PARIS, Oct 1 (Reuters) - France’s InVivo is collaborating with U.S.-based Archer Daniels Midland Co on sourcing grains in Europe as part of closer ties between the groups’ trading activities, InVivo’s CEO said on Wednesday.
InVivo, a group of farmer-owned cooperatives that is the largest exporter of French cereals, announced last December it was considering operational links with ADM to increase its clout in highly competitive grain markets.
ADM is one of the big four global agricultural trading houses alongside Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.
“It’s not an exclusive alliance but rather a desire to work together,” InVivo’s Chief Executive Officer Thierry Blandinieres said of the collaboration with ADM.
“This means that they use us for origination in France and we use them for Black Sea origins,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference.
He said the two groups were already working together on origination but did not give further details.
InVivo had said earlier this year it would reinforce ties with ADM in their British joint venture Gleadell, after InVivo sold a minority shareholding in Toepfer International to ADM to give the U.S. group full control of the German-based trader.
“We’re in the process of developing partnerships in order to have a more global outlook ... instead of having a trading branch that just markets the French origin,” Blandinieres said.
InVivo has been making changes at its trading division in response to stiff competition in export markets and after losses for the division in the past two years.
To extend the international reach of the trading branch, which InVivo has separated into a entity called InVivo Trading, the group also plans to develop trading offices outside Europe, Blandinieres said.
It intends to open a trading office in Singapore as part of a new group platform there targeting Asia, and wants to develop a similar hub in Brazil, he said.
The overhaul of the trading operation is in turn part of a shake-up of InVivo’s strategy that Blandinieres, who took up his post a year ago, is leading with the aim of doubling the group’s sales within 10 years from just over 6 billion euros in 2012/13.
InVivo’s activities also span animal nutrition, farm supplies and garden retail. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz, editing by David Evans)