Cargill 'delivering responsibly' on food
by Eric Schroeder
MINNEAPOLIS — Producing and transporting food is a staple of Cargill Inc.’s business, and in fiscal 2014 the Wayzata, Minn.-based company invested $3.2 billion in assets and facilities to help it more efficiently move food from where it is grown and processed to where it is needed. The investment was one of many initiatives underscored in the company’s 2014 corporate responsibility report issued Aug. 20 entitled “Delivering Responsibly in the Global Food System.”
“The global food system is being challenged to provide safe, nutritious and affordable food for everyone — and we all want confidence that our food is grown, processed and distributed responsibly,” said Greg Page, executive chairman of Cargill. “Our goal is to help make the system better, more resilient and up to the challenge of producing more food with the same or fewer natural resources for a world that is more populous, more urban and more affluent.”
In the report, Cargill said it is committed to ensuring that the supply chains it operates respect people and human rights; produce safe and wholesome food; treat animals humanely; promote responsible agricultural practices; and reduce environmental impacts. The report also shares information on Cargill’s efforts to boost agricultural productivity and incomes around the world while working with customers and others to meet sustainable sourcing requirements.
“Cargill’s vision of being the global leader in nourishing people comes with a commitment to being responsible,” said Dave MacLennan, president and CEO. “Building sustainable, responsible supply chains is complex and requires trust-based partnerships with many stakeholders.”
Cargill’s efforts in the United States during fiscal 2014 were widespread, according to the report. The company invested $50 million to modernize its North Dakota oilseed facility for more efficient processing of canola and sunflower seeds, invested $10.6 million to expand an egg processing facility in Michigan, and began building a $29 million feed mill in Iowa that will produce 350,000 tons of hog feed per year.
The company also indicated that its investments in storage, handling and transportation are reducing food waste and improving food security around the world. Cargill said its grain and oilseeds business has invested more than $325 million over the past five years to increase storage and loading/unloading capacity.
In fiscal 2014, the company expanded seven US grain elevators, increasing storage capacity by 400,000 tonnes and increasing truck receiving and grain drying capacity; added 12,000 tonnes of space at a grain export facility in Louisiana to increase ship loading efficiency and capacity; and expanded a Washington facility with new systems for ship loading, barge unloading and rail receiving plus 12,000 tonnes of additional shipping bin space.
The report also described ways in which Cargill is attempting to enrich communities. In the United States, Cargill is investing $1.5 million to support early childhood nutrition in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., including sponsoring a school breakfast program that will provide 4 million meals for low-income children by the end of the 2014-15 school year.
For the full report, visit: http://www.cargill.com/cr-report/