Weekly Roundup: ADM and Cargill form grain marketing platform, Azelis extends distribution agreement for Russian markets

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02 Nov 2018 --- This week, ADM and Cargill agreed to form a technology joint venture Grainbridge LLC. The grain marketing platform aims to improve decision making and online marketing for North American farmers. Azelis extended its distribution agreement with Merck and has agreed to partner up for distribution in the Russian personal care and food and health markets, which is effective immediately. Symrise has made it into the finals of the German Sustainability Award for the third time and 2 Sisters Food Group announced another significant step in transforming its business with a disposal which will allow it to focus on strengthening its core operations. Finally, Omya announced a price increase on calcium carbonate products in the US and Canada.

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ADM and Cargill have agreed to form a
technology joint venture, Grainbridge LLC.

In brief: Acquisitions and joint ventures
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) 
and Cargill have agreed to form a technology joint venture, Grainbridge LLC. The joint venture intends to provide grain marketing decision support, e-commerce and account management software for North American farmers. This includes the development of digital tools designed to help farmers across the US and Canada consolidate information on production economics and grain marketing activities into a single digital platform, at no cost to them. “Farmers can more effectively market grain and improve their profitability using technology and data analytics,” says Roger Watchorn, President of Cargill’s North American agricultural supply chain. “They need digital tools that seamlessly connect their production and cost-of-production data from a variety of sources already used on their farms – but those tools simply aren’t available today. Together, Cargill and ADM’s unique technology capabilities, grain handling operations and years of farm consulting experience allow us to more quickly create the digital tools that will drive efficiency and profitability for farmers.”

Azelis has extended its distribution agreement with Merck and agreed to partner up for distribution in the Russian CASE, personal care and food & health markets, effective immediately. The partnership between Merck and Azelis started back in 1968 with one of the companies Azelis later acquired. Over the years, Nordics, Greece, Bulgaria, Benelux, France, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia were added. The Russian Federation is the latest country to be added to this impressive list. Peter Heinig, Group Principal Manager Azelis, comments: “Russian customers know the innovative and highly reputable products of Merck well and we are very proud to add Merck’s products to our product portfolio in Russia. I am convinced that our team in the Moscow office will create a further success story which will lead to new mandate opportunities in the future.”

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Flavor Producers, LLC has acquired
Flavormatic Industries, Inc. of Wappingers Falls, NY.

Flavor Producers, LLC has acquired Flavormatic Industries, Inc. of Wappingers Falls, NY. Included in the transaction is all intellectual property including Flavormatic’s flavor library, equipment, customer and supplier lists, and brands. Flavor producers will also access new markets, including coffee, where the company hopes to complement Flavormatic flavors with new organic and natural flavors for their customers, says the company. Jeff Harris, CEO of Flavor Producers comments: “The acquisition of Flavormatic is consistent with our growth strategy to expand our customer base and broaden our technical capabilities. By combining our R&D expertise with Flavormatic’s, we are offering our customers a broader range of solutions and resources.” 

In brief: Sustainability
After receiving the award in 2012 and reaching the final round in 2016, the global manufacturer of fragrances and flavorings Symrise has made it into the finals of the German Sustainability Award for the third time. As a pioneer in sustainability, the Group has developed high benchmarks in its industry, and these have been integrated into all decision-making and production processes. For years now, the company based in Holzminden has also been active in its growing regions across all continents and supported the local populations. Its comprehensive sustainability management has now been acknowledged in the final round of the category Germany’s Most Sustainable Large Corporation. The presentation ceremony will be held in Düsseldorf on December 7, 2018.

In brief: Appointments & retirements
The Hain Celestial Group
 has announced that its Board of Directors has named veteran consumer packaged foods executive Mark L. Schiller as the Company's new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective November 5, 2018. Schiller will be nominated as a director of the company at its Annual Meeting of Shareholders on December 5, 2018. He will succeed Irwin D. Simon, Hain Celestial's Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer.

In brief: Other highlights
2 Sisters Food Group
is announcing another major step in transforming its business with a disposal which will allow it to focus on strengthening its core operations. The business has reached an agreement to sell its Manton Wood sandwich business to Samworth Brothers. Located at Manton Wood, Nottinghamshire, UK, it produces a range of retailer chilled sandwiches, wraps and rolls. The finalization of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances, which are expected to be completed in the coming months.

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Mondelez's new state-of-the-art facility in Thane, India is part
of its US$65 million investment in its technical center network
that will accelerate growth and innovation.

Mondelēz International has inaugurated its newest global Technical Center in India located in Thane, Maharashtra. The India Technical Center has been set up with an investment of US$15 million and will support new products and technologies for the company’s global brands in Chocolate and Beverages. The Technical Center will also focus on improving consumer science, packaging and productivity. This is part of the company’s strategy to invest US$65 million in developing a global network of state-of-the-art technical hubs strategically positioned around the world, supporting a growth-oriented innovation agenda.

Arla Foods has announced further changes to a number of its corporate group functions as part of the ongoing transformation program “Calcium.” Earlier this year, farmer-owned Arla Foods launched a three-year program called “Calcium” which sets out to achieve over €400 million savings and efficiencies and transform Arla Foods into a stronger and more competitive company. As reported in August when Arla released its half-year results for 2018, the Calcium program is already contributing positively to the company’s milk price pay-outs to farmer-owners and delivering ahead of schedule, with total financial contribution expected to be well beyond the forecasted €50 million this year.

Finally, Omya has announced a price increase of 7-9 percent for its calcium carbonate products in the US and Canada, effective January 1, 2019, or as customer contracts allow. Omya has been facing significant cost pressures from escalating raw material, chemical, energy, transportation costs and overall inflation across all regions in 2018, which is expected to continue. However, these actions and cost savings initiatives only allowed partial coverage to these significant and unprecedented cost inflations. Thus, it has become necessary to implement a price increase on calcium carbonate products, depending on the grade, in the US and Canada, exclusive of agreements already in place, the company reported in a statement. 

By Elizabeth Green

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