the beginning of August. It significantly reduces the Group’s CO2 emissions and energy costs. Milling rapeseed to produce vegetable oil is the Group’s most energy-intensive production process. The result of Grain Trade was negatively affected by the difficult market conditions in the international wheat trade and the unsuccessful response to unpredictable market changes. After a peak in supply caused by the export tariffs imposed by Russia, the international demand for wheat was very weak in March–April. Consequently, the large wheat reserves in the Baltic countries were delivered in their entirety to customers in May–June at a significant loss. In addition, Finnish grain exports in the first half of the year were lower than usual due to the previous year’s small harvest. Exceptional arrangements related to the COVID-19 pandemic continue in Apetit Group. We are actively monitoring the situation and will react to any changes. Throughout the pandemic, we have successfully achieved our goal of ensuring the health and safety of our employees and ensuring undisrupted operations throughout the food supply chain. The current cultivation season has been primarily characterised by hot and dry weather conditions. Autumn oilseed plants have nevertheless thrived. The total area under cultivation for domestic oilseed plants this year grew by nearly a third compared to last year and the harvest outlook is positive. Apetit’s systematic efforts to increase the cultivation area of oilseed plants and interest in oilseed plant cultivation are continuing: the contract farming of oilseed plants has nearly doubled from last year. The domestic grain harvest is expected to be weaker than average. In the Baltic countries, the harvest is expected to be fair, but substantially lower than the record harvest last year. The harvest of outdoor-grown vegetables, excluding peas, is expected to be moderate. Corporate responsibility is an integral aspect of Apetit’s business throughout the value chain, from field to fork. As an example of this, we continuously develop our existing products as well as new products that respond to growing consumer demand for sustainable food choices. This autumn, we will strengthen our local fish strategy by expanding our product range with Baltic Sea fish fingers made from delicious herring caught in the Baltic Sea. Increasing the consumption of domestic fish has a significant impact on the health of Finland’s inland waters and the Baltic Sea: for example, the roach we used in 2020 saw us remove phosphorus from lakes in an amount that would otherwise have led to the growth of 60,000 bucketfuls of blue-green algae. Our sustainable food choices are meaningful.”
CEO's review Q1/2021
Esa Mäki, CEO: “Apetit Group’s first quarter was one of contrasts: the record-breaking profit performance of Food Solutions and Oilseed Products was very pleasing, but the result of the Grain Trade business was a big disappointment. Throughout the first quarter, the sales growth of Food Solutions was the highest in the retail and export segments. The strong retail sales were supported by the increase in eating at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as attractive new products and commercial successes. Our strategically important exports to Sweden have also seen strong growth in line with our targets: the year-on-year increase was 31 per cent. The Food Service channel continues to suffer from the restrictions related to COVID-19, such as the reduced scale of operations in school meal services and lunch restaurants. Our delivery reliability has been very high. Our employees have also largely remained healthy in spite of the prevailing COVID-19 situation. The market situation in the Grain Trade business remained very challenging throughout the first quarter. The profitability of Grain Trade was reduced by unforeseen market changes in the international wheat trade. The export duties introduced by Russia, which gradually entered into force in February–March, increased the supply of wheat in particular in February, leading to a rapid decrease in prices. After the sharp increase in supply in the spring, international demand has declined and a substantial write-down was recognised on the value of Apetit’s wheat inventories in the first quarter. Finnish grain exports have also been lower than usual due to the small harvest. The situation in the Grain Trade is not expected to improve before the next harvest. The total sales of rapeseed oil increased significantly. The strong growth of retail sales supports our strategy of increasing value added. The demand for rapeseed expeller has also been at a good level. The rising market prices of the products improved the refining margin in the first quarter. We are continuing our efforts related to the commercialisation of the rapeseed ingredient. The first customer deliveries for product application testing and test sales will begin in the late summer. Apetit has continued the construction of the Kantvik bioenergy plant with a new contractor starting from the beginning of March. The updated estimate is that the bioenergy plant will be fully operational in summer 2021. The change in supplier and the delay to the original schedule will not have a material impact on the project’s total cost. When completed, the bioenergy plant will reduce the Group’s energy costs and significantly decrease carbon dioxide emissions. Apetit has continued its purposeful efforts to increase the cultivation area and harvest size of oilseed plants in Finland. We have been active in signing cultivation agreements for the next autumn’s harvest and we are making good progress towards achieving the 50 per cent growth target set for increasing the domestic contract cultivation area for the upcoming cultivation season as a whole. The prices of oilseed plants are high, which has increased interest among farmers in the cultivation of oilseed plants. In the field vegetables category, our target for contract growing is the previously established level of just over 30 million kilograms of domestic vegetables. In addition to the cultivation of the familiar varieties we are accustomed to, we are involved in a project to study the development of the cultivation of cauliflower and various legumes, such as chickpeas, to satisfy the needs of the food industry. Our utilisation rate of domestic ingredients is already very high. Developing the production of cauliflower and legumes will give us access to even more domestic plants. As nitrogen-fixing plants, legumes also have considerable potential in crop rotation. Apetit published its updated corporate responsibility programme and related targets in March. One of our most significant and impactful targets is to achieve a 75 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2025. This will be accomplished by transitioning to renewable energy and improving our energy efficiency. Food-related consumption habits and choices play a significant role in promoting sustainable development and thereby reducing environmental impacts. As a food industry company, we have an excellent opportunity – and an obligation – to have an impact on the world. Our sustainability targets are comprehensively linked to the various stages of our value chain, from field to fork. Apetit will continue the systematic execution of its strategy with the primary goal being the improvement of profitability.”
CEO's review Q4/2020
Esa Mäki, CEO: “We determinedly continued to improve our profitability in the last quarter of the year. Annual profitability improved by nearly EUR 9 million. Profitability improvement is mainly attributable to strong demand for the Apetit brand products in retail trade, improved efficiency in our own operations and commercial successes both in Finland and in export trade. In the grain trade, we have focused on developing our trading ability, in line with our strategy: we have largely succeeded with this goal, although towards the end of the year, the outlook of grain price development had a negative impact on profitability. In the fourth quarter, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic could still be seen most strongly in the Food Service channel of the Food Solutions business, where net sales decreased year-on-year in spite of a partial recovery of sales during the second half of the year. The sales of frozen products grew year-on-year in other channels, especially in retail trade and exports. In Oilseed Products and Grain Trade, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic still remained minor. One of Apetit’s strategic focus areas is to strengthen the Swedish market as the primary focus area of food exports. We have made progress towards our goal in the Swedish retail trade and in November, we signed an agreement on the Food Service product sales with a local partner in Sweden. The cooperation started at the beginning of February. We will systematically continue to increase exports in selected markets. In 2020, the value of food exports was EUR 5.3 million. In December, the European Commission granted a novel food authorisation for Apetit’s rapeseed ingredient, the BlackGrain from Yellow Fields rapeseed powder. The novel food authorisation is the culmination of the BlackGrain product development work we have been doing for years. It also enables us to continue the development of new rapeseed-based ingredients. In addition, we promote to assess options related to the commercialisation of the ingredient. The commissioning of the bioenergy plant under construction in conjunction with the Kantvik vegetable oil milling plant will be further delayed due to reasons related to an equipment supplier. We are currently assessing different options for completing the construction work. The bioenergy plant is already at an advanced stage of construction and we are aiming to commission it during summer 2021. In order to ensure the availability of domestic rapeseed raw materials, we are continuing our determined work to increase oilseed plant cultivation area and harvest levels. In December 2020, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) granted a special permission for the spring 2021 regarding a preparation used in treating oilseeds. The possibility of treating oilseeds will support the cultivation of domestic rapeseed, thereby increasing harvest levels from their current low point. In addition to being in good and stable demand, oilseed plants offer a profitable opportunity to increase versatility of crop rotation. The renewed oilseed plant campaign for 2021 started at the beginning of February: we offer contract growers new benefits and tools for oilseed plant cultivation. The planning for the coming cultivation season is in full swing also for field vegetables. In the coming growing season, we will seek a record harvest in peas as its demand in the export markets continues to be strong. We are also constantly conducting research on new crops at our Räpi experimental farm and promoting the development of domestic vegetable-based proteins: an example of this is the broad bean, which we will again be growing at the experimental farm after an interim year. The harvest will be processed into products later in the autumn. Apetit published its updated strategy in May. We have proceeded effectively in all strategic focus areas: Optimising core business functions, Strong foothold in Sweden, Growth from plant-based added value products, Developing farming partnerships and Sustainable actions. In light of the 2020 results, we are well on track to reach our financial objectives by the end of the strategy period.”
CEO's statement Q3/2020
Esa Mäki, CEO: “Apetit Group’s positive profit performance continued in the third quarter: all of our businesses improved their profitability year-on-year. We can be satisfied with our profit performance to date. The remainder of the year involves uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, for example. We keep our profit guidance for 2020 unchanged: the full-year operating profit is expected to improve year-on-year and to show a profit. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the third quarter were mainly seen in the Food Service channel of the Food Solutions business, where net sales decreased year-on-year in spite of a partial recovery of sales. Sales grew year-on-year in the other channels of the Food Solutions business. In Oilseed Products and Grain Trade, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were minor. In the challenging operating environment, it has been essential that our employees have stayed healthy and we have been able to maintain normal operations. I want to take this opportunity to express my warmest thanks to all of Apetit’s personnel. The harvest of outdoor-grown vegetables for this harvest season will be normal. The varying weather conditions in the early summer were challenging, with the cool spring, dry early summer and hot June having a negative impact on the growing season of peas in particular. The difficult growing season meant that we fell short of our target for peas by 1.3 million kilograms. Peas represent a significant share of Apetit’s food exports and, unlike in the previous year, pea exports fell entirely in the third quarter. One of Apetit’s strategic objectives is to strengthen food exports, particularly to Sweden. Our total food exports doubled year-on-year by the end of September. In the spring, eight products sold under the Apetit brand were added to the product selection of ICA, the largest retail chain in Sweden. Six new Apetit products were subsequently added to ICA’s selection this autumn. Continuing to strengthen our position in Sweden is a clear goal for us. In addition to retail, we are also seeking growth through the Food Service channel through local cooperation. Natural Resources Institute Finland estimates that the Finnish grain crop this year will be 3.4 million tonnes, which is about 15 per cent lower than last year. The relatively small grain crop will reduce Finland’s export surplus compared to the previous year. The oilseed harvest will be exceptionally low due to the declining area under cultivation and the low expectations of yield per hectare. However, the grain crop and oilseed harvest in the Baltic countries is excellent, which particularly compensates for the exceptionally weak oilseed harvest in Finland. At Apetit, we are continuing our systematic efforts to increase the willingness to cultivate oilseed plants in Finland to increase the area under cultivation and crop yields. The commissioning of the bioenergy plant under construction next to the Kantvik oil milling plant will be delayed to January–February 2021 due to reasons related to an equipment supplier. The bioenergy plant was originally scheduled to be commissioned at the end of 2020. When completed, the bioenergy plant will significantly reduce the energy costs of the Kantvik oil milling plant and the Group’s carbon dioxide emissions as a whole. Based on current information, the decision on the novel food marketing authorisation for Apetit’s rapeseed ingredient is expected before the end of the year. This autumn, we decided to invest in small-scale production equipment located on a subcontractor’s premises. Starting small-scale production will enable us to test the rapeseed ingredient more extensively with potential customers. Our work on developing new ingredients has progressed as planned. We are also continuing to assess alternatives related to the commercialisation of the rapeseed ingredient. We are systematically executing our strategy with the aim of making Apetit a successful Finnish company focusing on plant-based food products.”
CEO's statement H1/2020
Esa Mäki, CEO: “We achieved a positive turnaround in profits as all of the Group’s businesses improved their profitability in the second quarter: the operating profit of continuing operations improved by EUR 4 million year-on-year. In the Grain Trade business, the previous profitable quarter was in 2017. The positive profit performance of the Group was driven primarily by commercial successes in the domestic market as well as exports, the flexible adjustment of production in exceptional circumstances, the recovery of trading ability in the grain trade and improvements in efficiency in everything we do. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic vary between the Group’s businesses. In Food Solutions, sales in the retail segment remained at a high level in the second quarter, even if the uptick in demand levelled off compared to the early days of the exceptional circumstances. Food service sales saw a partial recovery in the early summer but were significantly below the reference period. The sudden change in the sales mix caused additional costs in production. In the Oilseed Products business, the demand for vegetable oils grew particularly in the retail segment. In the Grain Trade business, the impacts of the pandemic have been minor, aside from market fluctuations being slightly larger than usual. The COVID-19 pandemic has required extra effort in every stage of the food supply chain, but Finnish food production has proved its resilience and functionality even under exceptional circumstances. This has led to a marked increase in the visibility and appreciation of domestic food. I want to take this opportunity to thank our stakeholders and Apetit’s personnel for their flexibility and ability to work under challenging circumstances. The cultivation season got off to a slow start as the cold springtime weather delayed sowing and the start of the growing season. In June, the hot and dry conditions posed challenges, particularly for pea cultivation. The earliest pea varieties suffered from the hot and dry weather and the size of the total pea harvest will fall short of the targets. In general, the harvest of outdoor-grown vegetables is expected to be moderate. The area under cultivation of oilseed plants was at a record low and the domestic oilseed harvest is expected to be the worst in decades. The total harvest of domestic grains is likely to be substantially weaker than in the previous year. In the Baltic countries, the harvest outlook is good for grains as well as oilseed plants. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a verdict in late July in favour of granting a novel food authorisation for Apetit’s rapeseed ingredient. This is an important step in the long process that developing an entirely new food product entails. The final decision on the novel food authorisation is expected at the beginning of 2021 at the latest. In May, Apetit published its new strategy for 2020–2022. The five strategic focus areas are Optimising core business functions, Strong foothold in Sweden, Growth from plant-based added value products, Developing farming partnerships and Sustainable actions. In accordance with the strategic focus areas, Apetit focuses on improving its performance in all of its operations, strengthening its market position in Sweden particularly in the food segment, pursuing growth from new plant-based added value products, developing and expanding farmer partnerships in all of the company’s businesses and continuously improving the sustainability of operations through practical actions. The turnaround in profitability that we have achieved puts us in a good position to implement our new strategy and accomplish the targets set in it. In line with our vision, we aim to make Apetit a successful Finnish company focusing on plant-based food products.”
Apetit Plc’s Business Review 1 January – 30 September 2018: Favourable deve...
Since 1 January 2018, Apetit has reported its first (Q1) and third (Q3) quarter results as Business Reviews. The Half-year Financial Report (Q2) and Financial Statements Bulletin (Q4) provide more extensive reporting and contain segment information. July–September 2018 Net sales amounted to EUR 76.6 (74.4) million Operational EBITDA was EUR 3.1 (3.0) million Operational EBIT was EUR 1.7 (1.6) million January–September 2018 Net sales amounted to EUR 209.1 (225.3) million Operational EBITDA was EUR 3.2 (4.2) million Operational EBIT was EUR -1.1 (0.1) million The information is unaudited. The figures in parentheses are the equivalent figures for continuing operations for the same period in 2017, and the comparison period means the corresponding period in the previous year, unless otherwise stated. Juha Vanhainen, CEO: “Apetit seeks to lead the way in vegetable-based diets. Renewal, one of our strategic focuses, means a continuous stream of new products that interest consumers. This autumn, Apetit again introduced several new, tasty products that enable consumers to increase their consumption of vegetables and make responsible choices. We brought Finnish fish cakes made from fish caught from a lake as part of fish-stock management to the frozen food sections of retail shops. A vegan version was added to our family of spinach soup products, and a new vegetable mince product was added to our pizza selection. We also included new products in our selection for kids and new vegetable mixes in our Tuorekset product family. The Group’s net sales increased slightly due to a significant increase in the world market prices of grains. The two most recent harvest seasons have been very exceptional, and the Finnish grain crop in 2018 will be the weakest since 2000. The hot and dry summer also had a negative effect on the Finnish vegetable harvest. Food Solutions’ result continued to develop favourably due to the increased sales of not only frozen foods, but also fresh products, as well as adjustment and efficiency measures. Oilseed Products’ result remained at the comparison period’s level. Grain Trade’s profitability decreased significantly from the comparison period, due to the second consecutive weak grain crop and its effects on trading opportunities. I’m very pleased with the fact that Food Solutions’ improved performance during this quarter offset the decrease in Grain Trade’s result. The Group’s strategic focus areas are renewal, efficiency improvement and international operations. Our work to improve profitability and create future growth, even outside Finland, continues within the Group.” KEY FIGURES EUR million 7-9 2018 7-9 2017 Change 1-9 2018 1-9 2017 Change 2017 CONTINUING OPERATIONS, KEY FIGURES Net sales 76.6 74.4 3% 209.1 225.3 -7% 311.8 Operational EBITDA 3.1 3.0 3.2 4.2 6.8 Operational EBIT 1.7 1.6 -1.1 0.1 1.3 Operating profit 1.5 1.6 -2.6 -0.1 1.1 Share of profit of associated company Sucros -0.1 0.1 -1.0 -0.4 1.0 Profit for the period 1.1 2.6 -3.4 0.5 2.9 Earnings per share, EUR 0.17 0.42 -0.55 0.09 0.46 Working capital, at end of period 49.1 39.5 30.0 Investment 2.6 3.7 5.2 GROUP, KEY FIGURES incl. discontinued operations during comparison period, Seafood Equity per share, EUR 16.73 17.75 18.10 Return on capital employed R12 (ROCE), % 0.5% 2.5% 2.4% Net cash flow from operating activities -18.7 12.2 20.0 Equity ratio 63.6% 62,6% 72.6% Gearing 12.3% 8.8% -9.6% FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE IN JULY–SEPTEMBER Comparable net sales increased by 3 per cent to EUR 76.6 (74.4) million. Food Solutions’ net sales increased in frozen foods and slightly in fresh products. Grain Trade’s net sales improved due to a significant increase in the world market prices of grains. Oilseed Products’ net sales remained at the comparison period’s level. Operational EBIT was EUR 1.7 (1.6) million. Food Solutions’ result improved as a result of good sales in frozen foods and fresh products, as well as adjustment and efficiency measures. Grain Trade’s profitability has decreased as a result of the weak crops of 2017 and 2018. Oilseed Products’ profitability remained at the comparison period’s level. In the comparison period, an item of EUR 1.3 million related to taxes recognised as a result of the divestment of the seafood business had a positive effect on the result. FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE IN JANUARY–SEPTEMBER Comparable net sales declined by 7 per cent to EUR 209.1 (225.3) million. Food Solutions’ net sales remained at the comparison period’s level. Sales increased in frozen foods and fresh products in all sales channels. Net sales from service sales decreased due to the reduction of the sales network. Grain Trade’s net sales decreased year-on-year. Oilseed Products’ net sales remained at the comparison period’s level. Operational EBIT was EUR -1.1 (0.1) million. Food Solutions and Oilseed Products improved their results slightly from the comparison period. In Grain Trade, profitability decreased significantly, mainly due to weak harvest seasons. The Group’s liquidity was good, and its financial position is strong. The equity ratio was 63.6 (62.6) per cent, and gearing was 12.3 (8.8) per cent. Consolidated cash flow from operating activities after interest and taxes amounted to EUR -18.7 (12.2) million in January–September, due to an increase in grain stocks and a significant increase in the world market prices of grains. SEASONALITY OF OPERATIONS In accordance with the IAS 2 standard, the historical cost of inventories includes a systematically allocated portion of the fixed production overheads. With production focusing on harvest time, raw materials are mainly processed into finished products during the third and fourth quarters of the year. This means that more fixed production overheads are recognised on the balance sheet in the third and fourth quarters than during the other quarters of the year. Due to this accounting practice, most of the Group’s annual profit is accrued in the third and fourth quarters. The seasonal nature of profit accumulation is most marked in the frozen foods group of the Food Solutions segment and in the associated company Sucros, where crop-season production focuses on the fourth quarter. PROFIT GUIDANCE FOR 2018 UNCHANGED The Group’s full-year operational EBIT from continuing operations is expected to decrease from the comparison period (2017: EUR 1.3 million). Due to the seasonal nature of the Group’s operations, most of the annual profit is accrued in the second half of the year. Sales volumes and the profit outlook for 2018 are burdened by the weak harvest of 2017 and the poor harvest outlook for 2018. Apetit Plc For further information, please contact: Juha Vanhainen, CEO, tel. +358 10 402 00 Attachment: Apetit Plc business review 1 january-30 september 2018 Apetit is number one in vegetables. It is a food industry company firmly rooted in Finnish primary production. We create well-being with vegetables by offering healthy and tasty food solutions that make daily life easier. We also produce high-quality vegetable oils and rapeseed expellers for feeding stuff, and trade grain on the international markets. Apetit seeks to lead the way in vegetable-based food solutions. Apetit Plc’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. In 2017, the company’s net sales were EUR 312 million and it had an average 557 employees. Read more at www.apetitgroup.fi.
High-quality vegetable oils from Finland
Avena is responsible for Apetit's Oilseed Products Business. The company is Finland's most significant producer of vegetable oils and oilseed-based raw materials for feeds. Its oilseed products are manufactured in its oil milling plant in Kirkkonummi, where rapeseed is processed into high-quality products with a very high added value. Avena uses around 90 per cent of the rapeseed grown in Finland in its oil milling plant in Kirkkonummi. The plant’s annual need for rapeseed is nearly 1.5 times higher than the harvest in Finland. For this reason, Avena is systematically seeking to increase rapeseed production in Finland in cooperation with growers and other operators over the long term. A production process of vegetable oils is based on physical minimal processing methods which use 99.9 per cent of the rapeseed to produce oil and rapeseed expellers. This pure and natural method is chemical-free. Through gentle heating, all of the valuable components – such as antioxidants, sterols and vitamins – are extracted more effectively than in cold pressing. Improving the quality of the fats consumed by Finns is in line with the objectives of nutrition commitments. Vegetable-based oils are an integral part of a healthy diet, as they contain soft and unsaturated fats. Rapeseed oil contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Apetit to eliminate bottlenecks in the organic food sector – launching an ...
The consumer demand for organic food is increasing rapidly.* However, there is a shortage of raw material supply: in spite of the growing market, half of Finnish farmers are not interested in moving into organic farming. This is revealed by the organic farming survey commissioned by Apetit. As a food company specialising in vegetables, Apetit believes in growth of the organic food sector and takes a strategic step by establishing a development programme for organic farming. With its programme, Apetit aims to develop organic farming methods in order to facilitate farmers’ changeover to organic farming and consequently to take organic farming to a whole new level. To develop organic farming, Apetit’s Räpi experimental farm in Köyliö begins to study and develop organic farming as part of Apetit’s proprietary Vastuuviljely (Responsible farming) method. Some of the fields of the experimental farm are turned into fields supporting organic farming. Practical farming problems as obstacles to the organic leap The survey commissioned by Apetit in August 2017 revealed that farmers’ general interest in organic farming has increased from the previous year. Nearly one in four of the farmers responding to Apetit’s survey is interested in moving into organic farming. Nevertheless, for a farmer it is a question of livelihood and often also personal investment and risk. As obstacles to starting organic farming, the farmers list concrete farming problems, such as weed management, insufficiency of know-how or laborious bureaucracy related to organic farming. The farmers also demand that food industry and commerce commit to purchasing organic raw materials and that they receive practical assistance and instructions on succeeding in organic farming. "Our development programme offers help to farmers who wish to move into or towards organic farming. The goal of the programme is to increase the efficiency of organic farming and boost the crops it yields as well as to tackle various challenges related to moving over to organic farming. With this programme, we clear the way for organic vegetables to enter stores in the form of Apetit’s products. We hope that our commitment gives farmers some security", says Anu Ora, Vice President at Apetit. Ora talked about this topic at the organic food event Luomuelintarvikepäivät on 5 October 2017. Apetit introduces to organic farming a similar contract farming model as is used in ordinary farming. Farmers commit to meeting the high quality requirements of the Vastuuviljely (Responsible farming) method in organic farming, too, and in return, they have the security that their crops will be bought in the season. The first Finnish organic frozen products to stores As the first company to do so, Apetit brought Finnish organic frozen vegetables to the stores this autumn. The very first products featuring Finnish organic vegetables were Organic Spinach and Organic Peas. In November, two new favourites will be launched: Apetit Organic Potato & Soup Vegetables and Kotimainen Organic Potato and Onion Mix. “In some areas in Finland, the demand for organic food already exceeds the supply. We believe strongly in growth of the organic food sector in Finland as well as in its export prospects. For the export potential to be realised, the entire food industry and commerce would need to commit to the productisation and sales of organic products. Promoting organic food is recorded in the Government Programme and what is needed now is concrete action. Apetit wants to be a trailblazer in this respect,” Ora says. Product information Apetit Kotimainen Organic Spinach 150 g and Apetit Kotimainen Organic Peas 200 g. The Apetit organic vegetables have been grown at the Vanhakartano organic farm in Köyliö. * In a year (July 2015–June 2016), the sales of organic food increased by 12%. During that period, the retail sales of organic products amounted to approximately EUR 250 million. (Estimate by Pro Luomu on the basis of information collected from retailer groups.) During the same period, the sales of daily consumer goods only increased by 0.3%. (Sales data from the Finnish Grocery Trade Association member companies.) Key survey results A total of 68% of the Finnish farmers who took the recent survey believe that the demand for organic food is increasing among consumers. Furthermore, 44% of them believe that organic farming will become a significant agricultural activity in the future, whereas 25% disagreed on this statement and 30% could not or did not want to express their view on this matter. Of those already involved in organic farming, 49% feel that organic farming is economically more profitable than ordinary farming. Organic food has the potential to become a significant export asset for Finland, believe 46% of Finnish farmers. A total of 48% think that organic farming is a more environmentally friendly way of operating. When questioned about obstacles to starting organic farming, 54% name the difficulty of weed management as the main obstacle, 29% feel that their own know-how is insufficient and 26% think that the bureaucracy related to organic farming is too heavy. When inquired what would facilitate the changeover to organic farming, 43% of the farmers demand that food industry and commerce commit to purchasing organic raw materials over the long term, 42% need practical assistance and 41% demand support during the transition period from ordinary farming to organic farming. When presented with the statement that organic farming is not economically sensible in Finland, 29% of the respondents agreed with the statement, 31% disagreed and 39% could not or did not want to express their view on this matter. One in four responding farmers who are already involved in organic farming believe that organic food will become a permanent trend among consumers. ** Apetit had TNS Kantar Agri conduct a survey targeted at Finnish farmers of grain, vegetable, fruit, berries and oilseeds. The survey period was 17–30 August 2017. In the analysis phase, the respondent sample was weighted so that it is representative of the Finnish farm structure in terms of the farm size and organic status. The survey’s margin of error is approximately +/-6 percentage points for the entire sample. N=247 responses.
Räpi experimental farm - a pioneer in cultivation expertise in satakunta
The operations began in 1954 as an experimental farm for Länsi-Suomen Sokeritehdas Oy and they have continued uninterrupted to the present day, with Räpi serving as an experimental farm for Lännen Tehtaat and Apetit. Today, as one of only a few company-owned experimental farms in Finland, it contributes to the development of agricultural expertise in Satakunta. Throughout its history, the Räpi experimental farm has served as a channel through which new plant varieties and cultivation methods enter the Satakunta region. The cultivation methods, plant varieties and focus areas of research have changed over the years. The experimental activities began with experiments related to sugar beet varieties and cultivation methods. They were later expanded to cover many other outdoor crops when Lännen Tehtaat began the contract growing and production of a wide range of frozen vegetables in Säkylä. The research done at Räpi is aimed at anticipating future trends in outdoor crop cultivation. For example, all the plant varieties and cultivation methods selected for use in Apetit’s contract growing are tested at Räpi before their broader implementation. This season, the farm has tested plant varieties, fertiliser use and cultivation methods for peas, swede, parsnip, carrot, spinach, celeriac, sugar beet and other crops. EXPERIMENTATION PROMOTES VEGETABLE QUALITY AND SUSTAINABLE GROWING During the past decade, the research and experimentation at Räpi has been particularly focused on developing a cultivation method that supports a sustainable and environmentally friendly farming ecosystem. The most recently-developed cultivation methods are based on using plant protection measures only when necessary and only to a limited extent. Biological and mechanical solutions are prioritised. Pest control solutions can include, for example, nets that cover crops, and information on pest life cycles and their natural enemies. Similarly, biodegradable covering materials and mechanical uprooting can be used to control weeds. THE DELICIOUS TASTE OF APETIT FROZEN VEGETABLES COMES FROM EXPERT FARMING AND SUPERIOR VARIETIES The Räpi experimental farm is constantly testing new varieties to find those with the best flavour, texture, nutritional quality and suitability for freezing for use in Apetit products. Apetit’s product development also guides choices related to plant varieties and contract growing. The popularity of Apetit Kotimainen, a product range focused on vegetables grown in Finland, supports introduction of new varieties to contract growing in Finland. A HUB FOR DEVELOPING FINNISH INTEGRATED PRODUCTION EXPERTISE The results of the research at Räpi experimental farm are used in the development of the Apetit responsible farming method to which all of Apetit’s contract growers are committed. The responsible farming method is used to manage plant-specific cultivation instructions, quality and product safety, and other factors. For example, plant protection measures are only used when necessary and with due consideration. The Räpi experimental farm plays a key role in Apetit’s Responsible Farming method. The Räpi farm has contributed significantly to development of the Finnish IP (Integrated Production) method. In 2011–2013, it participated in the Varjellen Viljelty project by updating new plant-specific cultivation instructions in response to consumer expectations and regulatory standards. The Räpi experimental farm cooperates closely with the Pyhäjärvi Institute, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Åbo Akademi University, the Sugar Beet Research Centre of Finland and growers in the Satakunta region. The new knowledge and expertise developed at Räpi is transferred to Apetit’s approximately 100 contract growers in many ways. Those include the Experimental Farm Days event, which promotes the success of agriculture as a livelihood throughout Satakunta. Experimental activities in Räpi in summer 2017: Pea Broad bean Soybean Carrot Swede Turnip Celeriac Spinach Yellow beet, chioggia beet, red beet Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Savoy cabbage Potato The effect of rapeseed extract on weeds (fallow and swede field) Sugar beet for the Sugar Beet Research Centre of Finland ROOTS ON LALLI MANOR LANDS The written history of the Räpi experimental farm began in 1156, when it was part of Lalli Manor. In 1812, the Kepola country manor was separated from Lalli Manor. More than a century later, in 1917, the Kepola country manor was split into three parts and divided between the owner’s sons. The youngest son, Albert, stayed on as landlord of one of the three parts, which was subsequently named Räpi. After the war, the family’s youngest son, Jaakko Rauanheimo, became the new landlord of the Räpi estate. He held this position until 1954, when he sold the farm to Länsi-Suomen Sokeritehdas Oy, which had been established in Säkylä in the early 1950s.
Fish cakes from roach – a sensible approach!
The development of Järvikalapihvit fish cakes stemmed from finding the right networks and the desire for diverse use of Finnish fish. This led to ecological and delicious fish cakes produced locally from fish caught in Lake Pyhäjärvi. For the time being, the product is only sold to the professional food service sector. The wishes of demanding food professionals and their customers were taken into account in developing the fish cakes. Professional kitchens place a high priority on products being suitable to a wide range of customers, and on good nutritional value. The fish cakes made with lake fish contain no lactose, gluten or soy. They contain high quantities of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Roach is a low-fat, high-protein fish. Although roach and small perch are often considered low-value fish, they were given due respect as a raw material in the development of Järvikalapihvit fish cakes. “We didn’t want to mask the characteristic flavour of these fish, so we developed a straightforward flavour that combines salt, pepper, cream and butter with the taste of the fish itself,” says Hanna Pere, Marketing Manager at Apetit Ammattilaiset. This delicious and environmentally friendly product contributes to more efficient use of Finland’s fish stocks, and offers a different seafood option for food service companies. AN ECOLOGICAL CHOICE The eutrophication of Lake Pyhäjärvi in Säkylä has long been worsened by its large populations of roach and small perch. Both species feed on plankton, which helps reduce the lake’s nutrient load. Lower levels of plankton lead to more algae growth in particular. Local fishermen have managed the fish stock of Lake Pyhäjärvi by catching lower value fish to curb eutrophication and maintain the healthy balance of the lake’s fish population. In the past, fish caught as part of fish stock management were primarily used as animal feed in the fur trade, or thrown away due to the lack of the right kind of value chain to use them as food. This changed when Järvikalaa Nam, a Pyhäjärvi Institute project focussing on the use of lake fish as food, combined the product development efforts of Apetit Ruoka Oy and Jouni Aaltonen, the entrepreneur behind the Kolvaan Kala company. The roach and small perch caught as part of fish stock management are processed into a paste that is then used to produce fish cakes at Apetit’s Säkylä production facility on the shore of Lake Pyhäjärvi.
How peas make their way from field to freezer
Apetit’s frozen peas are frozen within two hours of being shelled. This tight schedule is made possible by the pea fields being close to Apetit’s frozen food production facility in Säkylä. In addition, the entire process is carefully timed. When planning the harvesting of peas, the sowing of different pea varieties is taken into account to ensure uninterrupted harvesting of ripe peas in the summer. The entire summer harvest must not ripen at exactly the same time, so sowing is planned in accordance with the production plant’s freezing capacity. Ripening of the peas and the start of harvesting and shelling is monitored closely and precisely down to the hour. UNIQUE IN FINLAND To plan and predict the start of the pea harvest, Apetit uses Finland’s only tenderometer, an instrument for measuring the hardness of peas. Pea samples are collected from all the plots, and the timing of harvesting is predicted with the help of tenderometer readings. The pea harvesters used by Apetit are also unique in Finland. Manufactured by the UK-based company PMC, they weigh a whopping 25 tonnes each. Apetit owns three pea harvesters, with the newest one having been purchased in 2012. Apetit bought its first self-propelled pea harvester in 1979. HARVESTERS SEPARATE PEAS FROM THEIR PODS The speed at which the harvester moves during shelling is important, as the speed determines the quantity of pea mass and the speed of the threshing drum. The drum and the beaters inside it spin the stalks, opening the pods and moving the peas to the harvester’s hopper. The peas are then transferred to tractors and lorries for transportation to Säkylä for freezing. QUICK AND GENTLE FREEZING Thanks to the detailed harvesting schedule and short distances, the peas go from field to freezer in two hours. This ensures the superior flavour and texture of Finnish frozen peas, and creates a taste of summer in the midst of winter. Gentle blanching and quick freezing in an air blast freezer ensure that the peas have a long shelf life and high nutritional content. The facility produces 10 tonnes of frozen peas per hour. Taking the washing of the production line into account, the daily pea production capacity is 200 tonnes. OUR PEAS ARE RESPONSIBLY GROWN All our pea growers are committed to Apetit’s responsible growing practices, which are based on integrating several different perspectives on improving cultivation and vegetable quality as well as managing environmental impact. Under Apetit’s responsible growing practices, contract growers use appropriate vegetable-specific and plot-specific cultivation methods to prevent the proliferation of pests and weeds. They also improve crop yields and vegetable quality using methods that are as environmentally friendly as possible, and that cause minimal disturbance to the cultivation ecosystem. Apetit’s range of frozen pea products was expanded in summer 2017 after the first organic crops were harvested.
Räpi experimental farm conducts tests on the characteristics of plant varie...
There are around 1,000 parcels of land currently in use at Apetit’s Räpi experimental farm to study the differences between different varieties of plants used by Apetit, as well as new vegetables to add to the product range. Among the most interesting focuses of new research are broad beans and soybeans. “With broad bean and soybean, our aim is to study the potential of growing new plant protein sources in our region,” says purchasing manager Timo Kaila. In addition to exploring these new frontiers, Räpi farm is also active in studying the characteristics and cultivation requirements of other plants, such as different varieties of peas and carrots. Many of the 1,000 parcels of land in use at Räpi are devoted to sugar beet experiments carried out by Apetit for Sucros. Apetit is set to launch organic products in shops this autumn. Räpi experimental farm is also taking steps related to organic farming. One block of the fields at the form has been assigned to organic farming. “It takes about two years to get a field ready to be formally approved for organic cultivation. During this time, we are growing different varieties in this field to maintain good soil quality. Starting organic farming is a major process that takes a lot of work,” Kaila explains. The results of the research at the Räpi experimental farm are used in developing the Apetit Responsible Farming method, which all of Apetit’s contract growers are committed to applying. The Responsible Farming method is used to manage, among other things, plant-specific cultivation instructions, quality and product safety. For example, plant protection measures are only employed when necessary and with due consideration. The Räpi experimental farm plays a key role in Apetit’s Responsible Farming method. Having been in operation for more than 60 years, Räpi is now one of only a few company-owned experimental farms in Finland.