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The silent giant Fenaco wants to digitize farms

The agricultural group Fenaco is one of the largest companies in Switzerland. Although largely unknown, is here hardly to him. No matter whether you refuel in the case of Agrola, drinks from Ramseier, or Sinalco drinks, McDonald's French fries to eat, or in the case of Landi or Volg shops, everywhere the Fenaco behind it. In addition, the rural cooperative has the local agriculture . You sold everything you need on the farm – from seed and feed to pitchforks and tractors, and is one of the most important customers of agricultural products.

In many agricultural markets it is already the market leader. And the Fenaco continues to grow. In 2018, it has increased sales compared to the previous year by more than 8 percent to 6.8 billion Swiss francs, as it announced yesterday. Once you win the organic market share, and other times it takes other companies to grow. The result is the same: the Power of The Fenaco is on the rise.

Public criticism from the agriculture to the cooperative, there are hardly any. Most of the farmers Express a maximum of off-the-record concerns about the influence of the organization.

The Secretariat of the competition Commission (Comco) is the name of it, Fenaco could arrive as all the big companies in the Switzerland on the Radar. A Preliminary investigation or even an investigation against the co-operative was in progress. Because even if the Fenaco a market in certain markets may be in a dominant position, was not per se inadmissible. Prohibited, only the abuse of such a position, Andrea Graber, Vice-Director and head of service product markets in competition Commission explains .

May the Fenaco will know one day what the farmer needs, even before the farmer knows.

The Fenaco has several irons in the fire, to be able to in the future. About the Smart-Farming platform Barto, Fenaco has been involved with well over a third of the shares.

Barto has the goal to digitize the farm and to reduce the administrative burden for the farmers. On the platform the data is collected, linked, analyzed, and generated. A current example: The farmer what he feeds his animals, and can make the data directly to the Federal office for agriculture accessible to receive direct payments.

the platform is under construction. Later on, you should then allow interfaces to all possible interested parties, said Fenaco-chief Martin Keller yesterday. The platform should be open to all. And: The farmer keep the control over who can view which data.

For the Fenaco would such data is worth Gold, because they give you insight into the operations of their customers. So, the group could offer the customer the right product long before the competition. May the Fenaco will know one day what the farmer needs, even before the farmer knows.


A means for the Fenaco, to retain customers, the last year for the first time, undistributed profit-sharing. Nearly 12'000 farmers were in the enjoyment. The Landi cooperatives, which brought the action 1'000 new members. For a Landi-membership is required as a condition to participate in the program. The interest was great, said Keller. "We have decided, therefore, to the success of the participation in the long term."

The group distributes the money but not easy to unconditionally to the farmers. Anyone who wants to benefit, must bring the Fenaco sales. The more sales, the higher the success of participation. Anyone who bought in a year for Agricultural or Landi - products of a total value of less than 10'000 Swiss francs, for example, received a gift package.

The package plus 1'000 Swiss francs for the reimbursement there was, however, for all that gave to the group at least 50'000 Swiss francs in sales. The Fenaco can extend its strong position in the area of the market to other segments, because for the customer it is interesting to relate everything in the cooperative.

Fenaco-Chef Keller, expects that Switzerland around 18'000 families of farmers and can meet the criteria to participate in the success of participation. There are many indications that the unknown agricultural giant is in the future is still huge.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 15.05.2019, 22:46 PM

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