Land O’Lakes Expands Commercial Footprint In Africa With New Joint Venture
Land O’Lakes announced on Thursday that it would ramp up its commercial activity in Africa through a joint venture with Bidco, the largest manufacturer of oils, fats, hygiene products and laundry detergents in East and Central Africa.
Together, the two companies will create Bidco Land O’Lakes Ltd., an animal feed and agricultural services business headquartered in Kenya.
“This investment in Kenya presents an important and exciting opportunity to concurrently expand our international commercial footprint, while creating a meaningful opportunity for farmers across East Africa to access the high-quality feed they need to achieve profit-generating yields,” said Land O’Lakes CEO Chris Policinski in a statement.
Last October, the Arden Hills agribusiness officially entered the African food business scene with a majority stake purchase of Villa Crop Protection, an agricultural research and product developer from South Africa. Previously, Policinski has stated that in the future “Africa will be everyone’s great growth market,” and Land O’Lakes’ latest move further illustrates the opportunity it sees overseas.
“This is an exciting new chapter for us, and will allow us to experience meaningful growth in the feed sector, while making a positive impact on local farmers,” said Vimal Shah, CEO of Bidco, in a statement. “Farmers in Kenya need access to critical resources like high quality feed, otherwise, their efforts will be both inefficient and ineffective.”
Land O’Lakes, whose animal feed business netted $4.2 billion in sales last year, said it chose to partner with Bidco for its market knowledge and distribution networks across East Africa. Starting out, Bidco Land O’Lakes Ltd. will focus its animal feed production on Kenya with an expectation it will eventually expand into other East African countries.