As the new year draws to a close, it is not out of the question to look at the year that is now coming to an end. Sveinn Margeirsson reviews the year 2012 in Matís' operations, but growth characterized the company's operations during the year.
The growth is reflected in many areas, both as the largest year in the company's history in terms of turnover and not least in Matís' wider project participation both abroad and no less domestically. The number of employees has also increased and the knowledge base has grown. All of this is happening in times of economic hardship and says a lot about the strength of the company and its employees.
Matís is in many ways in line with the progress of food processing in Iceland and the importance of the value chain has become increasingly clear. The value creation is in this way in many links of the chain; it will be in development, production and no less marketing. Matís' strength lies precisely in its involvement in knowledge of the various parts of the value chain, we support food production in its development while at the same time fulfilling our role in terms of food safety and control. Consumers need to have confidence and trust in the products.
Matís' foreign income now amounts to close to 25% of annual turnover and has never been higher. This reflects our success in foreign projects, Matís' position and strength in an international research environment. We have also increased our participation in national projects and Matís' dense network nationwide. In 2012, the company opened two new offices, in the south of the Westfjords and in Snæfellsnes. They are guided by value creation in these areas with special emphasis on Breiðafjörður, where there are great resources in food and biotechnology. In Breiðafjörður, there is a large amount of algae that our biotechnology research has shown can be processed into valuable products, but in parallel with the innovation, Matís can help to combine these new emphases with the existing food production in the area. The key is to work according to the guideline that ensures the greatest value creation.
Food production in Iceland takes place to a large extent outside the capital area and we have good experience of operating establishments around the country to follow the emphases and opportunities in each area, in collaboration with locals. Despite the fact that the development of the establishments entails significant costs, we nevertheless consider this network to be of great value. We have placed great emphasis on increased connections with educational institutions, and it can be said that Matís has made good progress in the bridge-building that needs to take place between educational institutions, research companies and the business community. Experience shows how much that bridge can contribute to increased value creation.
Consumers need to be able to rely on the safety of food production. They also need to be able to trust that the limited funds allocated to research and development activities will be used for development and growth for Icelandic society. I believe that Matís' employees have succeeded well - as the company's growth in 2012 confirms.