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Dispatches from Vitafoods Europe 2012

Pure chemistry: BASF Nutrition plots nutrition course with 'Cognis inside'

By Shane Starling from Geneva , 31-May-2012
Last updated the 31-May-2012 at 15:40 GMT

BASF’s nutrition activities got a lot bigger in 2010 when the chemicals giant paid €3 billion for Cognis Nutrition. With the integration mostly complete, what’s up front for BASF Human Nutrition?

Michael Ceranski is the senior vice president, global business unit at BASF Human Nutrition and a man who is instrumental in determining the fate of BASF’s new nutrition activities. He took some time to speak with us at Vitafoods Europe last week.

 “What is truly important for us is to take out the customercentricity and the innovativeness of the two units and with all the synergies bring that to the next level in the market and to grow even stronger in the future,” Ceranski relayed.

‘We create chemistry’

While the Cognis input saw the new Nutrition unit double its revenue to about €2bn in 2011 – it is a small part of BASF’s  €73.5bn income last year. But Ceranski said the division was central to the wider group’s just-launched, 10-year ‘we create chemistry’ strategy.

“Food and nutrition is at the core of the BASF group so the business of human nutrition is also at the core so that means that BASF wants to invest in research, development applications but also in people to make sure we are close to our customers and offer products that are innovative…”

Growth may come both organically and via other acquisitions, he said, noting increased growth rates in emerging markets.

BASF had, “walked the talk” he said when it came to nutrition investment, with the recent purchase of Scottish high-dose omega-3 supplier Equateq.

“We were looking for some time to go into the premium segment of omega-3s and we discovered Equateq…”

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