Net sales remained the same as 2019, however, net earnings improved by $59m on the previous year.
The company said earnings strength in 2020 was driven by improved performance in its core Dairy Foods and Animal Nutrition businesses. Dairy Foods earnings were higher due to strong sales of retail products including butters, spreads and the Kozy Shack product lines, which more than offset volume declines in Foodservice and the impacts of commodity market volatility.
The company also worked to address issues that directly affected its members, their families, and the communities in which they live. Under its American Connection Project, Land O'Lakes partnered with its ag retail network to turn on their Wi-Fi to provide free, public access at a critical time during the onset of the pandemic.
Other partner organizations joined in the effort, delivering more than 2,800 Wi-Fi locations in 49 states. In addition, more than 140 organizations joined with Land O'Lakes in advocacy efforts to close the digital divide. This focus on digital connectivity also helps the company support and advance community vibrancy, strengthening the economies, healthcare, and educational access of less connected communities, both urban and rural.
Truterra, in combination with WinField United, delivered products and services to help growers be part of the climate change solution while maintaining profitable and productive acres. This included making decision-support technologies like the Truterra Insights Engine available to more farmers, on more acres, embedding more conservation agronomy experts with local ag retailers, and fostering the market conditions to drive demand for stewardship through unprecedented food company and conservation partnerships.
In July 2020, Land O'Lakes announced a multi-year alliance with Microsoft that includes pioneering new innovations in agriculture and closing the digital divide, fueling enhanced technological solutions for our members and customers.
"While I'm proud of our performance, I am even more proud of the team that delivered it. In an evolving and difficult landscape, Land O'Lakes was able to perform," said Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O'Lakes, Inc.
"We focused on growth in a challenging environment by standing up e-commerce across the business units as everyone moved online, developing revenue options for farmers and working to offset significant market declines."