Cosun Biobased Experts is a Dutch-based company that believes in creating value from crops. They have dedicated themselves to the production of biobased multifunctional ingredients; taking 100% plant-based residual material to produce ingredients used in your cleaning, personal care, and water treatment products, as well as many other industrial applications.
Here, World Bio Market Insights Head of Community, Paul MacDonald, catches up with Raoul Dees, Business Developer at Cosun Biobased Experts
Paul MacDonald (PM): Welcome to 5 Minutes With… Could you please give a brief overview of Cosun and its role in the Biobased community?
Cosun is a Dutch cooperative of agro-industrial companies that operate in the biobased economy. Originally, our main focus is on the production of food, such as sugar, and potato products. However, over the last decade, Cosun has been involved in research and development projects aimed at developing new biobased products and technologies. This resulted in a company that is committed to promoting sustainable food, feed, and biobased product chains, reducing its environmental footprint through the use of renewable resources and energy-efficient production methods.
Why and how did Cosun advance in the biobased markets?
In a changing world, Cosun is looking for the diversification of its product portfolios through the utilization of our own side streams. This diversification has reduced its exposure to fluctuation, allowing us to provide our farmers with better, and more stable prices for their crops.
Cosun has been active in the agricultural sector for over a century and has developed extensive expertise in the production of sugar, starch, and other agricultural products. This expertise has enabled the company to develop and optimize production processes, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. Combined with heavily investing in research and innovation to develop new biobased products and technologies, Cosun is able to create value for its members and customers and became a leading player in the biobased economy.
What challenges do your products solve?
Cosun’s biobased products solve a range of challenges in today’s world. Using the side streams of our crops, we provide an alternative to fossil fuels, reducing dependence on finite resources and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Cosun’s biobased products are often made from renewable by-products of other processes, such as sugar beet pulp or potato starch waste, and are therefore an eco-friendly and sustainable option. Additionally, Biobased products help to reduce waste, such as microplastics. Most of our products are biodegradable, meaning that they can be safely broken down by natural processes, reducing the environmental impact of plastics.
Last but not least, our biobased products provide great functional performance. Overall, Cosun’s biobased products offer innovative and high-performance solutions that meet the needs of a wide range of industries.
We saw with the start of the war in Ukraine affected a lot of supply lines. How is your supply secured?
Cosun’s members are agricultural cooperatives and individual farmers who grow the raw materials, giving the company a reliable and secure source of supply. For example, the sugar beets processed by Cosun are on average grown at 85 km from our factories. This backward integration allows Cosun to have control over the entire supply chain, from the production of raw materials to the manufacturing of finished products.
What are you looking for at World Bio Markets?
Cosun started as a small group of farmers who decided to form a cooperative to pool their resources and sell their products more effectively. The cooperative was an immediate success, as the farmers were able to negotiate better prices for their sugar beets and other crops, and they invested in new equipment and technologies to improve their yields and efficiency. Despite its growth and diversification, cooperation remained at the heart of the company’s culture. Cosun’s employees were encouraged to work together and share ideas, and the company invested in research and innovation to develop new products and technologies, also in collaboration with universities, research institutes, and other companies.
Today, Cosun is a leading producer of food and feed products, but cooperation remains in the DNA of the company. From the farmers who grow the raw materials to the scientists who develop the products, everyone at Cosun understands the importance of working together to achieve shared goals. And it’s this commitment to cooperation that has helped Cosun thrive for over a century.
It’s due to this reason that we are attending WBM since we are always looking for new ways to cooperate.
What makes Cosun Unique?
Cosun stands out in the biobased economy due to several factors, including its cooperative structure that fosters a strong sense of community and cooperation among its members, its extensive experience and expertise in agricultural production, its commitment to sustainability, and heavy investment in research and innovation. These factors have enabled Cosun to differentiate itself and become a leading player in the biobased economy. Another factor that makes Cosun unique is its security of supply. Since Cosun’s members are individual farmers who own the land and grow the raw materials, the company has a reliable and secure source of supply for its production. This vertical integration allows Cosun to have control over the entire supply chain, from the production of raw materials to the manufacturing of finished products. This not only ensures a steady supply of high-quality raw materials but also enables the company to optimize production processes and reduce costs. Furthermore, this setup creates a mutually beneficial relationship between Cosun and its members, as the company provides a market for the members’ crops, while the members provide a reliable source of raw materials for Cosun’s production.