Management report

Message from the CEO

Dear shareholders, growers, employees and contacts,

In our business, no two years are ever the same. Harvests and market developments are changeable. But, right from the start, HZPC and its growers have known how to deal with these conditions. We never focus on the short term, only the long term.

Following on from an incredibly successful year, 2017/2018 was not easy for our company. The European harvest of seed potatoes was slow and difficult as a result of a heavy rain in the autumn. Prices for ware potatoes in Europe were also low, leading to a dip in the demand for seed potatoes compared to last year. This situation also meant that sales in Europe were lower than the previous year. Nevertheless, we succeeded in retaining our market share in this continent, which is so vital for HZPC.

Worldwide, there was a range of different circumstances and developments. Over the past year, for example, there have been good prices in America. By contrast, prices in countries such as India have been very low indeed. As a result of our expertise in the markets, our creative business practices and the huge efforts of our organisation, we succeeded in selling a slightly greater volume of seed potatoes than last year.

But it goes without saying that the conditions set out above had a major impact on HZPC’s turnover and profitability. For the past financial year, HZPC’s results have been less buoyant than our previous, top-performing year; however they certainly cannot be regarded as disappointing from an historical perspective. All of our Business Areas made a significant contribution to the result. We are a healthy company with healthy profits.

‘HZPC’s strategy has always focussed on the long term’


And as I mentioned previously, HZPC always focuses on the long term and, in the past year, it has not hesitated in terms of investments. We are still investing in the development of new varieties, markets and product development. We are 100% sure that this is a successful strategy.

We also continue to apply ourselves to our vision and mission. HZPC stimulates the development of responsible food for the global population with: ‘Feeding the World’. HZPC aims to supply seed potatoes to both smaller and larger growers across the world, even in areas that are relatively inaccessible as a result of war or the political situation. At the moment, this includes countries such as Yemen and Syria.

Our company is robust, creative and resilient. Together with our growers and driven by our values, we will continue to work towards a future in which the whole world is our playing field. On behalf of the Executive Committee, I would like to thank our staff – across all of the various countries and participating interests – for their hard work over the past year. Each and every one of us should be very proud of our results.

Kind regards,

Gerard Backx, CEO