Chuck Warta, president of Cargill’s premix and nutrition, said the "successful" integration of fish feed producer EWOS (now called Cargill Aqua Nutrition), positioned the company solidly in the aquaculture feed business and was a “significant highlight” of 2016.
“It enabled us to grow our offerings across the spectrum of protein sources,” he added.
Last February, Einar Wathne, EWOS CEO, told Undercurrent News that $1.5bn acquisition, which was completed in October 2015, brought a new level of competitiveness to the international feed sector.
In terms of the influence of political developments and increasing amalgamation on the agri-food business, Warta said: “Government administrations will continue to change and evolve, so it is important for us to keep the customer at the center of what we do.
“We see [the] consolidation [trend] as a real opportunity for both the industry and Cargill as it brings efficiencies, competitive forces, investment and leverage to the marketplace.”
Challenges and opportunities ahead
Challenges ahead include the shifts in consumer demands and expectations, disease management and the delivery of animal nutrition products in a sustainable way, but those developments, he said, will also provide opportunities for business growth as well.
“Free trade also comes to mind; we do believe that free trade is a pathway to delivering on both sustainability and food security, so it will be important that we are working in an environment in which we are allowed to work seamlessly across borders,” said Warta.
He said staying focused on opportunities and innovations in antimicrobial resistance will continue to be important for Cargill.
Recruiting new talent to the sector is also a priority, said Warta. The agri-giant is set on creating awareness about the “meaningful” career opportunities in food and agriculture, he said.
Consumers are pulling the industry in new directions, said Warta. “We see huge opportunity in reorienting the consumer and the conversation around better understanding of protein production," he added.