Cargill targets key European ingredient markets

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cargill Nutrition

Cargill plans to highlight its growing focus on texturising and
sweetness functionality solutions at a series of major events
across Europe this spring.

This initiative underlines the companys move towards value-added ingredients, and also the group's growing influence in Europe. The recent acquisition of Degussa Food Ingredients has strengthened the firm's position in a number of ingredients markets, especially lecithin.

Cargill says that its Texturising Solutions and Sweetness Solutions division, in conjunction with Flavour Systems and Health & Food Technologies, will be present at the conferences to demonstrate Cargill's comprehensive food and beverage ingredient range.

These conferences are important discussion arenas for the industry and we are delighted to be a sponsor and also to be participating at some of them,"​ said Mark Wastijn, marketing director for Cargill Texturising and Sweetness Solutions.

"Cargill provides speciality ingredients and product solutions to a global audience and from design through to development; we are committed to providing our customers with innovative solutions to their needs. We are looking forward to meeting and discussing these ideas with the conference delegates.

So far this year, Cargill have already sponsored the early-April Amsterdam conference on Driving New Product Development in the Food and Beverage Industry.

This was followed by the Product Innovation in Functional Drinks in London, where David Henstrom from Cargill Health & Food Technologies spoke on Improving the Natural Functionality of Juice using Plant Sterols​. The event finished today.

And at the Healthy and Nutritional Bars conference in Amsterdam next month, two Cargill speakers will speak on New development opportunities for low GI bars with Isomaltulose and Resistant Starch​ and Trends and developments in foods from a scientific health & nutritional point of view​.

Cargill, which is in a period of transition, is clearly intent on consolidating its position within the European ingredients market. But this is costing the group money the acquisition of Degussa Food Ingredients cost € 540 million alone.

This month, Fitch revised its Rating Outlook for the company to Negative from Stable, reflecting concern that higher capital expenditure will slow debt reduction. The latest report from the credit rating agency points out that Cargill's consolidated debt on 28 February 2006 was $14.8 billion, including $2.6 billion of non-recourse debt of The Mosaic Company (Mosaic) and $1.5 billion of non-recourse VIE debt.

However, Cargill's long-term financial situation appears secure. Fitch's revision will not affect the company's long term rating, which was left unchanged at A+. And in addition, the Outlook may be revised back to Stable if Cargill can "return credit metrics to more appropriate levels in 12 months".

The company, which had revenues last year of $71bn, has been increasingly moving into higher margin businesses, helping to establish the firm as a major supplier of starches, hydrocolloids, soy proteins, emulsifiers, dairy and meat cultures.

Cargill is the largest agricultural firm and one of the largest private companies in the world. Its major agricultural operations include oilseed processing, primarily soybeans, corn milling, meat processing and animal nutrition.

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