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Thursday, August 20, 2015

20/08/2015: EWOS merger with Cargill

Cargill set to utilise EWOS’s leading aqua feed research and technology into salmonids feed for all species, with the aim to help and be part of the solution to feed 9 billion people by 2050.

From left - Joe Stone Cargill Corporate Vice President, Sarena Lin Cargill President Feed and Nutrition, Ellen Stewart Cargill Head of HR Feed and Nutrition , Darren Parris International Aqua Feed Group President.

On the first day of the Global Aqua Nor exhibition in Trondheim Cargill and EWOS chose this premier international event to announce, probably the biggest story in aquaculture for a decade. The purchase of EWOS by Cargill for 1.35 billion euros, though Joe Stone, Cargill Corporate Vice President stated "We are very proud to be merging with EWOS company. We have been on this journey for the last few months with Einar Wathre, CEO Ewos and his leadership team Every time we went to a plant or a factory, every time we visited with a customer we became more excited about what this merger could mean for Cargill as well as for EWOS. Cargill is a company which is family owned, 150 years old this year, EWOS is 80 years old so, between the two of us we have 230 years experience. You don't see that very often anymore in todays world”

Hanne Dankertsen, Communications manager for EWOS opened the press conference and handed over to Einar Wathre who went on to say "Its fantastic having this audience at our booth, fantastic being able to communicate to you the great news that EWOS has found a new Haven. I will start using the same words that I used to the employees yesterday, ‘congratulations', its not only congratulations to EWOS, it is congratulations to all of us in this industry.  I think we need industrial players in this industry. I would like to say with that background, Welcome Cargill, we really appreciate your presence into this farming value chain that we care so much about.

And its also fantastic being able to announce this here at AquaNor and also to introduce the people behind Cargill, EWOS's new partner.  But also owner.  It is really an opportunity for EWOS to work faster towards our new slogan which is "to become the global innovator in AquaFeed”

Einar went on to say “Cargill come with more, a global leadership in nutrition, most respected, probably, feed nutrition company in the world. And they also come with a strong foot hold in the raw material and supply markets and can help us understand that better to provide the best cost effective raw materials to make fish feed.

What is also important when talking about new partners is the whole process of culture, and its very interesting having met Cargill now over the last months we have been surprised to see how much we have in common culturally. Cargill is a people orientated organisation with strong values, they care about their people and give their employees the opportunity to develop and to get experiences in new area's.  They are extremely committed to to the main purpose of what we are doing which is to produce healthy protein to the population and they are science based.

All of these are values that we share at EWOS, maybe a difference in words but we can align around them. And I am sure they will tell you today what they have seen in EWOS, but what they have told me they like is the commitment in our people, the people they met in all of EWOS are committed to customers, and to the quality of the product and to the production of salmon which is our main target now. And that we show passion for what we do.

We have a strong customer focus, which they like to see, we have an innovation culture, where we invest in R&D and we innovate our feed products."

Joe Stone continued the briefing by stating that Cargill are deeply committed to this business of Aqua Feed, he went on to say "we are deeply committed to the customers of EWOS, and for that we are very excited. Cargill today has about 150,000 employees in about 64 countries around the world, so as of today it is 151,000 employees including our new EWOS colleagues and team mates.

We are in 64 countries as I mentioned and we are deeply committed to our promise to be the global leader in nourishing people. And when you think about the role seafood is going to play in feeding the 9 billion people that will inhabit this world by 2050, we feel seafood plays an increasing role and we want to be a part of it."

The floor was then opened up for questions, Gustav from Salmon new media group kicked off with the first question; Now as you move into the Salmon Industry, is that also the first step for you to move into the production now that seafood is becoming more and more important?

Sarena Lin, President of Cargill feed and nutrition stepped forward to answer "Thank you Gustav for that question, that is the second time you have asked that question, so it must be top of your mind, so first let me introduce myself, my name is Serena Lynne, I am the president of Cargill feed and nutrition, its absolutely a privilege to be here and to attend this event and to see the interest you all have in this merger. I think as Joe said this is a  transformative deal. the reason for that is very simple, if you look at Cargills feed industry, something you might not know is that we have been in the feed business for about 100 years of the 150 years of history of Cargill.

And if you think about the knowledge we have developed over the 100 years that started with us being in 37 countries and 17,000 employees with tremendous expertise and knowledge in feed, but most of it in livestock. What we have done though over the last 15 or 20 years is to enter into the Aqua business. Aqua nutrition as we know is one of the fastest growing nutrition sectors in the world. And our evolvement in the past has mostly been in warm water fish such as Tilapia and shrimp. Now the reason why EWOS is such a critical partner for us is that we believe this is absolutely the transformative transition we need to have to allow us to really jump start the global presence Einar was talking about and harness the technology and skill set that evolved over the years to help us really accelerate the growth in all these other species and all these other markets.  Thats the first step and we need to get that done first. We really need to understand what Salmon is about as we know this is a complicated industry. So out first step is, lets get the deal done, welcome our EWOS friends into the Cargill family and we will continue to explore opportunities.”

Further questions were asked and answered by the panel of Joe Stone, Sarena Lin, Einar Wathre and Dr Adel El-Mowafi. The final question came from Darren Parris from the International Aqua Feed Magazine. 

"Just thinking more on a global scale now that Cargill is now involved in this partnership. Globally the world is farming 24 million tons of fish, we know that approximately 90% of that is produced in Asia. When we talk about feeding 9 billion people by 2050 it often thought this will not come from the Salmon industry which is seen as a cash crop, rather like mining for diamonds as opposed to mining for iron ore. So, my question to Cargill would be: With your global reach and the technology and research that has taken place into Salmon feeds, how do you see that technology and research being used in the future. Do you feel that can be expanded to other, larger produced species like tilapia, carp  or Pangasius, is this on your horizon?

Serena Lin, President Cargill Feed and Nutrition again answered " Absolutely, in fact I would say that is exactly the value we see in this partnership.  It is that transferability from what EWOS has developed in Salmon into these other species where you see tremendous growth, especially in Asia. I think also, from a research point of view we are absolutely impressed by Dirdal (EWOS R&D centre) by what EWOS has done in Dirdal, and we believe that has to maintain as a hub for us to deepen our knowledge in Aqua. But the job once we integrate is how do we take that knowhow and expertise to all these other parts of the world. Remember that is 37 countries where we already have a strong footprint where we can go in and leverage. This is absolutely in our plan.

Darren Parris answered Serena Lin,  "That will be quite interesting as often at these events and similar events around the world when companies are talking about research which often centres around Salmon and Salmonids which are not necessarily going to be the solution for feeding the world. Everyone often always talks about feeding the world in those topics and I often find this quite hypocritical in the big picture. It will be very interesting to see if Cargill can make this happen, as many will be watching to see if this research and technology will be used to benefit the wider species where this can happen, and where it will make most impact on feeding the planet. So I am sure everyone will be watching with quite some interest.

Sarena Lin finished off with "We will be watching too”

Full coverage of the Briefing, questions and answers will be available in the next edition of International Aqua Feed and online at www.aquafeed.co.uk. 

The Aquaculturists
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