Cargill, Incorporated, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a versatile and wide-ranging global business founded in the agricultural sector. Its 142,000 employees, located in 67 countries, are engaged in buying, processing and transporting agricultural commodities, producing food and beverage ingredients, processing meat and poultry, providing risk management services and other financial solutions, and supplying industrial inputs, primarily energy, salt, starch and steel products. 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the organization's founding.
In Canada operations are carried on across the country through Cargill Limited. With 8,000 employees, Cargill Limited is engaged in grain handling and milling, meat, egg and oilseed processing, animal feed production, chocolate manufacturing, the marketing of these and other products such as salt and crop inputs, and energy marketing.
Cargill works closely with farmers, food processing firms and its many other customers to support their businesses with innovative solutions and approaches which enhance production efficiency. To this work the Company brings the reliability, scale of operations, and expertise developed over the course of a long and successful business history spanning 150 years.
Cargill owns more than 40 grain handling facilities in Western Canada and Ontario, port grain handling facilities in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Sarnia, Ontario, and Baie Comeau, Québec, and a partnership interest in the high-throughput Prince Rupert, British Columbia grain terminal, and has forwarding/merchandising offices in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal. Through the use of this major infrastructure, the Company buys and sells grains, oilseeds and specialty crops in Canada and exports these crops to international markets. Primary export products are wheat, barley, durum and canola. As a major international shipper of agricultural commodities, Cargill has the ability to realize significant efficiencies when chartering vessels for global routes.
In March 2012 the Canadian Wheat Board, on behalf of its farmer members, entered into an agreement with Cargill for grain handling services. The agreement gives farmers who market their wheat, barley and durum through the Board access to Cargill’s interior grain handling facilities in Western Canada and Cargill’s grain and oilseed port facilities in Vancouver, Thunder Bay and Baie Comeau.
AgHorizons addresses the needs of grain and oilseed growers in Ontario, Québec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia by purchasing, storing, transporting and exporting grain and oilseeds, and by selling seed, fertilizer and crop protection products to growers. AgHorizons also provides crop planning, farm management, grain marketing and commodity risk management consulting services to growers to improve their returns. The unique needs of each customer are met through one-on-one assistance from the Company’s agronomists, marketing advisors and other trained professionals at more than 60 locations in Canada. A number of these locations provide custom application services in their areas.
Cargill Specialty Seeds and Oils is a grower-focused canola business, helping farmers grow more canola per acre. It offers canola growers in Western Canada integrated production support for its premier, high-yielding and extensively tested hybrid canolas VICTORY® Hybrid Canola and InVigor® Health Hybrid Canola. The business has facilities at Elm Creek, Manitoba and Camrose, Saskatchewan and, to support Cargill's strong commitment to research, a specialty canola research and production centre in Aberdeen, Saskatchewan where Cargill’s Canadian canola breeding program is located. Cargill Specialty Seeds and Oils also markets Clear Valley® Omega-3 oil, a canola-flax blend which is of particular interest to food processor customers in pursuit of healthier shelf-stable products, and Clear Valley® high stability canola and sunflower oils for food processor customers.
Canola seed crushing is carried out east of Saskatoon at Cargill’s Clavet, Saskatchewan plant, which at 4,500 tonnes per day is the largest soft-seed plant in North America and represents 45 per cent of total Canadian canola production. Production comprises canola oil used for frying oil and in processed foods, and canola meal used to produce high protein feed for livestock.
Cargill is also engaged in a joint venture with Glencore under the name Prairie Malt Limited. Cargill holds the controlling interest in the enterprise, which operates a malt plant in Biggar, Saskatchewan, in a prime growing region for the barley which is the major input for the operation. Malt production is supplied to beer brewing customers located inside and outside of Canada.
Under the name Cargill Meat Solutions, the Company owns and operates two beef processing facilities, on in High River, Alberta, and the other in Guelph, Ontario. These process 4,500 head of cattle and 1,500 head of cattle per day, respectively, and together constitute 55% of the beef processing market in Canada. The Guelph facility operates 100% Halal quality beef. For the convenience of supermarket meat counters, Cargill operates case ready meat packing facilities in Chambly, Québec, Guelph, Ontario, and Calgary, Alberta. These facilities process and pack beef, pork, poultry, sausage and/or ground beef.
The Company owns and operates one beef patty processing facility in Spruce Grove, Alberta, and another in Brampton, Ontario. These supply 1.5 million pounds of beef patties per week to one major customer, while a processing facility in London, Ontario serves the customer with chicken products and has a production rate of 80,000 birds per day. A chicken hatchery in Jarvis, Ontario serves contract growers with chicks. All of these facilities operate collectively as the Cargill Value Added Meats business.
Cargill is a producer of animal feeds, with an accent on nutrition. Under the Nutrena® brand, the Company produces feeds for horses, livestock and companion animals. Feed production facilities are located in St. Boniface and Brandon in Manitoba, North Battleford in Saskatchewan, and Lethbridge and Camrose in Alberta. Commercial producers benefit from the Company’s customized productivity solutions.
Through its Agribrands Purina® business, Cargill produces feed for horses, dairy cows, cattle, swine and a wide variety of farmed animals at plants in Addison, Palmerston, Strathroy and Woodstock in Ontario, and in Saint-Romuald and Drummondville in Québec.
Through affiliated distributors in Canada, Cargill supplies texturizers and emulsifiers to food processing and beverage manufacturing businesses. These ingredients provide textures essential to meeting consumer tastes. They include alginates, carrageenans, starches, dextrins, polyols, trehalose, sucromalt, soy flour, textured soy, lecithins, xanthum gum, pectins and specialty texturizing blends.
Cargill supplies producers of food and dietary supplements with ingredients which function as sweeteners and sources of fibre, and promote good health. Products include polyols, functional fibres, plant sterols and specialty sweeteners.
To the brewing, beverage, confectionary and food processing industries, Cargill Corn Milling markets corn-based sweeteners from its Burlington, Ontario location. To manufacturers of cereal, snacks and baked goods the Company provides dry corn ingredients. Cargill is also a supplier of fuel ethanol to the energy sector, and corn-based industrial starches to the pulp and paper, corrugated board and adhesives manufacturing industries.
Burlington, Ontario is also the Canadian home of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business. Cocoa and chocolate products under the brands Wilbur’s® Chocolate, Gerkens® Cocoa and Peter’s® Chocolate are supplied to confectionary manufacturers, dairy product manufacturers, beverage manufacturers, industrial bakeries, artisan confectioners and pastry chefs.
At its Toronto, Ontario facility, the Company’s Cargill Kitchen Solutions business produces liquid egg offerings in both frozen and shelf stable forms, and also egg-based prepared entrées and meal components. Products are sold under the brand Sunny Fresh™. Products are sold to major customers such as restaurant chains and food processing companies.
From facilities in Sussex, New Brunswick, Montreal, Québec and Pickering, Ontario, Cargill markets salt with five broad applications: food, water conditioning, industrial processes, agriculture, and deicing. Within the food segment, Cargill’s salt offerings are specialized by application: salt for toppings, course flake salt, high-solubility flake salt, sea salt, sodium-reduced solutions, and microsized salt abrasives, among others. Cargill’s deicing products, formulated to replace road salt, exhibit road sealing properties and inhibit corrosion, are used on roadways and bridges when snow and ice is present.
Cargill operates an energy commodities trading business with its Canadian office in Calgary, Alberta. Through this office natural gas, electricity, coal and other commodities are traded, as are a range of derivatives and structured products. Due to the Cargill organization’s global reach, financial stability and long history in commodity trading, energy customers of all types and sizes find in Cargill a trusted partner for their energy trading needs.
Cargill, Incorporated is a private company owned by members of the MacMillan family, members of the founding Cargill family, and company employees.
Founder William Wallace Cargill established the predecessor of the Company in 1865 as a grain merchant in Iowa. The American Midwest remained the sole location of business operations until 1922, when a grain sales office was opened in New York City. The opening of an office in Argentina in 1929 marked the beginning of operations on the global stage. The business began buying and exporting Canadian grain in 1930. In 1936 various existing Cargill firms were merged under the name Cargill, Incorporated.
During the 1920’s the business began diversifying, expanding from grain trading and storage to animal feed production, initially under the Blue Square brand. In the 1930’s the business diversified again, expanding into waterborne grain transportation by designing and building its own barges for the movement of grains.
The severe impact of the Second World War on the Company’s burgeoning global trade network led the Company to diversify again to replace lost sources of income. In the years during and after the war Cargill greatly expanced its feed production, and added vegetable oil processing, and then soybean and corn processing, to the scope of its business.
During the post-war years the Company again expanded its grain buying and exporting businesses. The establishment of a Swiss subsidiary in 1953 greatly increased its European grain trading business, and the completion of a 11.5-million bushel grain elevator in Baie Comeau, Québec in 1960 allowed the Company to store grain for winter shipment overseas.
The Company entered the wet corn milling market in 1967, starting with the purchase of a single mill in Iowa. The following year it entered the beef processing business by acquiring MBPXL Corporation.
Rising agricultural prices during the 1970’s increased profitability and fuelled further diversification at Cargill. New business additions included flour milling in 1972, steel production, cattle feedlots and turkey processing in 1974, malt production in 1979, cotton, rubber, wool and fiber trading in 1981, and soybean crushing in 1985. In its existing business, Cargill took a major step with the acquisition of National Grain Company and its 137 elevators in 1974. This acquisition bolstered the Company’s presence in Western Canada, where National Grain Company and its predecessors had built numerous grain elevators starting in the early years of the 20th century. The acquisition also resulted in the expansion of Cargill’s Nutrena brand to Canada.
During late 1980’s and the 1990’s Cargill moved further beyond its foundation in the purchase and sale of commodities to make significant investments in the food processing sector, including the manufacture of branded food products. During this period the large processing operation in High River, Alberta was opened and vaulted Cargill to the position of top meat packer in Canada. The Company also expanded its financial services business, founded on its long experience in financing its global trading operations.
The turn of the millennium was a period of acquisitions and divestitures. Among the acquisitions were the grain storage, transportation and trading operations of Continental Grain Company in 1999, and animal feed manufacturer Agribrands International, Inc. in 2001. The Agribrands acquisition added processing plants operating under the Agribrands Purina name in eastern Canada to the existing Canadian animal nutrition business.
In 2002 Cargill formed a flour milling, oat milling and bakery mix production joint venture with CHS Inc. under the name Horizon Milling. This business was launched in Canada in 2006 as the result of an acquisition which brought the Montreal and Saskatoon flour mills and Burlington bakery mix plant under the Horizon Milling name. In 2015 these plants became part of Ardent Mills, a major new North American milling enterprise formed from the union of the ConAgra Mills business of ConAgra Foods and the Horizon Milling business of Cargill and CHS.
The Company is helping Canadians become more aware of the industry which supplies the food they consume. It does this by contributing to programs and organizations such as Farm To Fork, Agriculture in the Classroom, and 4-H.
Farm To Fork addresses school-aged children, teaching them how food is grown, how to make healthy food choices, and the importance of nutrition. It also educates underprivileged youth about sustainable urban agriculture.
Agriculture in the Classroom develops and delivers educational curriculum resource materials which are incorporated into classroom teaching activities to enhance awareness in elementary and secondary school students of agriculture in Canada.
4-H, now one century old in Canada, is a network of community organizations located in communities with a strong foundation in agriculture. These organizations devote themselves to developing leadership skills in community youth members while engaging in community development activities, giving them the opportunity to learn by doing.
In addition to supporting initiatives such as these, the Company encourages employees to donate their time to volunteer activities in their communities. As an incentive, the Company permits employees to engage in volunteer activities on paid hours above and beyond their paid vacation time.