“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” (attributed to Saint-Exupéry). This awareness should be the driving force behind the actions of humans on Earth. We understand this well.
Making our development sustainable is a natural process for several reasons. The majority of our Group’s 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.
The ability to foresee long-term outcomes and to act on these predictions has been a part of the company’s DNA since our beginnings. The fact that we are a publicly traded 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 economic performance.
Our mission—to create, manufacture and sell veterinary products and, more generally, solutions for the health of animals—puts our company at the heart of the One Health ecosystem, which recognizes that the health of all living beings on Earth is intrinsically linked.
Our customers, veterinarians, farmers and animal owners are becoming increasingly aware 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 region, our visibility is growing and making us an example for our teams and our community, both socially and environmentally.
At the same time, we have also become a global company that derives over 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, a 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 that strict quality requirements are met, for example, through compliance with current Good manufacturing practices and Good 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 efficiencies and environmental protection are now being systematically integrated into our key decisions (investments, transport, product design, etc.).
In the economic sphere, our objective is to pursue the consistent and profitable growth the Group has experienced nearly every year since its inception. This development is based mainly on solid organic growth, driven by innovation and the quality of relationships with our customers. We regularly seek to supplement this growth with targeted acquisitions carried out while maintaining an acceptable debt level.
We are pursuing this strategy within the framework of simple and clear governance, guaranteeing a high level of transparency for our stakeholders. Without overdoing the communication, we are taking an authentic approach that targets long-term development and is considerate of our customers, employees, shareholders, partners and our environment.
Chief executive officer, Virbac group