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Referring to Cargill’s 2002 acquisition of Cerestar, Guillaume Bastiaens, Vice Chairman of Cargill, comments: “Our priorities included a smooth integration of the two cultures and the combining of our complementary areas of expertise to produce innovative products and greater value for our customers. Establishing a new European business center from which to base our combined business is consistent with these goals and will enhance the development of a new, stronger organisation better able to serve customers.”
A further important aspect of the decision to locate the office in Mechelen is its proximity to the company’s research and development center in Vilvoorde, also in Belgium. That facility, a key part of Cerestar, has an important role in providing unique solutions for Cargill’s customers. The center has traditionally specialised in applications relating to the starch, sweetener and derivatives business but will also work with Cargill’s cocoa, orange juice, soya processing, oilseed processing, poultry processing and malt businesses which have facilities based in Belgium and nearby countries.
Whilst many of the employees who will be located in Mechelen are existing employees transferred from offices and facilities across Western Europe, there will be a need to employ additional staff locally. Belgium has a well-educated, multilingual workforce that will be a great asset to an organisation that services customers from across Europe, Bastiaens said.
Concludes Bastiaens: “From nearby Brussels it is possible to fly directly to most major European and non European cities. Mechelen is also well served with train and road links. Our people can be at one of our facilities or with a customer within a matter of hours. Situating our new office in Mechelen in the centre of our West European customer base is symbolic of the closer relationships Cargill people are forming with so many of our customers.”
Cargill, Incorporated is an international marketer, processor and distributor of agricultural, food, financial and industrial products and services with 97,000 employees in 59 countries. The company provides distinctive customer solutions in supply chain management, food applications, and health and nutrition. Cargill acquired Cerestar, a global supplier of starch, glucose and other starch derivative products, in 2002.