“We do not inherit the Earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children” (attributed to Saint-Exupéry). This awareness should be what drives how people behave towards the Earth. Virbac understands this well.
Making our development sustainable is a natural process, for several reasons. We are a group whose capital is controlled by one family, that of its founder, Dr Pierre-Richard Dick, whose profoundly human values have left their mark on the company and remain the foundation on which the company's strategy has been built.
As with many family businesses, the ability to plan for the long-term and act accordingly is part of our genetic capital. The fact of being a listed company does not contradict this orientation, as more and more shareholders favor companies whose strategies incorporate sustainable development goals that do not impede but, on the contrary, favor its economic performance.
Our mission—to create, manufacture and sell veterinary medicines and, more generally, animal health products—puts our company at the heart of the food chain and the “One Health” ecosystem, where it is recognized that the health of all living beings on Earth is intrinsically linked.
Our customers, veterinarians, farmers and animal owners are becoming increasingly concerned of their impact on the environment and human health. We are therefore, naturally led to direct our activities accordingly.
The growth of our Group in France and internationally leads to additional requirements. We are deeply rooted in our home territory, the French Riviera. With the increase in our workforce and investments in this basin, our visibility is growing and making us an example in terms of our teams and our community, both socially and environmentally.
At the same time, we have also become a global company that derives nearly 60% of its revenue from outside Europe and whose subsidiaries are located in 33 countries across every continent. Our company must ensure that this development complies with our common principles, regardless of the territories in which it operates, particularly in the economic, social and environmental spheres.
In the social sphere, respect for human beings was one of the key values of our founder: maintaining real social dialogue, proper remuneration and social coverage policy for employees at the lower end of the salary scale, and the trust and attention given to every employee are thus part of our traditional values. We are committed to preserving this legacy and building on it by complementing it with ambitious skill development policies.
In the environmental sphere, the company’s operations guarantee strict quality requirements: for example, by compliance with Good manufacturing and laboratory practices. In addition, several years ago we embarked on a continuous improvement strategy designed to consistently cut waste and optimize the use of resources. The search for energy efficiency and environmental friendliness are increasingly being systematically integrated into our key decisions (investment, transportation, product design, etc.).
In the financial sphere, our objective is to pursue the consistent and profitable growth experienced almost every year since it was founded. This development is based mainly on solid organic growth, driven by innovation and quality of relationships with our customers. We regularly supplement this growth with targeted acquisitions carried out while maintaining an acceptable degree of debt.
We are pursuing this strategy within the framework of simple and clear governance guaranteeing shareholders with a high level of transparency. Without overdoing the communication, we are carrying out a genuine approach, targeting long-term development that respects our customers, employees, shareholders, partners and our environment.
Chief executive officer, Virbac group