NWF Agriculture has grown to be a leading national supplier of ruminant animal feed to 4,750 customers in the UK, feeding one in six dairy cows in Britain.
NWF provides nutritional advice to farmers across the country with over 60 trained nutritional advisors analysing forage and farmers’ objectives to deliver feed to optimise performance. Feed is then produced from mills across the UK and delivered directly to farmers with the majority of the business being dairy, but also supporting beef and sheep farmers.
- Consolidate the UK ruminant feed market (NWF no. 2, feeding one in six dairy cows)
- Utilise national operational platform
- Continue to develop feed volumes across the country
- Expand nutritional range
“We are pleased to have grown the business to a record 625,000 tonnes of ruminant feed and launched the Feeds Sales Academy which delivers an 18-month structured training programme to develop the nutritionists of the future.”
Andrew Downie Managing Director
Feeds increased market share across the country supplying more feed direct to farms, to feed merchants and to other compounders. Total feed volume increased by 5.8% to 625,000 tonnes (2019: 591,000 tonnes). Feed market volumes ended the year 6% down compared to the prior year, in part owing to good silage stocks on farm and partly as a result of a lower milk price for a number of farmers who looked to reduce feed inputs.
Commodity prices gradually declined in the first half to November 2019 and then increased steadily before a sharp peak in early April 2020 at a level 30% higher than the low point, then subsequently reducing. This resulted in price increases in the second half following the commodity cost increases.
Revenue was lower at £169.0 million (2019: £180.4 million) reflecting the lower average feed and commodity prices in 2020. Headline operating profit was £1.9 million (2019: £2.8 million). Higher energy costs and increases in commodity prices impacted margins and offset the volume benefits.
Feeds launched the NWF Academy in September 2019 in which new trainees engage on an 18-month structured training programme to become future NWF nutritionists.The Academy has recruited a second group to the programme which has been well received across the industry. Average milk prices in Great Britain were reasonably stable, moving from 28.0p to 26.8p per litre over the period with a high of 29.9p per litre in November 2019. During lockdown, with lower levels of demand from the food service sector, milk pricing came under short-term pressure. Reflecting this environment, milk production fell marginally by 0.8% to 12.5 billion litres (2019: 12.6 billion litres).
Feeds has a very broad customer base, working with over 4,750 farmers across the country. This base, and the underlying robust demand for milk and dairy products, results in a reasonably stable overall demand for our feed in most market conditions.