Cargill: We were a ‘port in a storm’ for customers

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Risk, Meat, Cargill

Cargill owns the Truvia brand of stevia-based sweeteners
Cargill owns the Truvia brand of stevia-based sweeteners
Fourth quarter earnings dipped 7 percent to $404m, but full year earnings surged 35 percent to $2.69bn on revenues up 18 percent to $119.5bn on continuing operations* at Cargill – the world’s largest agricultural trader.

Despite a weaker fourth quarter, full-year profits at the privately-owned firm’s food ingredients and applications division - which includes Truvia natural sweeteners, Corowise plant sterols and Zerose erythritol - were also up vs last year.

Managing risk and delivering reliably

Chief executive Greg Page said the past year had proved challenging given the volatility in commodity markets and financial uncertainty.

“From weather-related supply shocks in food commodities, grain export restrictions and rising energy prices to the uneven global economic recovery, looming sovereign debts and deficits, political unrest and natural disasters , the uncertainty led to volatile prices across a range of raw materials.

“Cargill sought to be a ‘port in the storm’ for our customers, sourcing food and feedstuffs from multiple origins, handling the logistics, managing the risk and delivering reliably.”

Spending spree

Minnesota-based Cargill, which operates in multiple industries from sweeteners and meat production to grain trading, has been steadily adding to its portfolio in recent months, snapping up a raft of businesses including German cocoa and chocolate firm Schwartauer Werke Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin, Central American poultry and meat processor Corporación Pipasa, Unilever’s shelf-stable condiments business in Brazil and Indonesian starch and sweetener maker PT Sorini Agro Asia Corporindo Tbk.

It is also building or expanding several plants including animal feed mills in Russia and Vietnam, poultry processing operations in Thailand, a sweetener facility in China and food innovation centers in Brazil and the US.

* The figures don't include results from Cargill's recently divested majority stake in fertilizer maker Mosaic Co.

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