In the news again, US agri-giant Cargill reports that its Cargill Sweeteners North America business has formed a marketing alliance with the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (SMBSC) to sell and distribute its sugar products to food and beverage manufacturers. Both companies hope the agreement will lead to the development of innovative ingredient formulations for customers.
"Of the marketing alliance possibilities we considered, Cargill's offer was the best by far - too good for us to pass up," said John Richmond, chairman and CEO of SMBSC.
"Cargill's proven expertise in marketing, logistics and distribution offers great potential to add value for our shareholders. They also offer the possibility of additional business opportunities not now available to us in product development and marketing," he added.
According to Cargill this is the first time it has signed to be the exclusive marketer for a specific group of sugar farmers.
"This is the latest example of Cargill's renewed efforts to deepen its relationship to the grower community," said Pat Bowe, president of Cargill Sweeteners North America. "We are confident this alliance will benefit the co-op members as well as Cargill as together we seek to serve customers in innovative ways."
"This marketing alliance will expand our ability to develop customised sweetener solutions for food and beverage companies," Bowe continued. "Cargill's distribution network, product application expertise, and expanded sweetener offerings make a combination second to none in the industry. That's good news for customers," he concluded.
In recent years Cargill has been growing its sugar-related activities in North America. The company operates a nationwide sugar terminal distribution network, manufactures liquid sucrose and works with hundreds of food and beverage manufacturers with the applications of corn sweeteners, sugar and specialty blends.
SMBSC is owned by 588 growers in 17 southern Minnesota counties. The co-operative's processing plant in Renville has the capacity to slice 12,500 tons of sugar beets and produce 24,000 cwt (hundred weight) of sugar per day.