Fertilizantes Heringer S.A., headquartered in Viana, Espírito Santo, has been in the market for 45 years and is one of Brazil’s pioneers in the production, marketing and distribution of fertilizers.
Based on information provided by the National Association for the Promotion of Fertilizers (ANDA), the Company is estimated to be among Brazil’s top three fertilizer companies, with a 16.9% share of marketing and distribution volume.
With a national footprint, Heringer operates through 21 fertilizer production, marketing and distribution units, 13 of which are owned, four outsourced and four leased. In the city of Paranaguá, state of Paraná, the Company has a plant that produces sulfuric acid and single superphosphate (SSP). The Paulínia plant, in the state of São Paulo, is the Company’s largest, with four mixing machines and a seasonally-adjusted production capacity of approximately 480,000 tons per year. Heringer also has two business offices in the cities of Luiz Eduardo Magalhães, state of Bahia, and Maringá, state of Paraná.
The plants are strategically located in the Southeast, South, Midwest and Northeast regions of Brazil, close to the country‘s main fertilizer consuming regions, leading raw material suppliers, national highways and railways, as well as ports for the shipment of raw materials, in order to optimize its supply and distribution logistics, as well as reduce associated costs.
Heringer provides its clients with a broad portfolio of products, comprising a wide range of fertilizer formulations, which are developed in keeping with the highest standards of quality. In order to ensure that these standards are met, it carries out rigorous physical and chemical analyses of incoming raw materials and its own NPK formulas in its modern laboratory at the Paulínia plant.
This laboratory has a certificate of proficiency from ANDA‘s Interlaboratorial Analytical Methodology Program, which evaluates quality, methodological reliability and technical competence in fertilizer testing.
The Company markets and distributes basic fertilizers, NPK formulas and special fertilizers, all which are duly registered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA), as required by the prevailing regulations. It also offers a wide variety of services, such as soil analysis incentive programs, technical lectures for farmers, pre- and after-sales support, as well as specialized technical guidance. Basic Fertilizers and NPK Formulas: Basic fertilizers include raw materials such as urea, potassium chloride, ammonium sulphate, SSP, TSP (triple superphosphate), MAP (monoammonium phosphate) and DAP (diammonium phosphate).
NPK formulas are the result of an industrial mixture of basic fertilizers, based on specifications provided by consumers. Special Fertilizers: These fertilizers provide superior agronomic advantages over those commonly offered on the market, and most of them are exclusive Heringer products. The Company has one of the largest portfolios of special fertilizers, with products for virtually all crops. They are developed in order meet the specific nutritional needs of crops, in order to increase productivity, improve final quality and ensure higher financial returns for farmers.
Each of its production units has soil analysis agreements with a variety of external laboratories throughout Brazil. In order to encourage farmers to carry out these analyses, the Company covers a portion of their cost, while offering appropriate technical recommendations for the specific needs of each crop.
In 2012, Fertilizantes Heringer sold its products to approximately 49,000 customers throughout the Brazilian territory, ensuring the sale of its portfolio in 69% of Brazil’s municipalities. In 2012, out of total volume sold, 88% referred to end consumer and 12% referred to resale and cooperatives.
Sales diversification is the Company’s great competitive advantage. In 2012, sales referring to more than 70 cultivations, besides main ones, accounted for 21%. Concurrently, the sales percentage, including soybean, corn, reforestation, coffee and sugarcane stood at 79%. In order to make this result possible, Heringer relies on an adequate commercial structure composed of a wide network of agents.
Heringer has a Quality Department with a local and exclusive staff at its coordinated units. A call center is also available to receive complaints via an operational procedure called ARC (Customer Complaint Center), which investigates the facts and solution with the customer.
The Company is controlled by the Heringer family, which has a long history of investing and participating in the Brazilian agricultural industry. Agronomist Dalton Dias Heringer founded Heringer as a private company and started operating in Minas Gerais, supplying fertilizers to coffee farmers through a small factory in the city of Manhuaçu. The Company’s founder went on to serve as the CEO of Fertilizantes Heringer until 2004, when he assumed his current position as Chairman of the Board of Directors. In 1973, the Company was converted into a limited liability corporation. Subsequently, it increased its area of operations by leasing a warehouse near the port of Vitória, Espírito Santo, providing fertilizers for a variety of crops, with the aim of serving not just Espírito Santo, but also the state of Rio de Janeiro and southern Bahia. In 1979, the Company’s own plant, in Viana, Espírito Santo, was built. Heringer also began operations in the state of São Paulo, allowing it to substantially increase its number of clients, given the opportunities in that state, which is a major consumer of fertilizers. In 1985, the Company’s own plant was installed in the city of Paulínia, São Paulo, increasing its area of operations to cover the entire state.
The 1990s featured a variety of important achievements, including: the installation of the Eloy Carlos Heringer coffee research center in Minas Gerais (1994); construction of a new, more modern plant, with increased production capacity, in Manhuaçu (1996); the launch of fertilizer production in Paranaguá, Paraná (1997); and the construction of a plant in the city of Três Corações, Minas Gerais to serve the markets in the southern and western regions of the state (1998).
In 2000, Heringer built a plant in Uberaba, Minas Gerais, ensuring service to the entire Triângulo Mineiro region and the state of Goiás. In 2001, it launched the operations at the Camaçari plant, serving the state of Bahia and northern Minas Gerais. In 2002, the Company leased a plant in the city of Catalão, Goiás, increasing its share of sales in the region. In 2003, the Company opened the Pasture Management and Fertilization Center (CEMAP) in Viana and, in the following year, it inaugurated a new and fully-up-to-date plant in the same municipality, with an increased production capacity, replacing the previous facility. In 2004, Heringer was converted from a limited liability company to a joint-stock corporation, with a consequent 20.6% increase in its capital stock due to the investment by AIG Capital Partners, through its investment vehicle BSSF Fertilizantes Holding Ltda. Also, the plant in Rondonópolis was leased, with the aim of expanding operations in Mato Grosso state. In 2005, the Company built a plant in Rosário do Catete, Sergipe. In 2006, it inaugurated its own plant in Paranaguá and began operations at the outsourced plant in Bebedouro, São Paulo. 2007 was a year of operational growth, with the expansion of some existing units and the inauguration of new ones (owned, as well as leased/outsourced units). Also in 2007, the Company took over production capacity at the Bebedouro unit, launched operations at the units in Rio Brilhante, Mato Grosso, completed expansions of the units in Manhuaçu and Três Corações, and inaugurated a new owned plant in Ourinhos, São Paulo and a leased unit in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. In 2008, the Company acquired a unit in Rio Verde, Goiás, built its own unit in Catalão, and completed its recent verticalization process, inaugurating its SSP production unit in Paranaguá, state of Paraná. In 2010, it began operations in four fertilizer mixing units, with an owned unit in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, a leased unit in Anápolis, Goiás, and two outsourced units in São João do Manhuaçu, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul. In 2012, Heringer launched operations at an outsourced unit in Patos de Minas, Minas Gerais and an owned unit in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, through the acquisition and subsequent incorporation of Maxifértil Fertilizantes Ltda. With this acquisition, the Company wound up operations at the unit it leased in 2007, also in Porto Alegre. In May 2013, the Cubatão plant, in the state of São Paulo, started operating.
Between 1995 and 2012, Heringer’s sales volume recorded a compound annual growth rate of approximately 16.0%, 3.0 times higher than that of the fertilizer market during the same period.