We have aligned our Advance 2025 strategy with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), specifically with SDG 2 Zero hunger, SDG 3 Good health and well-being, and SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production. These are the goals where we believe we can create the most significant impact, given our footprint, the nature of our business, and the environment in which we operate.
Given our purpose, “preserving what matters: preserving food and food production, health, and the planet,” sustainability is at the heart of what we do, and hence we are very well positioned to benefit from the worldwide drive for more sustainable products and solutions.
Our Advance 2025 strategy builds on Corbion’s fundamentals and strengths by bringing further focus to the business portfolio in alignment with global market trends. This will be achieved by increased investments in key growth areas such as natural food preservation, algae-based ingredients, lactic acid derivatives, and natural polymers.
After reaching EBITDA break-even in June 2022, algae-based omega-3 matured into the new Algae Ingredients business unit and was carved out from the Incubator.
Our four lines of business:
Sustainable Food Solutions comprises three segments: Preservation Solutions, Functional Systems, and Single Ingredients.
In Preservation Solutions, we bring to the bakery industry our third-party certified authentic natural mold inhibition technology, delivering customer value by extending product freshness, reducing food waste, and enhancing the consumer’s sensory eating experience. Our first ever predictive modeling tool can be used to accurately predict the success rate of mold inhibition technology in baked goods, allowing customers to improve the quality of ingredient analysis to jump-start innovation and improve their speed to market. We continue to grow our preservation platform in the meat and savory food segments with natural preservation offerings that respond to market demands for safe food products with natural labeling. We expand our sustainable preservation portfolio, introducing the Origin® range of plant-based extracts, mainly used as antioxidants including concentrates obtained from the acerola fruit grown in northeastern Brazil and the rosemary plant grown in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Solutions from our Origin line will bring exciting new value opportunities in a wide array of applications.
In Functional Systems, we leverage our ability to rapidly adapt, combining applied science and technical support to provide customers with novel blends that help them mitigate cost volatility, functionality challenges, and raw material scarcity. We stepped up our strategic focus on delivering bakery dough conditioning and extended shelf-life solutions through our Pristine® and Ultra Fresh® portfolios. In addition, we stepped into the dairy market, leveraging our blending proficiencies and sophisticated expertise in shelf life and stabilization technologies to develop Corbion SMART™ Solutions, a portfolio of functional blends to improve texture, stability, and consistency in dairy applications.
We also initiated the process of divesting our non-core emulsifier business.
Lactic Acid & Specialties encompasses Biochemicals (lactic acid, salts, esters, and other specialties), Biomaterials (polymers for medical and pharmaceutical applications), and TotalEnergies Corbion (our joint venture with TotalEnergies for the production and marketing of Luminy® PLA).
In Biochemicals, we enable brand owners to commercialize safe performance products using our lactic-acid-based products and technology. Corbion leads the global lactic acid market in terms of technology, production, scale and breadth of portfolio, and geographic coverage. We fuel our customers’ success by creating specialties for many markets and applications, through tuning the functionality of our products to specific customer requirements in their applications.
To further strengthen our position in attractive growth markets, we are building a new circular lactic plant at our existing site in Rayong Province, Thailand. The new plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 as anticipated, with a production capacity of 125,000 metric tons of lactic acid annually. It will be using state-of-the-art technology to the highest sustainability standards, and will be our most competitive plant, using circular technology to reduce cradle-to-gate CO2 emissions per metric ton of lactic acid by 19% compared to conventional technology.
In Biomaterials, the Advance 2025 strategy enables us to expand and contribute to a sustainable and accessible healthcare system. We work with leading medical and pharmaceutical players on advancing technologies such as cardiovascular devices, orthopedic implants, tissue regeneration scaffolds, wound management, and novel drug delivery systems. Our strategy is focused on safe and resorbable polymers and aligns well with current trends in healthcare that point to continued opportunities in this sector.
Our Algae Ingredients business unit produces algae-based ingredients that deliver high levels of essential nutrients in human and animal diets, such as long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3).
With our omega-3 platform, we will keep expanding our sustainable nutrition offerings beyond aquaculture. Within aquaculture, we continue to bring omega-3 DHA, collaborating with producers and stakeholders to develop more sustainable feed for salmon, shrimp, and other species, helping de-bottleneck this essential nutrient supply as the oceans will not be able to provide sufficient omega-3 without adverse impacts. We expect significant development potential for omega-3.
We will further extend our AlgaPrime™ DHA portfolio to meet pet food manufacturers’ needs advancing sustainability and health for companion animals and opening exciting opportunities to deliver value for the industry. In addition, for our AlgaVia™ offerings, our line of algae oils for human nutrition, we will keep looking into ways of expanding our impact on human diets.
Meanwhile, we stay committed to investing in initiatives with a longer time horizon. Internal efforts are underway to develop new algae-based solutions based on our innovation platform, applications, and industry knowledge.
In our Incubator, where we develop early-stage initiatives, we work on five selected programs: Algae portfolio extension, Biopolymers, Natural preservation, Circular raw materials, and Net zero. These long-term platforms are all linked to one of the three business units and embedded in their innovation programs.
We live in a rapidly changing world, where critical success factors include agility to respond to change, strong collaborative networks, and (open) innovation. Increasingly, business development is executed with partners in the value chain that rely on their suppliers for innovation and provision of R&D services. In addition, there is a strong desire in multiple markets to provide scientific evidence for functionality claims. Similarly, increased awareness in society and the marketplace of the burden we place on our planet has fueled the demand for science-based proof and solutions to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing and use of products.
Both the trend toward collaborative innovation and the need for evidence of functionality and sustainability provide an opportunity for Corbion. To capture these opportunities, we have refocused in-house R&D to support accelerated execution of Advance 2025 and increasingly pursue new opportunities via innovation partnerships. Several opportunities for outside-in innovation have been identified in the six focus areas of Advance 2025.