NETHERLANDS – Bunge, a leading oilseeds processing company and one of the world’s largest lecithin producers, is looking to expand its presence in Europe’s lecithin market through a partnership with IMCD.

The exclusive distribution partnership was entered by Bunge Loders Croklaan, Bunge’s plant-based lipids business and IMCD’s Food and Nutrition division.

According to a statement from Bunge, the agreement which is effective immediately, allows IMCD to distribute Bunge Loders Croklaan’s complete BungeMaxx lecithin portfolio in Europe.

Specifically, IMCD will be the exclusive distributor of Bunge’s lecithin portfolio in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and UK.

“IMCD’s strong position in the European food industry will allow us to service our regional customers in a more agile and flexible way,” says Alan Medina Jr., EMEA director for Specialty Ingredients at Bunge Loders Croklaan.

“We are fully confident that our combined products and network of services will provide food manufacturers in Europe with superior options. This agreement caters to the customer’s preference for premium quality natural emulsifiers from a uniquely transparent supply chain with oversight of every production step all the way back to the farm.”

The BungeMaxx lecithin portfolio is comprised of premium quality plant-based lecithin from the complete botanical range -soya, rapeseed and sunflower seeds- in fluid, deoiled, and fraction forms, including organic sunflower and soya options.

 The portfolio can be used in a range of applications including chocolate confectionery, bakery, nutritional supplements and infant nutrition.

“We are happy to announce our new partnership with Bunge Loders Croklaan,” added Filip Ljungqvist, IMCD Category Director Texture EMEA.

“Bunge Loders Croklaan’s  lecithin portfolio and reliable supply chain complement IMCD’s existing offerings and allows us  to further grow into key market segments in the European food industry.”

Earlier, 98% of shareholders of the commodities-trading giant voted in favor of a proposal made by activist investment funds to strengthen the company’s non-deforestation policies.

Green Century Capital Management, which tabled the proposal with Storebrand Asset Management, said in an announcement that the voting took place at Bunge’s annual meeting of shareholders on May 5.

Bunge is considered one of the “Big 4” traders of agricultural raw materials in the world, among them soybeans from Brazil, where the crop is associated with high rates of deforestation.

Committing to non-deforestation therefore would have a significant impact in the global fight against deforestation and other unsustainable agricultural practices.

The vote at Bunge comes after shareholders at Procter & Gamble’s October annual meeting scored the second-highest deforestation-related shareholder victory in history.

That result was also ensured by a proposal from Green Century which has also announced significant commitments from Archer-Daniels-Midland Company and JPMorgan Chase on deforestation.

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