MINNEAPOLIS — Cargill, which long has been a proponent of ending the embargo and has supported humanitarian exemptions on food shipments to Cuba, last week expressed support for the White House’s plan to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba.

“This is an important moment,” said David MacLennan, president and CEO of Cargill. “The history of trade liberalization has clearly led to economic and social benefits for others.”

Devry Boughner Vorwerk, vice president of Cargill and chairman of the US Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, a partnership of more than 20 prominent US agriculture associations committed to normalizing trade with Cuba, said the move “will drive growth in both countries.”

“It will create a new market for US farmers, ranchers and food companies, and give the Cuban people improved access to affordable food,” Vorwerk said.

The National Chicken Council said its members support "the concept of free and fair trade".

“If the updated policy has the effect of boosting Cuba’s private sector, and therefore the wealth of its citizens, high quality protein is usually the first to increase in demand,” NCC said in a statement. “Because of our proximity, we would welcome the opportunity to provide more of our safe, wholesome and high quality poultry to the Cuban people.”