FEED Business Worldwide - August 2012
Viterra, Canadian Wheat Board launchjoint grain handling scheme
Viterra Inc. and the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) have signed a grain-handling contract in order to serve farmers and end-use customers in the newly liberalised western Canadian grain-marketing environment.
"We are very pleased to forge a new alliance with Viterra that will greatly assist the CWB in marketing farmers' grain through our pool programmes," said CWB president and CEOIan White. "Access to Viterra facilities means farmers now have a wide range of locations to deliver the grain they contract with CWB."
Under the commercial agreement, Viterra will accept deliveries of grain that farmers commit to CWB contracts at all Viterra locations across Western Canada. The agreement also includes port handling services. "This agreement provides growers with access to the CWB pool programmes for wheat, durum, and barley, and to Viterra's comprehensive logistics network across Western Canada" said Fran Malecha, Viterra COO, Grain.
Alltech and Nofima enter aquaculture research partnership
Animal health and nutrition firms, Alltech and the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima), have embarked on a research partnership that will focus on improving nutrition and management practices in the salmon industry.
The research from this partnership will be conducted in six of Nofima's research centres situated in the Norwegian cities of TromsÃ¸, Bergen, Stavanger, Ã…s, SunndalsÃ¸ra and AverÃ¸y.
The research alliance's purpose is to advance understanding of microalgae in modern feed formulations and their role in livestock health, performance and meat quality. In particular, algae's high protein and omega 3 fat levels make it a promising substitute for fishmeal, which has become increasingly scarce in recent years. This research alliance is in line with Alltech's global sales strategy which sees aquaculture as a significant contributor to its US$4 billion revenue goal.
Dr Karl Dawson, Alltech vice president and chief scientific officer said, "The salmon industry faces challenges that require a progressive partnership with research institutions that are focused on finding long-term answers. This agreement provides us with the structure to work openly and in collaboration on challenges, such as alternative feeding solutions for the salmon industry." He continued, "This agreement with Nofima is a significant step in the advancement of these goals."
Danone ups stake in Centrale Laitiere
Danone, which has held a 29% stake in top Moroccan dairy supplier Centrale Laitiere since 2001, has invested
US$680 million to increase its equity stake to 67% by buying shares from Societe Nationale d'Investissement, Morocca's sovereign investment fund.
France-based Danone said that the deal, which values Centrale Laitiere's equity at some US$2.2 billion,
"represents a key step in Danone's development in Morocco", which, with a population of more than 30 million, represents a substantial market.
The deal will allow Danone "to invest more in a market with major potential", the company said. It added that "the move also confirms the strategic appeal of markets in North Africa for Danone".
Centrale Laitiere handles some 60% of the milk processed in Morocco, although some 40% of milk is consumed without pasteurisation via the informal market, according to estimates from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Centrale Laitiere's operations are based around five plants, which specialise in different products, including pasteurised milk, yogurt and cheese.
US CHS Inc. buys 50% of Andali's ownership
American farmer-owned cooperative, CHS Inc, has purchased approximately 50% of Andali, a Brazilian-based provider of fertiliser storage and blending services.
"CHS strategic investment in Andali supports our global fertiliser growth aspiration," said Stefano Rettore, senior vice president for CHS South America. "CHS will have secure, long-term access to fertiliser capacity for current and future demand allowing us to serve rapidly developing corn and soy production."
This investment will allow Andali to further develop its industrial capacity on a national scale with improved and expanded services and efficiencies. CHS currently has a service agreement with Andali, as part of its extensive supply chain capabilities.
This is a second step in CHS's Latin American investment strategy. In May, CHS purchased 25% ownership of TCN, a Brazilian logistics company and also signed a long-term agreement with TCN, securing export terminal access at the Port of Itaqui, Sao Luis, Brazil. With the new acquisition, CHS gains access to Brazilian fertiliser and the logistics to ship it.
CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, livestock feed, food and food ingredients, along
with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management. Andali was founded in 1998 in Paranagua, Brazil, with a specific focus on fertiliser industry services.
Bayer CropScience acquires AgraQuest
Bayer CropScience has signed an agreement to purchase American biological company AgraQuest, Inc., at US$425 million plus milestone payments. Based in Davis, California, AgraQuest is a global supplier of biological pest management solutions based on natural micro-organisms.
With this acquisition, Bayer CropScience will be able to build a technology platform for green products, while also opening up new opportunities in other crops and markets. "AgraQuest expands our existing biological pest control portfolio centred on our successful Votivoâ„¢ biological nematicide, and it allows us to further leverage the biotechnology platform we have acquired through Athenix Corporation," said Sandra Peterson, CEO of Bayer CropScience.
Bayer CropScience will also build upon AgraQuest's technology platform and its promising pipeline of new biological control agents. Through the acquisition, Bayer CropScience will integrate AgraQuest's biopesticides production facility in Tlaxcala, Mexico, as well as the company's R&D site in Davis.
The acquisition is subject to approval by American and EU regulatory authorities.
Dutch seek alternatives to livestock antibiotics
A new partnership research programme between Pfizer and top scientists in the Netherlands will research the development of non-antibiotic alternatives for livestock.
A public-private partnership, the US$10 million Alternatives for Antibiotics - Animal-specific Immunomodulatory Antimicrobials research programme was co-financed by Netherland's Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation in collaboration with Utrecht University and Immuno- Valley. The latter is a life sciences cluster of 27 organisations from the private sector, government and academia.
It is hoped that innovative anti-infectives based on newly identified small peptides will be further developed through this partnership. All parties involved will contribute to the research programme by sharing knowledge, equipment and financial resources.
Jeffrey L. Watts, director of anti-infectives Pfizer Animal Health commented, "This opportunity recognises the long term need forâ€¦effective treatments for infectious animal diseases while minimising the impact on [antibiotic] resistance in both human and animal pathogens."
French government seeks buyer for ailing Doux
French poultry group Doux, has been put up for bidding as administrators attempt to rescue one of the world's largest poultry exporters. The company has attracted 11 takeover offers so far.
According to poultry union officials, bidders included rival poultry producers LDC and Tilly Sabco, co-operative Terrena, agribusiness firm La FinanciÃ¨re Turenne La Fayette, and a consortium led by oilseed group Sofiproteol.
The government, which has been seeking a buyer that will protect as many jobs as possible, earlier stated that it was not satisfied with the initial offer from Sofiproteol's consortium.
The troubled French poultry group has a staff of 3,400 workers and 800 farmers.
At a meeting of Doux's works council, Chairman Charles Doux, whose family owns 80% of the firm, said he would make an alternative proposal in coming days to maintain the group's activities at least until December.
Terrena - parent of major French poultry producer Gastronom - bid EUR24.7 million (US$30.4 million) for three sites, while La FinanciÃ¨re Turenne La Fayette had provisionally offered EUR25 million (US$31 million) for two sites, Yannick Guehenno of the FO union told Reuters.
Tilly-Sabco confirmed in a statement an offer for the export# operations of Doux, which include two plants, pledging to maintain 588 permanent jobs. Unions reacted angrily to the offers, which they said only covered some sites and would not preserve the group.
French oilseed company SofiprotÃ©ol is heading up a takeover bid for the embattled French poultry company Doux. SofiprotÃ©ol said that the offer is a response to the seriousness of the social and economic impact that would come from Doux's bankruptcy. It could put 3,400 employees out of work and cause serious problems for 800 farmers and the economy of the region. The bid comes from the French industrial poultry sector that is already engaged with the breeders and is located in the region.
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