Although business activities were strongly affected by the impact of the Corona pandemic, Molkerei Ammerland continued its growth course in 2020, its 135th anniversary year.
In the past financial year, Molkerei Ammerland’s turnover exceeded the 1 billion euro mark for the first time. Despite a difficult and challenging market environment, turnover rose by around EUR 14 million or 1.4 percent to EUR 1,012.9 million. Overall, raw material intake increased by 3.0 per cent to 2,025.0 million kilogrammes compared to the previous year. This means that for the first time more than 2 billion kilogrammes of raw milk were processed at the production locations.
The Corona pandemic had a strong impact on many business areas of the Ammerland dairy in 2020 and brought some – at least temporarily – to a complete standstill. Raw material use and distribution had to be adapted accordingly to the respective market conditions. Thanks to flexible production planning, Molkerei Ammerland has always succeeded in diverting the milk flows into the best possible utilisation. The diversified customer structure and the international distribution channels have proved particularly advantageous in this respect.
In the past financial year, Molkerei Ammerland used around 72.7 per cent (2019: 75.5 per cent) of its raw milk to produce cheese. Overall, cheese production fell slightly to 163,476 tonnes (minus 0.6 per cent). In contrast, production expanded in the other product categories: The dairy produced 172,747 tonnes of fresh products (up 7.8 per cent), 72,938 tonnes of powder (up 15.0 per cent) and 23,817 tonnes of butter (up 5.4 per cent). To secure the raw material basis in the coming years, the Ammerland dairy has already acquired new milk producers.
The milk price was unable to maintain the previous year’s level and fell by 1.33 ct/kg to 33.35 ct/kg.
Sales of the Ammerländer brand are developing positively. For example, a significant price increase for Ammerländer fresh milk was agreed with the regional retail trade at the beginning of 2021. From the point of view of the Ammerland dairy, this is an important sign of greater appreciation and recognition. Due to the successful development of Ammerland organic products, Molkerei Ammerland is also planning to expand the product range: from autumn 2021, organic cheese will be produced at the Wiefelstede-Dringenburg site. In addition, an Ammerland organic butter is also planned.
Expectations for the 2021 business year
The Ammerland dairy expects a favourable development in 2021. Contributing factors are moderate milk production, very strong demand from Asia, especially China, and a positive market sentiment. A positive trend can be seen in the development of the milk price to date: For example, the Ammerland dairy’s payout has risen continuously since February.