Today we had the opportunity to tour two of Cargill’s processing facilities here in the Netherland’s. We were excited to see the facilities of a company we are familiar with located in a foreign region. Cargill is also a corporate partner with AFA so it was interesting to see what our partners do internationally.
We first visited a multiseed plant located just outside of Amsterdam. Here we received a brief overview of Cargill in Europe, and learned that Cargill has eleven locations and over 2000 employees in Holland alone. We also learned about the many different issues that American companies have when expanding in new locations. These included social differences, political policies, and sometimes even wars or unrest that can occur in countries.
The multiseed facility is an oil seed processing that focuses mainly on sunflower seeds, but also have the capability to process canola if needed. At the facility they receive their grain by ship at a deep water port. They process the grain through a series of steps into either crude oil, meal, or food-grade oil. This particular facility can process 1800 metric tons of material every day.
It was very interesting to tour the plant and see the process from being unloaded off of the boat to being able to taste the final sunflower oil produced. The tour guides explained to us that sunflower oil is in very high demand right now in this area due to its health benefits and low cost.
After lunch we traveled to a Cargill soy processing facility that is actually located very close to the city center of Amsterdam. This facility has gotten some pressure to move away from this area due to city expansion, but plan to continue operating here for in the near future. This plant specialized in the processing of soybeans into oil and meal.
The grain received here is also delivered by ship from around the world. The plant was also very impressive to view even though it rained on us during the tour. The plant manager was also able to answer many of our questions about GMO and NON-GMO soy products in the European market place.
I particularly enjoyed these tours today since I have agreed to take a position with Cargill as a production supervisor trainee upon graduation this May. It was amazing and exciting to the see the company that I have chosen to start my career with in an international location. It also made me very proud of my chose to join Cargill.
Ryan Hanousek, University of Nebraska Lincoln