Cargill is on its way to dominate another part of the food supply chain.
Last week, Cargill announced it had entered into a $1.5 billion agreement to buy EWOS, an international salmon feed supplier based in Norway, according to a company statement. The purchase in pending regulatory approval, but the U.S. company expects it to be finalized before the start of 2016.
Bloomberg Business reported that the deal will likely make Minnesota-based Cargill one of the world’s top three fish-feed producers.
“This transaction, which is significant and the second aquaculture acquisition Cargill has announced in as many months, is a strategic investment in our long-term growth and evidence of our commitment to the growing aquaculture industry,” said David MacLennan, Cargill president and CEO, in the statement.
In July, Cargill announced that it established a joint venture with Naturisa to build a $30 million shrimp feed facility in Ecuador.
Overall, the agribusiness company has aquaculture operations in Mexico, Central America, China, the United States, Asia, India and Ecuador. EWOS has operations in Norway, Chile, Canada and Scotland, as well.
Long-term agriculture projections often view aquaculture – or fish produced at farms instead of caught in the wild – as a promising market. In fact, 2014 was marked by historical peaks in production, trade and consumption of fish.
One United Nations outlook forecasts that worldwide fishery production will likely increase by about 20 percent within the next 10 years, ultimately surpassing total fish captured in the wild at some point near the end of the decade.
According to the outlook, nearly all of that aquaculture production will likely be based in developing countries.
“With the need for protein to grow by 70 percent worldwide by 2050, farmed fish and shrimp offers one solution to meeting this demand, and Cargill intends to play a major role in this growing and important market,” said Sarena Lin, president of Cargill’s feed and nutrition business, in the statement.
As the largest privately owned corporation in the United States, Cargill’s reach extends to nearly every facet of the food and agriculture industries.
The company operates as a grain and livestock processor, chartering more than 150 million metric tons of grains and oilseeds, while also providing nearly 8 billion pounds of beef goods each year. It has an expansive product portfolio that also includes flour, chocolate, caramel, cocoa, soy, sweeteners, starches and salt, among several other items.