All our ingredients are produced from crops, predominantly corn. Ensuring we have a reliable source of corn for our plants is essential. This involves developing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with growers, farmers and other commercial partners to secure supply; understanding commodity markets; and hedging costs where feasible. Supply chain ethics are important to us. We apply rigorous standards, both practical and ethical, to all suppliers, and work with them to help them meet our compliance needs. This is essential if we are to meet our customers’ requirements for traceability and quality throughout the supply chain.
We operate through two global business divisions – Bulk Ingredients (BI) and Speciality Food Ingredients (SFI). Each division has its own dedicated manufacturing base as well as separate commercial organisations to provide the necessary focus and expertise for customers in their two different end markets. BI produces ingredients which are relatively undifferentiated and are sold in markets where customers principally look for supplier reliability, quality and value. SFI on the other hand produces distinctive, high-value ingredients which are sold in markets where customers look for technical and innovation capability, insight and flexibility.
SFI also has a food systems or blending business which sources ingredients and uses them along with our own to develop bespoke combinations of ingredients primarily for small- to medium-sized customers.
Both divisions – but principally SFI – are supported by the Innovation and Commercial Development (ICD) group. ICD brings together product development, marketing and platform management into one global team, enabling a fully integrated approach to developing and commercialising innovation.
Food and beverage is our most significant market comprising over 75% of Group sales. Other markets we sell into include industrial, animal feed, and pharmaceutical and personal care.
Customer understanding drives all that we do. We use market research to understand the consumer (our customer’s customer), the markets we operate in and our customers’ needs. We use this insight to drive our own product development, to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and, importantly, to give our customers an advantage by working with us. For large customers, our ICD group provides technical and applications support. For smaller customers, our ICD group is often their R&D team.