21 January 2000

Joint venture plan for supply groups

TWO of the UKs largest agricultural supply groups are planning a joint venture which, they claim, will offer farmers an unrivalled, integrated package of inputs and marketing advice.

Cereal Industries Limited, owned by Associated British Foods, and Agrovista, part of the Marubeni Group, announced this week that their UK supply businesses have already signed heads of agreement. This brings four well-known names together under the same umbrella – Agrovistas Profarma and Crop Care, and ABFs Allied Grain and Fishers Seeds and Grain.

Both businesses will stay independent, and no money will change hands. But the move allows each party to fill in the gaps in its portfolio by allowing access to each others products and expertise, says Allied Grains Ian Douglas.

Agrovistas agrochemical strength, backed by extensive crop trials, fits well with Cereal Industries end market expertise, he says. "By sharing knowledge and information, all our customers will benefit." &#42