Cargill to sell Turkish hazelnut operations

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cargill Chief executive officer

Cargill will no longer have a presence in the hazelnut processing
industry once the agreed sale of its Turkish hazelnut processing
business goes through.

The food ingredients giant plans to sell its operations in Hendek/Sakarya, Turkey, to local company Durak Findik.

The decision to sell comes after a strategic review by Cargill that identified the need to source directly from farmers and also shell hazelnuts.

The sale therefore follows Cargill's strategic decision not to invest in these areas. The firm is confident that the business will have a greater chance of growing and reaching its full potential as part of Durak Findik.

"Durak Findik has been sourcing and shelling hazelnuts for several years and has been working with us for 10 years,"​ said Paul Naar, head of Cargill's food ingredients business in Europe and Africa.

"Our business is going to a company that shares our focus on quality and high safety standards."

Cargill entered the hazelnut processing business in Turkey in 1996 through the construction of a state-of-the-art hazelnut processing facility. The company became a major processor of hazelnuts, supplying the European food and chocolate industries.

Over this time Cargill claims to have helped to raise the food safety standards in the industry, allowing customers to buy roasted hazelnuts directly from Turkey rather than buying non-roasted hazelnuts and roasting the nuts themselves.

Cargill says that the rise in food safety standards has also helped to increase the tonnage of processed hazelnuts exported from Turkey.

"By buying Cargill's hazelnut facility we will be adding processing operations into our hazelnut business whilst maintaining a high quality product for customers,"​ said Hasan Basri Durak, chief executive officer of Durak Findik.

"Cargill's employees are well trained and will be key to ensuring the business is successful going forward."

Cargill's Turkish hazelnut business employees about 70 operators in a processing facility that cleans, roasts, sorts and packages the hazelnuts. Cargill's operational staff at the facility will now transfer to Durak Findik.

Transfer of assets should be completed by the end of June.

Cargill, 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.

The group 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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