Cargill has sold its 50% stake in Spanish olive oil venture Mercaóleo to partner Dcoop, the local farmers co-operative.

The two companies set up the business, which bottles private-label olive oil, in 2007. The sale of the shares was agreed for an undisclosed sum.

Paul Naar, executive vice president of Cargill's food ingredients business in Europe, said: "Dcoop's expertise in olive oil provides a better opportunity for the future of growth of this business and will enable us to continue to focus on offering a range of high-quality oils to our customers."

The US agribusiness giant supplies seed oils, tropical oils and lauric oils. It has 14 plants in Europe, in seven different countries.

As part of its deal with Dcoop, Cargill will continue as the exclusive distributor of bottled private-label olive oil in France and the Benelux markets.

José Moreno, president of Dcoop, said: "This joint venture has provided a strong foundation and we are now looking forward to developing our growth and continuing to offer high-quality olive oil products to customers around the world."