Árni Oddur Thórdarson, CEO of Marel, accepted the award on behalf of Marel from Gudni Th. Jóhannsson, the President of Iceland, and Björgólfur Jóhannsson, the CEO of Promote Iceland. Promote Iceland is a public-private partnership established to improve the competitiveness and exposure of Icelandic companies in foreign markets and to stimulate domestic economic growth through increased exports.
Excellent results and focus on innovation
Marel received the award for their outstanding performance and reputation in the production and sales of the highest-quality products and services for the food processing industry. The judges further reasoned that Marel has for several years been the leader of innovative, high-quality equipment and systems that are used for the processing of meat, poultry and fish, from slaughtering all the way to packaging and dispatch.
The company’s development in the past 15 years has been exceptional and made Marel a worldwide front runner in its field. Marel has evolved into an international company with over 6,000 employees with offices in 33 countries and agents in over 100 countries.
Innovation has been the cornerstone of Marel from their beginnings in 1977. The company spends approximately 6% of its annual revenue in innovation annually, or nearly €74 million in 2018. The investment in innovation has resulted in robust product development, and Marel has developed 50 new products in the last three years alone. Marel is now at a crossroads, as the company's shares are preparing to be listed on the Euronext stock exchange in Amsterdam this year.
Björgólfur Jóhannsson, CEO of Promote Iceland, said in his speech at Bessastadir:
"There are few companies with Icelandic roots that have become as successful as Marel. With determination and vision—plus a dynamic marketing approach—the company's representatives have managed to make Marel one of Iceland's largest export companies."
Árni Oddur Thórdarson, CEO of Marel, said in his speech at Bessastadir:
"This is the second time that Marel receives the President of Iceland's Export Award. In 1990, Marel had 33 employees and €3.3 million in income and had already started to export products to over 20 countries. Looking back, the vision and courage of Marel's pioneers and employees was quite remarkable. With a clear vision for the future, and by putting our customers first, we have transformed Marel from a little startup company, into a global leader in its field with 6,000 employees in over 30 countries and €1.2 billion in income.
"In partnership with our customers worldwide, we are making food processing safer, more sustainable and more economical. I am proud to accept this award on behalf of Marel's former and current employees. Now, as well as in the past, these employees have been an inspiration for us to continue down the road."