MOSCOW — Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Russia-based Aston Foods and Food Ingredients have successfully received all required regulatory approvals and launched their 50-50 joint venture to provide sweeteners and starches to customers in Russia. The companies first announced plans for the joint venture in March.

Aston is one of Russia’s largest agricultural and food ingredients businesses, with activities in farming, oilseeds crushing, edible oils and grain origination, in addition to its sweeteners and starches business unit. ADM has had operations in Russia since 1980. With the launch of the new joint venture, ADM and Aston will partner to own and operate Aston subsidiary AKP, which includes a corn wet mill in Ibred, as well as a sales office in Moscow.

Situated approximately 180 miles southeast of Moscow, the Ibred plant is strategically located to serve major customers in the Russian food and beverage industry.

“This investment is the latest in a series aimed at expanding ADM’s geographic footprint in regions of expected growth worldwide,” said Pierre Duprat, president, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We’re pleased to continue diversification with the expansion of our sweeteners and starches capabilities into Russia. This is an exciting opportunity to bring together our experience and strengths to grow the jointly-owned corn business. With AKP, we are in an excellent position to serve our customers’ needs in Russia and meet anticipated growth in demand, both in the local market and globally.”

The joint venture, which went into effect June 29, will operate under the name AKP and will be managed as a standalone entity. Its board will be made up of equal representation from the two parent companies. ADM and Aston’s other businesses in Russia will remain separate.

ADM is one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, with approximately 31,000 employees serving customers in more than 170 countries.

Aston is Russia’s largest exporter of vegetable oils, the leading processor of oilseeds, the third largest exporter of Russian grain.