I am pleased to introduce our fifth annual Sustainability Report for 2012, following another year of intensive activity in the pursuit of our mission to help feed the world affordable, wholesome food and achieve a higher quality of life.
TRIPLE S:The way we approach this is by delivering our Triple S Bottom Line, Solutions, Service and Sustainability, underpinned by our core values which guide us in everything we do. Within this, one of Novus's core competencies that has been perfected over the years is creating and maintaining partnerships. Partnerships play an important role in how we can be meaningful to our customers and other stakeholders. We tell the stories of our multiple partnerships in this report, as we believe it's the key to our sustainable future.
PARTNERSHIPS: Looking forward, we must utilize partnerships among our supply chain and customers to elevate our activities to the next level. We recently spent a whole day with customers talking about how they manage people challenges; how they create a professional organization; what are the best and most effective ways to organize people to help them grow and thrive and understand that they do have an impact. This relates directly to how we attract new talent into agriculture. That is why Novus works so closely with universities. We do this in part to attract potential employees, but also to give back to the industry. Take our scholars program in China for example. Very few graduates will ultimately work for Novus. Most will work for our customers or even our competitors. We see this as an important role that we must play as we are part of this industry.
EMPLOYEES: People are critical for our future success. We work hard at Novus to make agriculture an attractive place to work, not only for the industry, but also in our own company. We strive to be a stable, caring, inspiring and open-minded employer which provides meaningful work and hope for the future. A source of great personal satisfaction to me is that we have been able to build Novus as an organization with a sense of purpose and passion and a service culture. Our mission is a journey in which we all travel in the same direction. We have been able to make a difference because of our culture and passion of the people who join Novus. Maintaining this culture in coming years, in times of ongoing change, will be a significant challenge. As a business, we continue to adapt to change because we are an organization committed to learning. We understand that we must keep learning each and every day.
CUSTOMERS: As we evolve and grow our business and become an ever stronger presence in global animal agriculture and human nutrition markets, addressing the changing needs of our stakeholders will become more challenging. For example, our customer needs are changing dramatically around the world, especially in emerging markets such as China and India. Most of the feed industry now is in the hands of fewer companies. However, this consolidation is necessary so companies will have the capital to grow and modernize. Despite some food quality scares in recent years, which indicate that there are still issues to be addressed, the food industry has come a long way and is improving quality, safety and efficiency on many different levels. This is largely a positive story which we see as an opportunity. For example, take the California dairy cow and the Mexican dairy cow. Farmers in both regions are working in the same climate conditions, but farmers in California are producing twice as much milk. An opportunity exists to help the farmers in Mexico, and many other countries, achieve the same results through improved nutrition and animal care. We must work in a way which allows the customer to have the technologies they need to move forward. The issue is not a lack of money. The issue is access to technology. Novus is working hard to remedy this obstacle and you will read about several examples later in this report which detail how we are acting as a catalyst to make this happen.
SUPPLIERS: It is imperative that all communication channels are fully open and utilized. We need to ask ourselves, "How can small farmers collectively work toward being part of a consolidated supply chain?" We can help make this happen - we have technologies to help farmers be much more productive. This means that we have to go beyond our individual capacity to make a difference and engage in dialog to understand needs and develop shared solutions involving a wide range of partners. If we can get people talking to each other, including suppliers in our supply chain, and customers and other industry players, then we can achieve success. In this report, we present the many platforms in which we engage in dialog and this is something we will do even more in the future.
OUR OWNERS: We are privileged to be owned by two companies who see the benefits and the potential of our Triple S Bottom Line. Their businesses also are tied to the sustainability of the agri-culture sector and global food security, so we are aligned and complementary in our approach. This year, we hosted the first ever Mitsui Innovation Summit. A wide variety of functions were represented at the summit, with people from different parts of our joint businesses. We thrive on this kind of forward thinking interchange and it helps us mature as a company.
OUR COMMUNITIES: In the coming years, we need to continue to drive supply chain optimization, invest in R&D to develop new technologies and continue to partner to find the best ways to go to market. We recently reorganized to link our animal nutrition research division directly to our sales organization so that they can be closer to our customers and focus effort on what's relevant to them. Aquaculture will be a growing part of the feed industry and a key component of future food security, and has an important place in our strategy. The human supplements sector also is a growing market with untapped potential. More products are coming from our own research and partnerships, such as our investments in methionine. We need effective ways of remaining competitive and adding value with our new offerings. In doing so, we believe we will make a greater contribution to the quality of life in our communities around the world. This goes beyond the investments we make in cultural and social activities, such as our annual Art Walk and the hundreds of thousands of dollars we donate for community betterment, or major annual campaigns we maintain in support of World Egg Day. It ensures that, through our core business, based on our core values, we turn values into value and improve life for our communities and our society in general.
THANK YOU: Our achievements to date are the achievements of the entire Novus employee team, together with our customers, suppliers and partners. Thank you all! Thank you for your interest in this report. We welcome your feedback, suggestions and comments which can be submitted using the email address email@example.com.
President and CEO