The new flour milling venture, called Ardent Mills, is expected to begin operating in late fiscal 2013.
ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS Inc. are collaborating to form a joint venture called Ardent Mills, a flour milling company for the baking and food industries. Pending regulatory approval, the new venture is expected to start operating in late fiscal 2013.
Ardent Mills will combine ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, a Cargill-CHS joint venture formed in 2002. The new company will operate independently, with ConAgra and Cargill each owning a 44 percent stake and CHS a 12 percent stake.
Dan Dye, who currently serves as president of Horizon Milling, will lead Ardent Mills as chief executive officer once the new company is formed. Dye will be joined by Bill Stoufer, current president of ConAgra Mills, as Ardent Mills’ chief operating officer and chief integration officer. The company’s operations and services will be supported by 44 flour mills, three bakery mix facilities and a specialty bakery, all located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The location of its headquarters will be determined at a later date.
In addition to offering new flour and grain products, the company will offer product development resources, technical and application support, supply chain management and commodity price risk management. Ardent Mills also will tap the market knowledge, transportation logistics, consumer insights, food ingredients and culinary expertise currently available through ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS.
“The future of flour milling is tied to serving the innovation and supply chain management challenges of food producers,” Scott Portnoy, corporate vice president of Cargill, said in a statement. “This is what makes us excited about Ardent Mills. It will have the knowledge and experience to help customers develop foods that appeal to consumers’ changing taste and texture preferences, while also meeting their nutritional needs. It also will have the assets and capabilities to help customers improve the efficiency of their supply chains and strengthen their commodity risk management.”