KANSAS CITY — Bartlett, a Savage Company, and POSCO International on Sept. 25 signed a framework for a joint venture in grain origination, soybean processing, and export.

The companies said a joint venture would leverage Bartlett’s North American agriculture supply chain and operational capabilities together with POSCO’s global ag network and market expertise to drive growth and new business opportunities. They added that the joint venture would be synergistic with the companies’ shared emphasis on sustainability and supporting growing international markets for grain and renewable transportation fuels.

“With 116 years of experience sourcing, transporting and processing grain for customers across North America, and our soybean crushing facility in Southeast Kansas coming online in 2024, we’re excited to explore this opportunity with POSCO International to expand our business into global markets,” said Bob Knief, president of Bartlett. “Bartlett is part of Savage, a global provider of supply chain infrastructure and solutions, and our purpose is to move and manage what matters so our customers and partners can feed the world, power our lives, and sustain the planet.”

Bartlett, based in Kansas City, operates 15 grain facilities, is a leading US exporter of grain to Mexico and supplies all classes of wheat, food-grade corn and soybeans to millers and processors. It ranks 22nd among North American grain companies with a storage capacity of 74.3 million bus, according to Sosland Publishing’s 2023 Grain & Milling Annual.

Bartlett recently expanded its flour mill in Wilson’s Mill, NC, increasing its overall milling capacity by 5,000 cwts to 46,000 cwts, making it the ninth largest milling company in North America, according to the 2023 Grain & Milling Annual.

The company’s soon-to-be-built soybean crushing plant near Cherryvale, Kan., will handle up to 45 million bus of soybeans annually.

Based on its over 80 global networks and marketing expertise, Seoul, Korea-based POSCO International has been expanding business in various fields such as energy, steel, agriculture and component materials. It entered the grain trading market in 2015 and has become South Korea’s largest food commodity trading company, handling 8 million tonnes of foodstuffs.

The company said it is paving the way for a sustainable future for humanity as a world-class green materials provider.

“At POSCO International, our vision is to be the global business leader for sustainable growth, and partnering with Bartlett would strengthen our North American supply chain connections and market position,” said Jeong Tak, vice chairman and chief executive officer of POSCO International. “The future of humanity depends on people having access to sustainable sources of food and energy, and the work we do every day plays an important role in making sure this can happen for millions of people around the world.”

In 2019, POSCO International established a grain export terminal in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, to enhance its grain procurement capabilities in Ukraine and expand its presence in the Black Sea region. The company also operates a rice processing complex in Myanmar.

POSCO International is a member of the Grain and Feed Trade Association, the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations and the North American Export Grain Association.