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Community partners

Nordzucker plays an important role in the mainly rural communities where we operate. To make sure our impact on communities is positive, we support our neighbourhoods by providing jobs and social investment, and work in partnership to address any concerns about the effects of our operations on the surrounding area.

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Economic value

In the structurally underdeveloped rural areas where most of our operations are based, our plants are major employers. They offer qualified and sustainable occupations and high-quality apprenticeships, primarily in a technical environment.

Throughout the year, each plant generates economic value for the surrounding region. Our operations benefit agricultural businesses that grow beet for Nordzucker, local tradespeople and service providers who work at the plant, and employees whose income allows them to live close to the plant and spend money locally.

Support through taxes

At our local sites in Germany, Nordzucker is usually one of the biggest tax payers. A mid-size Nordzucker sugar plant in Europe has expenses of around EUR 101 million, and pays an average of EUR 4 million in taxes. Through these taxes we make a major contribution to supporting and influencing life in the community. We inform the community of our forecasts in time to help the community plan for any changes accordingly.

Open communication

Most of our plants arrange meetings with neighbours, local politicians, initiatives or other officials at least once a year. Through the meetings, we can inform participants about the recent campaign, alert them to any problems, and keep them up to date about the financial situation of the Group and any planned major investments or projects.

The meetings also give community members a chance to tell us of any concerns, so we can plan our activities accordingly. This is particularly important in our four-month production season, when heavy traffic, noise and odours from our operation can be a problem.

Local meetings of this kind keep a continuous, constructive dialogue open between the plant and the community. They also build a good foundation for all kind of challenges that might arise during the year.

Impact

 

Raising the profile of communities

In 2014, the city of Braunschweig launched a two-year campaign entitled Best Choice to promote this thriving but little-known location and attract specialists and executive mangers to move here. The campaign was supported by the city’s regional partners from the business and scientific communities. Nordzucker joined this initiative as a premium partner and is an active sponsor of the programme.

“Thanks to the good relations we have enjoyed over many years with the council and the people of Uelzen, we experienced a wave of sympathy and solidarity after a fire destroyed the silos. This helped us to cope with the crisis and its aftermath.”

Dr Michael Gauß, Head of Production

Plant tours

Our guided plant tours are very popular in Germany, Poland and Slovakia, attracting more than 10,000 visitors a year. Visitors on these tours learn the basics of sugar production through entertaining presentations that are easy to understand. The tours form part of the company’s transparent product communications and are aimed mainly at clubs, consumers, neighbours and specialist groups.

 

Crisis management in Uelzen

When a fire broke out in our sugar silo in Uelzen in June 2014, the entire community was affected in some way – whether it was by the extra traffic needed to transport the sugar to other storage facilities or by the renovation of the burned silo itself. Even local beekeepers were affected, as bees from the surrounding area had brought burned sugar into their hives, making the honey unsellable.

To support the community, Nordzucker kept local people and the media informed at all times as the situation developed. We responded to enquiries from social media channels in an ongoing dialogue that has continued to this day. Good solutions were found for the bee-keepers, including financial compensation and collecting damaged honey above and beyond any legal requirements.

We threw a thank you party for everyone involved in the clean-up operation, and posted an official thank-you to the community to show our appreciation.

A typical Nordzucker factory

A Nordzucker factory with a capacity of 10,000 tons of beet per campaign day corresponds to:

And these annual expenses.