ACH Food, a subsidiary of Associated British Foods, and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) have formed a venture to produce packaged oil products for the North American market.

Stratas Foods, in which ACH parent Associated British Foods and ADM will each hold a 50% stake, will serve the US and Canadian markets.

Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, Stratas Foods will cater for the foodservice, speciality food ingredient and retail private-label bottled oil markets.

The company is expected to produce 2.5 billion pounds of oil in its first full year of operation. Its products will include vegetable oil, shortening, margarine and pan spray, as well as foodservice brands including Whirl and Frymax.

Dan Antonelli, currently president of ACH, has been named chief executive officer of Stratas.

George Weston, chief executive of Associated British Foods, said: "This transaction is a substantial step forward in the development of our US oils business. The new joint venture with ADM will strengthen our US packaged oils business and will significantly enhance its long-term growth prospects.

"ACH will focus on the growth of its retail consumer brands. We look forward to working with ADM to ensure this joint venture realises its full potential."