The impact of the pandemic also made 2021 a year of additional monitoring. In order to consult, the Supervisory Board met more frequently than in other years, online and, where possible, live. In addition, there were (online) updates from the Executive Board between regular meetings. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board also had regular bilateral consultations with the Chairman of the Executive Board.

The Audit Committee met twice to discuss the financial statements and to discuss the budget. The Remuneration Committee convened on three occasions. The annual meeting again took place online. The composition of the Supervisory Board remained the same in 2021.

Photo: Supervisory Board from left to right. Jan Willem Baud, Caroline van Nieuwkerk, Eric Lauwers, Ad Ruijs and Annemiek van Melick.

The main topic for 2021 was once again
to guide
the company
through
the crisis in a correct manner.

COVID-19 

The Supervisory Board (hereafter: SB) gave extensive consideration to the health and cost measures taken to minimise damage to the company and the operating result as a result of COVID-19 as far as possible. Navigating the crisis was the main point of attention throughout the year, with the SB satisfied with the actions by the Executive Board. The SB firmly supports the policy of the Executive Board and is of the opinion that this Executive Board communicates very openly to all layers of the company. Something that the SB considers extremely important, particularly during a pandemic.

Financial targets

The budgets did not take into account new lockdowns. The SB notes with satisfaction that despite the lockdowns, the set goals were achieved. It is a great compliment to the Executive Board that the targets were achieved despite three major and unexpected setbacks (lockdowns, cost inflation and war in Ethiopia). A great accomplishment, if ever there was one.

Main themes

The main topic for 2021 was once again to guide the company through the crisis in a correct manner. In addition, the SB considered important strategic key themes; the Intelligent Brewery programme, the circularity ambition, the winning family culture, the Design the Base programme and the multi-year strategy.

The multi-year
strategy
has been further refined.

Multi-year strategy

The Executive Board, together with the Supervisory Board, gave extensive consideration to the multi-year strategy during the year. This strategy has been further refined, with the aim of increasing the company’s profitability. An in-depth analysis allowed us to understand which parts of the company still have room for growth and where a change of course may be necessary. The multi-year approach that has been drawn up should ensure structural improvement. The SB fully supports the policy of the Executive Board.

Expansion 

In 2021, we acquired Uiltje Brewing Company, a small brewery in Haarlem with an appealing craft beer brand. This acquisition is a nice addition to the portfolio.

Winning family culture

The SB believes that monitoring a healthy and good culture is essential for the company. Winning together is the starting point here, which is why the “winning family culture” is an ongoing process. This sets the company apart from others in the industry. For the first time, Swinkels Family Brewers finished in the top 10 of most appealing employers in the Netherlands (in the profit sector) in Randstad’s annual Employer brand research. The SB also wholeheartedly agrees that the winning family culture has been made more explicit with the newly formulated purpose “seeing the world as our family”.

The course is set, 2022 marks the first year of the implemen- tationof a new strategic plan.

Circularity

The SB looks at and advises on the long term. Circularity is a good example of a theme that only really makes an impact for the company and its environment in the longer term. The SB welcomes and fully supports all initiatives in the field of circularity. The major sustainability investment in Holland Malt is expected to make a good contribution to the circularity targets in the coming years, as reported in the Swinkels Circularity Index.

Evaluation

In 2021, the functioning of the Supervisory Board was evaluated for the first time by an external party. Although this is not required by law, the SB has decided to do this once in a while to be able to properly reflect on its own functioning.

Future

The course is set, 2022 marks the first year of the implementation of a new strategic plan. This requires a lot of attention. In 2022, the Intelligent Brewery programme is scheduled to go live for almost the entire Lieshout location. An important moment, as it took substantial investing and hard work. It encourages the company to make improvements in the way it works.

In the coming years, everything will be focused on the implementation of the strategic plan. This will involve targeted investment in growth and sustainability, with the aim of further improving returns. As the SB, we are of course following the progress closely.

Lieshout, 29 March 2022

Mr J. W. Baud, chairman
Mrs A. van Melick
Mr E. Lauwers
Mr A. Ruijs
Mrs C.W.N. van Nieuwkerk