Fertilizantes Heringer S.A. was one of the first companies engaged in the production, sale and distribution of fertilizers in Brazil, where it has operated for 44 years. The company has achieved significant growth throughout its history as a result of investments made in new plants, the high quality of its products, specialized services provided to their customers, an extensive sales and distribution network, a stable supply of raw materials, efficient decision-making and strategic positioning in important regional markets.
The company believes that they are among the 3 largest sellers and distributors of fertilizers in Brazil, responsible for 17.2% of production market, commercialization and distribution in 2011, in volume terms, according to ANDA data.
Heringer produces and distributes Basic Fertilizers. NPK Formulas and Special Fertilizers to farmers, agricultural companies, retailers, distribution companies and cooperatives located in 23 Brazilian states and the Federal District of Brasília. The company develops new Special Fertilizers in its staffed with highly-trained professionals, which enables them to serve diverse segments within the agribusiness industry. Heringer has more than 50 thousand customers to which they supply over 3,000 different types of fertilizer products. In 2011, Heringer produced and marketed approximately 4.5 million tons of fertilizers.
The current production capacity adjusted for seasonal variations is approximately 6 million tons per year, while the total storage capacity (as measured by the maximum quantity of raw materials they can currently store in its plants) is 900 thousand tons.
The company also provides value-added services to its customers, such as soil analysis programs, technical presentations and conferences, pre- and post-sales support and specialized technical support. Heringer also makes available technologies developed in its two research centers to its customers, providing them with access to cutting-edge agricultural techniques.
Heringer specialized business model focuses on the production, marketing and distribution of fertilizers throughout Brazil. The company tailor its products and sales to a wide variety of customers, diverse types of crops and multiple regions in order to minimize its exposure to cyclical growing seasons and to take advantage of crops with expanded growing areas. In order to implement its business model, Heringer strives to operate in the most important customer markets in Brazil by utilizing an extensive distribution network to meet its clients’ needs in a reliable and efficient manner. Furthermore, due to its long-standing relationships with suppliers, the company has access to stable and competitive sources of raw materials that enable the maintaining of its long-term growth.
The company operates 20 plants strategically located in the States of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Espírito Santo, Sergipe, Bahia, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio Grande do Sul. All of these plants produce, sell and distribute fertilizers used for various crops, depending on the needs of each plant’s clients. Heringer’s plants are strategically located close to major customer markets and to the main domestic suppliers of raw materials, as well as to major railroads, highways and ports in Brazil. These strategic locations allow the company to minimize its logistical costs, tax burden and the risk of delays associated with the transportation of raw materials and finished products.
The company was established in 1968, by Dalton Dias Heringer, an agronomist, as a sole proprietorship, starting its operations in the State of Minas Gerais, supplying fertilizers to coffee producers, through a small factory located in the City of Manhuaçu. The company is controlled by the Heringer family, which has a long history of investing and participating in the Brazilian agricultural industry.
In 1973, Dalton Dias Heringer converted to a limited liability company, Fertilizantes Heringer Ltda. In 1973, Heringer began operations next to the port of Vitória, in the State of Espírito Santo, where the company operated from a leased warehouse, supplying fertilizers for several crops, aiming to serve not only customers in the State of Espírito Santo, but also in the State of Rio de Janeiro and in the southern part of the State of Bahia. In 1979, the company built its own plant in the city of Viana in the State of Espírito Santo.
Also in 1979, Heringer started its operations in the State of São Paulo, in the city of Santos. In 1985, the company constructed a plant in the city of Paulínia, State of São Paulo. With this plant, the company expanded operations throughout the State of São Paulo, one of the the largest fertilizer market in Brazil. Heringer continued to expand in the 1990’s, including the following highlights: (1) in 1994, created the "Eloy Carlos Heringer" coffee research center, in the State of Minas Gerais; (2) in 1996, built a modern new plant in Manhuaçu in the State of Minas Gerais, with greater production capacity; (3) in 1997, started producing fertilizers in Paranaguá, in the State of Paraná; and (4) in 1998, built a new plant in the city of Três Corações, State of Minas Gerais, serving the markets in the southern and western portions of that state.
In 2000, Heringer built a new plant in Uberaba, State of Minas Gerais, and started serving the entire Minas Triangle (Triângulo Mineiro) area, as well as the State of Goiás. In 2001, its plant in Camaçari, in the State of Bahia, began to operate and serve customers in the State of Bahia and the northern portion of the State of Minas Gerais. In 2002, the company leased a plant located in the city of Catalão, State of Goiás, increasing its market share in the state. In 2004, Heringer leased a plant in Rondonópolis, seeking to enlarge its operations in the State of Mato Grosso. In 2003, the company implanted the Center for Pasture Handling and Fertilization (Centro de Manejo e Pesquisa de Pastagens), or CEMAP, in the city of Viana, and the following year, Heringer opened a new, modern plant in that city, with greater production capacity, replacing the one previously built.
In November 2004, Heringer changed from a limited liability company to a joint-stock company. Following this change, the company increased its capital stock as a result of the subscription of 20.6% of its capital stock by AIG Brazil Special Situations Fund, L.P. and AIG Brazil Special Situations Parallel Fund, C.V. In 2005, the company built a plant in Rosário do Catete in the State of Sergipe, aiming to efficiently serve customers in states located in northeastern Brazil. In 2006, Heringer opened its plant in Paranaguá.
In 2007, the company also expanded some of its existing plants and inaugurated some new ones (owned by the company or leased/outsourced). In 2007, Heringer integrated the production capacity of the Bebedouro (SP) plant, began operating the units in Rio Brilhante (MS) Iguatama (MG), and the company finished the expansion of the plants in Manhuaçu (MG) and Três Corações (MG), and opened a new company unit in Ourinhos (São Paulo) and a leased facility unit in Porto Alegre-RS.
In 2008, the company acquired a unit in Rio Verde, Goiás, constructed its own unit in Catalão and concluded its verticalization process by inaugurating a Super Simple Phosphate (SSP) production unit in Paranaguá, Paraná. SSP is a raw material rich in phosphorus, which is extremely important for Brazilian soil, especially in the midwest region where the soil has low sulfur content.
From 1995 to 2011, Heringer had an annual compounded growth rate in sales volume of approximately 17.0%, representing an increase 3 times higher than that of the Brazilian fertilizer market for the same period.