De Heus has acquired 100% of the shares of the Serbian company Proteinka, hence making an entry into the Balkans. This step is in line with De Heus’ aim of further broadening its country portfolio and building up a position in a region where the animal husbandry sector is set to develop rapidly over the years ahead.
Proteinka, based in Sabac in the north-west of Serbia, produces mixed feed for cattle, poultry and pigs. Proteinka has a production capacity of approximately 80,000 tonnes.
The Serbian market currently consists of many smaller farms, run as family businesses. The total volume of professionally produced mixed feed comes to approximately 1.5 million tonnes in a total market of 3.4 million tonnes. Serbia is rich in local raw materials, such as corn, wheat and also soya. Today, many smaller operations still mix their own local raw materials with concentrates. The expectation is that these small livestock farmers will grow their farms and start to professionalise over the years ahead. The need for high-quality mixed feeds, as an additional boost to increased efficiency of production, will rise strongly as a result.
De Heus will be able to introduce its knowledge and experience of nutrition, production of mixed feeds, raw materials and farming systems to support Proteinka and its customers in this more professional environment. Given its strategic location in the north-west of Serbia, Proteinka is favourably placed geographically, with respect to both the most important Serbian livestock farming areas as well as commercial opportunities in the neighbouring countries, such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia. Expectations for these countries are that the animal husbandry sector will also develop rapidly over the years ahead.
Koen de Heus, CEO of Royal De Heus, said of the acquisition: “With the purchase of Proteinka we are taking a major step in the Balkan region. Animal husbandry in this region will develop rapidly over the years ahead. Given Proteinka’s knowledge of the local market, combined with our worldwide knowledge of nutrition and stable management, among other things, we see many opportunities for supporting local livestock farmers in this increasingly professional environment” The day-to-day leadership of Proteinka will be in the hands of Serbian manager Neno Cipcija, who has wide experience in the agricultural sector.