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World’s Largest Rice Processor Divests Of Its Organic Rice Concern in the Virgin Islands

ebro rice

MADRID – The world’s largest miller/trader of rice is leaving the territory, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.

Ebro Foods has offloaded rice businesses in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, according to a terse statement from the company.

The Spain-based group said Feb. 2 that it had sold the assets for $13.1M to an Puerto Rico company called CC1 Grain, LLC.

The units market rice under three brands – El Mago, Sello Rojo and Cinta Azul.

Ebro said the two markets “are not in keeping with the group’s strategy, which focuses on high-value products.”

On Friday, Ebro announced it had struck a deal to acquire French organic food group Celnat for $28.7 million.

Ebro said the move reflects the growing emphasis it is placing on expanding in the organic sector.

The deal will be completed through Ebro’s newly-created organic unit, Alimentation Santé.

Celnat posted a turnover of $24.8 million in 2015, 20 percent of which was generated in foreign markets.

Ebro made two acquisitions in last year, buying Roland Monterrat, a French supplier of fresh, ready-to-serve food and snapping up U.S. rice brand RiceSelect.

The company reported 1.9 billion in worldwide rice sales in 2010.

Milling is a crucial step in post-production of rice.

The basic objective of  the rice milling system is to remove the husk and the bran layers, and produce an edible, white rice kernel that is sufficiently milled and free of impurities.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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