Recently, Cargill and Dow Chemical ended their joint venture - Cargill-Dow - with Cargill acquiring Dow's interest in the innovative corn-based plastics business. Tuesday, Cargill announced the company's new name: NatureWorks LLC.
The company markets the NatureWorks PLA and Ingeo fiber brand names. The newly named company will function as a stand-alone entity owned by Cargill.
"NatureWorks PLA is the signature product for this revolutionary technology," said Guillaume Bastiaens, Cargill vice-chairman. "It makes sense to adopt NatureWorks as the company's corporate identity now as the company takes the next major step in its evolution."
NatureWorks LLC has gained momentum in the past two years. Since January 2003, the company has increased production capacity by more than 15 fold at its Blair, Neb., plant and reduced costs per pound to be competitive with petroleum-based polymers such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2004, sales rose 40% over the year-earlier period.
The number of customers doubled over the past 24 months with 1,500 new grocery stores selling products packaged in NatureWorks PLA since January 2004 and 3,000 additional retail stores - including Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshall Fields and Neiman Marcus - featuring Ingeo fiber products.
This week NatureWorks and ReNew Apparel Manufacturing announced a new relationship. ReNew, a division of Future Products Inc., will market a line of clothing featuring Ingeo fibers. The company, which focuses on corporate logo-wear, will market the line for companies that are environmentally aware. ReNew claims to be the first company with a plan to offer corporations the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to Rural America and the environment, according to ReNew.
Beyond the company's new name, no other immediate changes are expected at NatureWorks.