DSM Integrated Annual Report 2021

Supervision and advice

The Supervisory Board performs its duties of supervising and advising the Managing Board with respect both to recurring standard agenda items for Supervisory Board meetings and to specific topics that become relevant at any given point in time.

Besides Safety, which is always the first topic on the agenda of every Supervisory Board meeting, the most prominent regular agenda item is an update on business performance, financials, treasury and investor relations topics. As part of this agenda item, the Supervisory Board tracks the company’s financial performance, approves the annual Finance and Capital Expenditure Plan, is updated on capital markets expectations and deliberates on any additional treasury topics as needed. In 2021, the Supervisory Board also discussed and approved the usual share buy-back programs to cover commitments under share-based compensation plans and the stock dividend. In addition, the early redemption of a €500 million bond was discussed and approved.

Strategy is a key topic on the Supervisory Board’s agenda. In 2021, the Supervisory Board was actively involved in the discussions on our decision to accelerate the company’s strategic journey, including the reorganization of the company into a focused Health, Nutrition & Bioscience company and the start of the review of strategic options for our Materials businesses. The Supervisory Board also extensively discussed DSM’s new Food System Commitments.

The Supervisory Board was also actively involved in the process of reviewing several potential M&A targets, which led in 2021 to the acquisition of the flavor and fragrance bio-based intermediates business of Amyris Inc. as well as the acquisition of First Choice Ingredients, a leading supplier of dairy-based savory flavorings. The Supervisory Board also discussed the company’s precision & personalization activities and performed a deep dive on DSM’s production site in Lalden (Switzerland) as well as a post-investment review on BP&S/POET. Also, DSM’s key innovation projects were discussed with the Supervisory Board.

Site visits

Every year, the Supervisory Board visits DSM sites in a particular region. This fosters interaction with employees across different areas of the company and provides Supervisory Board members with opportunities for continuing education. This year’s visit was fully dedicated to DSM Austria GmbH – founded in 2021 after the acquisition of Erber Group, including Biomin and Romer Labs. The visit deepened the Supervisory Board’s understanding of DSM’s specialty Animal Nutrition & Health business, and more specifically its capabilities in mycotoxin risk management, gut health performance management, and food and feed safety diagnostics.

The site visit started in Tulln, where the Managing Director of Biomin welcomed the Supervisory Board to its Campus, the global hotspot in mycotoxin research. The Supervisory Board was presented with an overview of Biomin’s research activities, followed by a tour through the company’s research facilities. Mycotoxin risk management includes creating awareness of, and offering unique and specific solutions for, mycotoxin deactivation. Biomin is also a major producer of phytogenic and probiotic feed alternatives to antibiotics, which strengthens DSM’s position in the rapidly growing global eubiotics market for improving animal gut health. The tour continued with the opening of the new Analytical Center of Excellence Laboratory in Tulln which will be used to conduct nutritional analysis to help boost the nutrition, health and sustainability of livestock. Thereafter, the Supervisory Board received a presentation on Romer Labs, which is at the forefront of diagnostic technology, with innovative testing solutions for the analysis of mycotoxins in feed and food, food allergens and pathogens as well as veterinary drug residues. Romer Labs possesses accredited full-service labs in Austria, the UK, the US and Singapore.

The Supervisory Board and Executive Committee visit the Biomin laboratories in Tulln (Austria). (photo)

The Supervisory Board and Executive Committee visit the Biomin laboratories in Tulln (Austria).

After the visit to the Campus in Tulln, the Supervisory Board travelled to Getzersdorf, where they received various presentations on Specialty Animal Nutrition & Health, the history of Erber, and the company’s integration into DSM after the acquisition. The Supervisory Board received a tour through the Erber building, which was built according to geomantic and Feng Shui principles, being the first platinum LEED-certified building in Austria. Together with all the employees in Getzersdorf, the Supervisory Board attended the grand opening of DSM Austria, in the presence of the governor of Lower Austria, Johanna Mikl-Leitner and the Dutch ambassador to Austria, H.E. Aldrik Gierveld. The next day, a reception was organized at the residence of the Dutch ambassador to Austria to discuss DSM’s and Austria’s activities in the area of agriculture.

During various occasions throughout the visit, the members of the Supervisory Board interacted with DSM Austria’s employees to get to know each other and ask questions. Employees and Supervisory Board members alike were impressed by the positive and transparent atmosphere. An evening was spent with local executives discussing the execution of DSM’s strategy, its culture, and its approach to talent development, along with the further developments within DSM Animal Nutrition & Health. Finally, the Supervisory Board meeting of the following day gave the Supervisory Board the opportunity to share its impressions with the Executive Committee members who also participated in the site visit.

Capital expenditure
This includes all investments in intangible assets and property, plant and equipment.
Mycotoxins are toxic compounds that are naturally produced by certain types of molds (fungi). Molds that can produce mycotoxins grow on numerous foodstuffs such as cereals, dried fruits, nuts and spices.