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Cargill focus on added-value juice


US ingredients supplier Cargill has moved deeper into the value-added juice market by selling off a large slice of its Brazilian juice operations to two local companies.

The privately-held agri-business, which employs over 6000 people in Brazil, said it was repositioning through the divestment of its juice business in Brazil in order to develop and strengthen its presence in the global market for value-added juices and beverages.

The sale includes four citrus production farms, two processing plants, fruit supply agreements and related assets, to the Brazilian companies Citrosuco and Cutrale, in separate transactions. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

"While this decision involves Cargill's exit from Brazilian orange producing and processing, it reinforces Cargill's focus to be aligned with, and provide innovative solutions and products to, its global customers," said Sergio Barroso, Cargill Brazil president.

Cargill has juice operations - plants and terminals - in Europe, Japan and North America.

For the first half, Cargill said net profit in the fiscal second quarter ended 30 November reached $518 million, compared with $314 million a year ago, with its global grain, oilseed, cocoa and starch and sweetener operations showing improved results and the latest quarter including gains of $117 million from potential liabilities from a prior acquisition.

The company, whose operations span grain and crude oil trading, meat processing, and fertiliser production, said one-time gains saw profit from continuing operations hitting $513 million, up 62 per cent from $316 million for the same period last year.

Stepping into Europe in the first half and adding a UK flavour house - The Duckworth Group - and a chocolate supplier - OCG Cacao - to its portfolio, Cargill's recent acquisitions in the European ingredients arena helped boost overall earnings for the group. Last year, starch and starch derivatives firm Cerestar also became a fixture in the Cargill stable.

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