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Dutch potato cooperation Agrico reviews the year positively despite turbulent times

Dutch potato cooperation Agrico reviews the year positively despite turbulent times

Agrico held its annual central general members' meeting earlier this month. During this online meeting, the annual figures for 2019/2020 were discussed and Agrico's digital transformation was addressed.

The potato harvest in the 2019/2020 season was extremely good with yields up 20% compared with 2018. The dry summer was followed from the end of September by a very wet autumn, which resulted in quality differences in the harvest.

Despite the extreme situation, Agrico managed to get all the potatoes delivered and a fair price was paid out for all the crops. This resulted in 4% growth in turnover taking the figures to EUR 332 million, which is EUR 12 million higher than the 2018/2019 season.

Robust growth and quality on all fronts are the two key pillars of Agrico’s strategy 2030. Despite the hectic year, Agrico has shown progression in both of these aims. The national and international subsidiaries also had a good year.

Agrico Research introduced three promising new varieties and - partly due to the stockpiling behaviour prompted by the corona outbreak - retail specialist Leo De Kock booked a good year. The international subsidiaries also noted strong growth together, with outliers in Poland and Turkey.

Agrico paid out the realized payment capacity almost completely to its members in the 2019/2020 financial year. The extent of equity is linked to financial key figures with the principle being continuity and a healthy financial status.

Due to investments made in recent years, the need to strengthen the equity position was EUR 2.5 million higher. In addition, a debt to the pool was included on the balance sheet of EUR 1.2 million, which will be added to the pools in the new financial year.

Central general members' meeting

For the first time in the organisation's history, the central members' meeting took place digitally. Some 250 members participated in the online meeting.

In addition to an explanation of the annual figures, the members were also informed about the latest developments taking place within the organisation and at the shareholdings.

(Click to enlarge)

Click to access Agrico's annual report for year 2019/2020 (English version;9MB pdf-file!))

Digital transformation

After the meeting, members could take part in a webinar on digital transformation. Jan Brouwer, Microsoft's Food & Agri spokesperson, outlined a picture of digital developments in the world and in the agricultural sector. Jan Hoogenboom, information manager at Agrico, explained the steps being taken by the cooperative in its own digital transformation process to the members.

Digital transformation is also the organisation's theme for this year. Among other things, a focus area is implementing a new ERP system which will be used from harvest 2021. In October, the new website www.agrico.nl was launched and in November a portal was introduced for items including the presentation of new varieties.

In addition, with a sounding board of 14 Agrico members, preparations have been made for a new grower portal that will be implemented in the year ahead.