From humble beginnings 75-years ago, today Ameropa stands as a diverse and thriving business that spans the agricultural supply chain. But the company remains grounded, continuously seeking new horizons for growth and expansion. We sat down with our CEO William Dujardin to gain insight into his vision for Ameropa΄s future. What lies ahead? How will the company expand and diversify? How does he foresee the working culture evolving in the next years? Together, we explore some of the current initiatives that will shape Ameropa, including strategy execution, sustainability, ACE, diversity and inclusion, and our C.A.R.E Values. Read on to learn more about how we will continue to passionately grow agribusiness for a better future together.
Ameropa: Could you share with us the role Ameropa΄s employees have played over the past 75 years?
William: Over the years, Ameropa΄s employees have been the backbone of the company, embodying a deep connection to its businesses and values. Many of them have been with us for decades, some even having family ties to Ameropa. This has fostered a culture of loyalty and dedication within our workforce. Their contributions are priceless and have been instrumental in the company΄s success. It΄s important to acknowledge the strong role played by our shareholders and our strong board as well.
Ameropa: What does Ameropa envision for the future?
William: Our vision for the future is guided by our strategic plan called “Feeding our Future Together.” We are focused on expanding and solidifying each of our clusters. We want to maintain the strong competitive advantage we have in each of our businesses by ambitiously growing organically, investing capex and potentially doing acquisitions in assets and businesses that strengthen our footprint. Our goal is to deepen our expertise and presence in each of our markets be it fertilizers, food & feed or Danube. We also really want to leverage the complementarities and synergies that exist between our various businesses, obviously within each cluster, but also across clusters. I am very proud that we have made significant progress from this point of view whether it is between F&F and Danube with the Constanza Box for example, or between Fertilizers and Danube when it comes to the big fertilizers import program that we executed in 2022. Last but not least, we want to move the needle in terms of environmental and social sustainability both by making our existing businesses better and by looking at where we can contribute more across our value chains.
“We have never been
as strong as we currently
are in terms of people,
footprint as well as variety
Ameropa: Can you tell us more about Ameropa΄s commitment to sustainability?
William: Ameropa΄s commitment to sustainability is reflected in a range of initiatives. We want to reduce carbon emissions, especially at Azomures, support regenerative agriculture, and promote responsible practices throughout our supply chain. This involves investing in cleaner technologies, collaborating with suppliers and customers to reduce emissions, and exploring alternative methods of agricultural production. We want to contribute to fight global warming and fulfil our social responsibilities, including fostering inclusion and diversity within our company.
Ameropa: Can you provide insights into Ameropa΄s plans for expansion and diversification?
William: Throughout Ameropa΄s history, we have always been open to exploring new opportunities and expanding into new businesses. We have been very entrepreneurial in the sense that we have always been keen on trying out new ventures. Given the size of the group today, I would say that we need a bit more focus and this is why our Strategic plan really lays out where we primarily want to expand. Nevertheless, we constantly look at potential diversifications as long as they have linkages with our existing businesses. This is exactly what we are doing when we are investing in our new natural rubber business. Additionally, via Ameropa Biotech, we are setting foot into higher-value non-commoditized fertilizers.
Ameropa: How would you describe Ameropa΄s work culture?
William: Ameropa΄s work culture embraces an entrepreneurial and agile spirit that has been crucial to our success and that has ruled the way we do things since our creation 75 years ago. We have recently rebranded our core values as C.A.R.E – Connection, Agility, Reliability, and Expertise – which reflect our company culture. While continually improving and modernizing our processes, we place a strong emphasis on these values. We also have ongoing initiatives to enhance our work culture and promote gender diversity, as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Ameropa: Why is technological development important for Ameropa?
William: We recognize the importance of a robust IT infrastructure to navigate the complexities of today΄s business environment. Currently, we are implementing the ACE program, an IT transformation initiative designed to address existing gaps in our systems and enhance overall efficiency. By implementing robust systems, we can achieve real-time monitoring of our activity, better coordination, better risk assessment, and improved decision-making. The ACE program involves all parts of the company and aligns with our operational needs and strategic objectives.
Ameropa: How does Ameropa preserve its Swiss heritage?
William: Ameropa takes great pride in its Swiss heritage, embracing the principles of reliability, seriousness, and pragmatism that are associated with Swiss culture. While we hold our Swiss identity and headquarters dear, we also value the diversity of our workforce and the international nature of our operations. Recognizing the importance of different perspectives and experiences, we have people in 28 countries worldwide.
Ameropa: What can we gather from this interview about Ameropa΄s past, present, and future?
William: Through this interview, I hope to have provided insights into our company΄s strategic priorities, sustainability efforts, commitment to a strong work culture, and ongoing technological advancements. We envision a future of growth and added sustainability while staying true to our entrepreneurial roots and Swiss heritage. We have never been as strong as we currently are in terms of people, financials, geographic footprint as well as variety of products. The future looks bright and exciting!