Two Minnesota-based entities are joining forces to sell pork and beef products. Officials with Hormel Foods, Austin, Minn., and Minneapolis-based Cargill report they have signed a deal to form a joint venture for Hormel and Excel to market certain branded fresh case-ready beef and pork products. Excel is a subsidary of Cargill.

The joint venture will be named Precept Foods and will be headquartered in Austin. It will sell products under Hormel's existing "Always Tender" brand name throughout the United States. This action will allow the two companies to combine marketing and distribution chanels, as well as research and expertise.

Based in Wichita, Kan., Excel is among the nation's larger beef and pork packer/processors. Hormel slaughters hogs and produces fresh pork and processed-food products such as Spam.

Fresh pork has been the focus of Hormel's Always Tender brand, however, this new association with Excel will expand the brand to fresh beef. Each company will continue to maintain existing meat programs, such as Hormel Foods' further-processed meat products and Excel's branded premium meat programs.

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Hormel Foods, Cargill