Archer Daniels Midland Co.
and Marubeni Corp. recently announced a joint agreement in which ADM will export specialty grains and oilseeds from growers in the United States to grain trader and feed miller Marubeni, who will then market the products in Japan. In addition to producing grains and oilseeds, Decatur, Ill.–based ADM also produces soy meal, ethanol, corn sweeteners, and flour. Marubeni is based in Tokyo, Japan. 

from Chicago, Ill., to Dallas, Tex., less than one month after the company closed its manufacturing plant in Chicago. The company’s new corporate office is located about one hour away from its manufacturing plant in Linares, Mexico. 

Minneapolis, Minn.–based Cargill Inc. in January acquired British flavor company The Duckworth Group. Duckworth, which serves markets in the UK, Western Europe, Africa, India, and the Middle East, will maintain its operations in Manchester and Runcorn, UK. It will be part of Cargill’s Food System Design section, a group of specialty ingredients businesses that works with customers to develop innovative products.

D.D. Williamson, Louisville, Ky., recently acquired Cargill Inc.’s Cerestar caramel color operation in Manchester, UK. This is D.D. Williamson’s second production facility in Europe; its other facility is located in Ireland. As the world’s largest producer of caramel color, D.D. Williamson supplies caramel color for many of the leading food companies around the world. Both companies were founded in 1865, are privately held, and have headquarters in the U.S.

Dean Foods Co. in January acquired Horizon Organic Holding Corp. Horizon Organic sells certified organic foods, specifically milk, dairy products, juices, pudding, fruit gels, and eggs in the U.S. and milk, yogurt, and butter in the UK. It is the top brand of certified organic foods in the U.S. and certified organic milk in the U.S. and UK. Dean Foods, based in Dallas, Tex., produces various dairy products and is a leading supplier of pickles, juice, juice drinks, and water.

Excel Corp. has laid off 100–150 employees at each of its five U.S. beef processing plants in response to the recent discovery of a bovine spongiform encephalopathy–infected cow in the U.S. Many countries have banned imports of U.S. beef, and as a result, the company said it will no longer process some products for export, thereby decreasing the need for extra employees. Excel, based in Wichita, Kans., distributes branded and unbranded beef and pork around the world. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cargill Inc. 

FiberGel Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Mundelein, Ill.–based Circle Group Holdings Inc., recently signed an agreement with Swiss candymaker Nestlé S.A. to supply its zero-calorie fat substitute Z-Trim to Nestlé. The carbohydrate-based ingredient reduces fat and calorie contents in confectionery products, cheese, baked goods, and various processed foods. Circle Group also entered into an exclusive market development agreement with DKSH Group, a marketing, services, and distribution provider based in Zurich, Switzerland. Under the agreement, products containing Z-Trim will be available to European and Asian markets. 

Construction of Flavors of North America’s new corporate facility in Geneva, Ill., continues on target for the November 2004 completion date. The facility will house a state-of-the-art flavor development lab, application and prototype creation lab, culinary center, and training and education rooms. The company plans to take about 12–18 months after the new facility is built to move all of its operations out of its current headquarters in Carol Stream, Ill. 

Dairy and food company Glanbia plc in January announced that the construction of a $190-million milk, cheese, and whey products production facility has begun. The facility, located in Clovis, N.M., is being built for the Southwest Cheese Co. LLC, a joint venture among Glanbia, Dairy Farmers of America Inc., Select Milk Producers Inc., and dairy cooperative members of the Greater Southwest Agency Inc. The expected completion date is the end of 2005. Once the facility is operational, it will be one of the largest dairy plants in the world, processing more than 2.4 billion lb of milk and producing more than 250 million lb of cheese and 16.5 million lb of whey protein. Glanbia is based in Kilkenny, Ireland, and operates facilities in Ireland, the UK, and the U.S. 

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Inc. recently announced the sale of the Eight O’Clock Coffee Co. to Gryphon Investors, a private equity firm. Eight O’Clock Coffee is the third-largest retail brand and top-ranked retail whole coffee brand in the U.S. The company will retain its headquarters in Montvale, N.J., and will continue its roasting operations in Landover, Md. The 145-year-old company will retain its employees.

International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. will begin construction of its new Culinary & Bakery Center at its existing North American Regional Creative Center in South Brunswick, N.J., in the first quarter of 2004. The facility will include a professional-grade commercial kitchen and house the North American headquarters for IFF’s global Culinessence™ program, in which chefs from around the world use flavor technology to create products with authentic taste. The expected completion date is the end of 2004. The company plans to hold culinary demonstrations and provide concept and product development support at the new center. 

Construction on Loders Croklaan’s palm oil processing plant in Rotterdam, Netherlands, is scheduled to begin in the middle of 2004. When it is completed in the middle of 2005, the facility will be the largest of that type in Europe. The plant will process 2,500–3,000 tons of palm oil per day, allowing the company to offer a larger volume supply of oil to food processors. Loders is based in Wormeveer, Netherlands.

McDonald’s Corp., Oak Brook, Ill., recently announced plans to open about 100 new restaurants in China during 2004. The company currently has more than 560 restaurants nationawide there. McDonald’s entered China in 1990 and has since invested more than $200 million to operate 52 farms and plants around the country. 

As a result of the lifting of international trade sanctions against Iraq, Purchase, N.Y.–based PepsiCo International in January announced that it will reenter the Iraqi market. Baghdad Soft Drinks Co. will produce and distribute several PepsiCo drink products in central Iraq beginning in the first half of 2004. The products to be produced by Baghdad Soft Drinks include Pepsi-Cola, Seven-Up, and Mirinda, and the company will provide marketing support and new bottle designs and graphics. Both companies expect to create about 2,000 new jobs at Baghdad Soft Drinks over the next few years. 

Operation of Braintree, Mass.–based Richelieu Foods, Inc.’s expanded manufacturing capabilities commenced in January at the company’s Washington Courthouse, Ohio, facility. The company previously manufactured only pizza crust at the 100,000-sq-ft facility, but now the plant includes a USDA-approved area to manufacture pizza toppings and package pizzas. The facility is also certified for organic manufacturing. The company also has a pizza manufacturing plant in Wisconsin.

Siemer Milling Co. in February completed the construction of a new $3.5-million heat-treating facility for flour at its Teutopolis, Ill., milling complex. This facility is the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and will produce specialty flour with altered functional characteristics. 

The world’s largest producer of olive oil, SOS Cuerta USA, recently purchased American Rice, one of the largest rice millers and marketers of branded rice in the U.S. SOS, a majority-owned subsidiary of Spain–based SOS Cuerta S.A., is also a leading marketer of branded biscuits, rice, and edible oils in Spain and Portugal. American Rice, based in Houston, Tex., is one of the largest rice millers and marketers of branded rice products in the world. 

Coffee giant Starbucks Coffee Co. in January opened two shops in Paris, France, its first stores in France. The Seattle, Wash.–based company operates more than 7,500 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim. The expansion into France is a joint effort between Starbucks Coffee International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks, and Grupo Vips, a food and retail service operator based in Spain. Starbucks has worked with specialty French food companies to develop coffee, pastries, and fresh food items that appeal to local tastes.

Tyson Foods Inc. in February announced that it has begun removing trans fat ingredients from the company’s fully cooked retail and school foodservice products. The company expects to reformulate all of these products over the next three months. Trans fat is found in certain ingredients, such as breading and cooking oils, used to prepare Tyson’s chicken, beef, and pork, which are naturally low in trans fat. Tests show that there are no differences in taste, texture, and visual appearance between the reformulated products and the company’s current products. Tyson is based in Springdale, Ark.

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., based in Chicago, Ill., has signed a purchase agreement with Agrolimen, a privately held Spanish food conglomerate, whereby Agrolimen will sell several of its Joyco Group confectionery businesses to Wrigley. These include Joyco’s operations in China, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and India, and its chewing gum and bubble gum base business. Joyco’s operations in the Americas and its other joint ventures are excluded from the agreement. Wrigley will acquire several brands from Joyco including Boomer® bubble gum, Pim Pom® lollipops, and Solano® candy. These brands are sold in more than 70 countries.

CAST report recommends food safety strategies
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology
(CAST), an international group of scientific and professional societies based in Ames, Iowa, has issued a report entitled “Intervention Strategies for the Microbiological Safety of Foods of Animal Origin.” 

The report recommends improving husbandry and slaughter practices and identifying critical points in the food processing process at which using certain products and practices can help decrease the risk of foodborne illness. It also emphasizes the need for foodservice workers and consumers to understand the importance of maintaining proper food storage temperatures and clean food preparation areas. And it proposes new strategies for educating consumers, such as mass media campaigns. The report is available on CAST’s Web site at

ACF call for nominations
The American Culinary Federation is accepting nominations for its 2004 Achievement of Culinary Excellence Awards to recognize foodservice establishments. The nomination deadline is April 30. For more information, contact Tracy Smith at 800-624-9458 ext 114 or [email protected], or visit

PMMI Executive Committee begins term
The Executive Committee of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) took office in January. The members are as follows: Chairman, Glen A. Long, President and CEO, Inex Vision Systems; Vice Chairman, Robert F. Risley, President, Materials Handling Systems Inc.; Past Chairman, Rocky Marquis, President, MARQ Packaging Systems Inc.; and President, Charles D. Yuska, President, PMMI. 

Beginning four-year terms on PMMI’s Board of Directors are Wilhelm B. Bronander III, President, Scandia Packaging Machinery Co.; Ronald L. Downing, Vice President–Marketing and Sales, George Gordon Associates Inc.; Richard S. Schneider, President, Schneider Packaging Equipment Co. Inc.; and Robert M. Storms, Director of Sales and Marketing, Moen Industries. 

Welcome named IFPA President
The International Fresh-cut Produce Association
has appointed Jerry Welcome as its President, replacing Edith Garrett, who stepped down on January 1. Welcome recently served as Vice President, Member Services, for the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) where he oversaw the education and workforce development, technical services, public affairs, and communications and membership programs and worked on promoting PMMI’s Pack Expo. 

CRA appoints Government Affairs Director
The California Restaurant Association (CRA) has named Rebekah Warren as Director of Local Government Affairs. She will help to increase CRA’s presence in government affairs by working with elected officials and regulatory agencies. Prior to accepting this position, Warren served as a liaison between CRA and restaurateurs and politicians.

Balchem Corp., New Hampton, N.Y., has promoted Frank Fitzpatrick to Chief Financial Officer and appointed several others to management positions within its Encapsulated/Nutritional Products business segment. The company has named Dana Putnam Director, Animal Nutrition and Health; Ilya Zhivkovich National Sales Manager, Food and Nutrition; Paul Richardson Director of Research and Development; Carl J. Pacifico Manager, International Business Development; and Lucien Hernandez Business Manager, Nutrients.

Ken Hanna will replace retiring David Kappler as Chief Financial Officer this April at London–based Cadbury Schweppes PLC. Hanna currently works as an operating partner at a private equity firm and has worked as Finance Director at several companies. Kappler is retiring after 38 years with Cadbury. 

Chiquita Brands International Inc. recently named Fernando Aguirre as President and Chief Executive Officer. He succeeds Cyrus F. Freidheim, Jr., who will remain Chairman of the company. Aguirre has more than 20 years of experience in brand management and consumer marketing with Procter & Gamble Co. He earned his B.S. degree in business administration from Southern University Illinois in 1980. Chiquita is located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Scott Backman recently began work as Market Development Manager–Functional Food and Food Technology at Cognis Nutrition & Health, LaGrange, Ill. He has 17 years of sales and marketing experience, particularly sales of specialty ingredients to food producers around the world, and most recently worked at the Color Group of Sensient Technologies Corp. in St. Louis, Mo.

David W.K. Acheson has been appointed Director of the Food Safety and Security Staff in the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). Acheson, a physician who has public health experience in food safety and infectious diseases, will provide leadership across a wide range of food safety and security. He will continue to serve as CFSAN’s Chief Medical Officer. He also previously worked for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. 

Flavors of North America, Carol Stream, Ill., has hired several individuals to fill a variety of positions with the company. Stephen Graeme will help to lead the company’s international expansion as Vice President. He formerly held senior-level roles at several different flavor companies. Carmelita Ventura-Perez joins the company’s flavor development team as Senior Flavorist. She has more than 20 years of experience in the food industry, particularly in beverage and dairy applications. Ramesh Shah, who has more than 20 years of quality assurance experience, has been named Director of Technical Services. Manon Daoust joins the company as Account Manager, serving its Southeastern U.S. customers.

McDonald’s Corp., Oak Brook, Ill., has appointed former Kraft Foods executive Eric Leininger to lead the company’s global business research. He previously was Senior Vice President, Marketing Services, at Kraft and has also worked at ACNielsen Corp. and Quaker Oats. 

Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wis., recently hired and promoted several industry professionals. Chip Schuman brings more than 10 years of consumer food marketing experience to his position as Director of Marketing for Core Business–Consumer Products. He will be responsible for the day-to-day brand management of the Sargento product portfolio. Issac Peterson joins the company as Core Marketing Manager– Consumer Products. Prior to coming to Sargento, he worked at Kimberly Clark and Pillsbury’s Bakery. Lisa Mei-San Tsai, who has held brand manager positions with Sara Lee, Aurora Foods, and Keebler, joins Sargento as Senior Innovation Manager. She will lead the development of new cheese and cheese-based products. Sargento promoted Brad Flatoff to Senior Vice President–Marketing, Ken Anderson to Associate Manager–Base Business, Dorothy Farrell to Senior Innovation Manager, and Brad Rostowkske to Senior Innovation Manager.

Joseph Goodwin in January joined Takasago International Corp. (USA), Rockleigh, N.J., as Senior Beverage Technologist. Goodwin, who has more than 20 years experience in the food industry, worked for Givaudan, Bush Boake Allen, and Dragoco Inc. 

Assistant Editor
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