A Belgian food manufacturer connects directly with Cargill to produce margarine for its rapidly growing customer base.
When a number of supermarkets began expanding across Europe in the late 1990s, Cargill saw an opportunity to make new connections in the region. The company partnered with Vandemoortele, a leading European food manufacturer of table oils, margarine, frozen bakery products and more.
To concentrate on the development, manufacturing and sales of its products, Vandemoortele decided to sell its oilseed crushing and refining operations to Cargill. The sale was the start of a partnership that called for close collaboration between the two companies—so close that their operations were physically fused into a single operation. Within the framework of a 25-year contract, Vandemoortele agreed to sell crude oil and fats to Cargill, which Cargill would then refine, process and deliver to Vandemoortele’s margarine plants across Europe. Some of the products were delivered by truck, but because Cargill purchased the same facilities that Vandemoortele once used for refining and crushing, it had access to a unique delivery system: a pipeline system built in the 1980s, designed to deliver products directly to Vandemoortele. Cargill brought back use of the ducts—an efficient transport system that continues to operate today.
Now, more than 175,000 metric tons of Cargill’s oils and fats travel through the pipeline to Vandemoortele each year. Combining Cargill’s global knowledge in vegetable oil with Vandemoortele’s status as the European market leader in both private label and industrial margarines, the powerful partnership supplies hundreds of oil blends that meet the diverse, ever-changing needs of retail, industrial, artisan and foodservice. Vandemoortele also holds exclusive distributor relationships with many packaged oil customers in the foodservice industry.
Today, Vandemoortele and Cargill maintain a strong presence in Europe. The partnership enables Cargill to deliver more oils to Vandemoortele, and in effect, allows Vandemoortele to maintain its sharp focus on delivering top-quality margarines, packed oils and fats. The pipeline between Cargill and Vandemoortele serves as a physical example of connectivity, as well as a symbol of how these partners collaborate and innovate to deliver the best products to their customers.