Cargill Acquires Archer Daniels Midland’s Global Chocolate Business
Cargill’s chocolate business is expanding: today the agricultural and food processing giant announced that it has solidified an agreement to buy out Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company’s own global chocolate business, in a move that will greatly expand Cargill’s chocolate processing reach throughout North America and Europe.
According to its official statement, Cargill has offered up $440 million for ADM’s chocolate business. The acquisition puts Cargill in possession of ADM’s Ambrosia®, Merckens® and Schokinag® private label confectionery and chocolate brands, in addition to 700 employees across six ADM chocolate plants throughout North America and Europe in the following locations:
- Milwaukee, WI
- Hazleton, PA
- Georgetown, ON (Canada)
- Liverpool, UK
- Manage, Belgium
- Mannheim, Germany
Cargill states that this merger will help it increase productivity and extend its reach in North America and Europe as well as Asia and Brazil. Cargill also states that it hopes to take ADM’s brands to the next level through its experience and expertise with components like sweeteners, texturizers, and other food processing applications.
“Cocoa and chocolate products have been key contributors to Cargill’s business since 1979,” said Jos de Loor, president Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate EMEA and Asia, in the statement. “We continue to invest strongly in the development of our own facilities and people, and we welcome the opportunity to embrace these new operations and further build on our success together.”
“This acquisition is a major milestone in Cargill’s chocolate growth strategy and will help us better serve our customers in North America and Europe,” added Bryan Wurscher, president Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate North America. “It will bring together great people with a deep passion and commitment to producing excellent chocolate. Our customers will benefit from a broader product portfolio, greater access to innovation and product development support.”
As always, the merger is subject to regulatory approval in both North America and Europe where the transaction will have the most impact. If all goes to plan, the deal should be finalized within the first half of 2015.
Tech firm BestBees helps honey bees with remote monitoring
The global honey industry was worth an estimated $9.2b in 2020. Out of the 100 crop species which feed 90% of the world's population, 70 of them are pollinated by bees. In addition, 1.4b farming jobs, depend on the pollination of crops carried out by bees.
Bees are vitally important to planet earth and everyone on it - but they are in danger. Between April 2019 and 2020, 43% of US hives were lost. Bee hives have been devastated by:
- Climate change
Tech firms have taken on one of the world’s oldest occupations, beekeeping, in order to maintain the welfare of the the mighty bumblebee.
Best Bees Company bumbles forward
US business, Best Bees Company, was shocked at the plight of the American bee colonies.
Best Bees install hives and then use an advanced software system to monitor and record the health of each bee hive.
"We are looking at why thriving beehives live", said Wilson-Rich, chief scientific officer at Best Bees. "We need to understand why they're doing better. With that research data we can get wonderful benefits... it is telling us how the bees are actually doing."
Best Bees also harvests and bottles the honey for the property owners, of where the hives sit, to enjoy.
The data is being shared with Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where researchers are trying to understand and assist the bees in their duty.
Tech saves beekeepers time and labour
The Irish business ApisProtect is also utilising technology to help the bees, through their wireless in-hive sensors, which transmit data.
"We collect temperature, humidity, sound and acceleration [of the bees flying out of the hive] data," said Fiona Edwards Murphy, chief executive "What we do is extract those raw data points and then use machine learning to convert that into useful information. We tell the beekeeper, for example, which hives are growing and which hives are shrinking, or which hives are alive and which hives are dead."
The technology means beekeepers no longer have to manually inspect hives, which saves time and effort and allows the bees to go about their business uninterrupted.
"In a commercial operation only about 20% of hives at any given time need intervention," concludes Edwards Murphy. "The problem is that beekeepers don't know which 20%. They literally go out and pick around a hive to see if it's the one they should be looking at. What we do is enable them to get a picture of what's happening in all their hives, spread across a large area, before they even leave their office in the morning. For commercial beekeepers, we see a 50% reduction in labour costs. That obviously has a huge impact on the business of beekeeping."