Leading agricultural processor Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is to set up a new business unit for speciality oils and fats, it announced yesterday, in a bid to strengthen its position in value-added ingredients.
The news came at the same time as the group, one of the world's largest processors of soybeans, corn, wheat and cocoa, said it would decrease soybean crush rates at several locations in the US, with the closure or reduced operations at six plants. The move is a result of reduced soybean processing margins in the US, according to the company.
The new ADM Specialty Oils and Fats group will target the food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries. The product portfolio, to be derived from a variety of vegetable oil-based raw materials, will be manufactured at the ADM plants in Noblee in Hamburg, Germany, SIO in Arras, France and ADM's North American group in Quincy, Illinois.
"The formation of this unit is an extension of our value-added line. The Specialty Oils and Fats Group will provide a variety of unique solutions to our customers' needs by focusing on research and technical expertise in addition to strong sales and marketing support," said Larry Cunningham, senior vice president of corporate affairs.
The company also revealed that it will construct a new margarine and interesterification plant in Quincy to produce margarine products for institutional and food service customers.
The facility, located beside the existing ADM refinery and packaging plant, is to be ready by the summer of 2004. ADM said the factory would supply its growing customer base in packaged and speciality oil products.
ADM, which has moved much of its soybean processing capacity overseas to China, has meanwhile been expanding its Health & Nutrition product range to capitalise on growing demand for nutritional foods.
Headquartered in Decatur, Illinois, ADM had net sales of $22.6 billion (€22.1bn) for the year ended 30 June 2002.