Updated: Hormel, Cargill end joint venture

by Erica Shaffer
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AUSTIN, Minn. – Hormel Foods Corp. and Excel Corp., a subsidiary of Cargill, have dissolved their partnership in Precept Foods LLC.

"Effective at the end of fiscal 2014, we dissolved our Precept Foods partnership by mutual decision with Cargill Meat Solutions, said Jeffrey Ettinger, president and CEO of Hormel. “Sales of $115 million were associated with this business, but we do not anticipate a material impact to segment profit as a result of this change."

The companies formed the joint venture in 2002 to market branded fresh case ready beef and pork under the Hormel Always Tender brand.

"Our relationship has evolved to a co-packing arrangement instead of a joint venture," Cargill said in a statement. "It was mutually agreed upon by both companies that this new arrangement would be best for the long term. Cargill continues to supply case ready products to Hormel Foods and its customers through this new arrangement."

The joint venture, based in Austin, Minn., came together in response to demand from livestock producers.

"Livestock producers have been urging packers to market more meat through branded programs, noting that branding is a key to increasing the value of the livestock they own," Warren Staley, chairman and CEO of Cargill, said at the time. "This joint venture will take branding to a higher level by rounding out the successful Hormel Always Tender brand name in a full line of fresh case-ready beef and pork products."

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