This year, the global food system is being set on a course toward greater sustainability with companies, investors and policymakers increasing their engagement in the way food is grown, processed, transported and consumed. As the bridge between producers and consumer facing brands, ADM is in a unique position to influence sustainable practices throughout the agricultural value chain and to implement environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies that benefit all stakeholders.
“Sustainability is a key underlying theme at ADM, impacting everything we are doing now and are planning for the future,” said ADM Chief Financial Officer Ray Young. “We see sustainability as a growth enabler for the business, whether through establishing a differentiated product portfolio or ensuring traceable resilient supply chains. Sustainability truly has become an essential factor as we think about all aspects of our operations and how to move our business strategy forward.”
ADM is working across its operations and leveraging its role as a major merchandiser of sustainable crops to support sustainable farming practices, traceability and energy efficiency.
Globally, ADM has engaged with farmers to implement sustainable practices across more than 2.5 million hectares, or 6.5 million acres, of land. These efforts help boost soil health, sequester carbon, protect waterways, and safeguard biodiversity while supporting the livelihoods of growers.
In partnership with its suppliers and customers in Europe, specifically, ADM is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the farm level by focusing on best practices for crop production, use of agricultural inputs, land conservation, and emissions efficiencies throughout the value chain. Implementation of these best practices provide benefits for European producers and for the environment.
“At ADM, we are collaborating closely with business associations in Europe and adapting our business model to align with the goals of the EU Farm to Fork strategy,” said Young. “We are looking for synergies and opportunities to partner with others in our industry, including working with our customers and suppliers to find solutions that can scale across the food and agricultural value chain.”
Together with peers and partners, ADM is creating value chains that promote food resilience, security and accessibility. For example, in partnership with the German government, ADM is developing a traceable supply chain for certified organic soybean imports from India to help meet EU demand sustainably. The program trains farmers on sustainable practices and provides incentives to improve farm economics. It is supports 2,000 smallholder farms, including 500 women in farming communities, and ensures sustainable production and environmental conservation over the long term.
“ADM sustainably procures agricultural commodities from around the world and processes them into nutritious ingredients that are used in food and animal feed. Focusing on ESG helps us find socially and environmentally responsible ways to operate our business, which results in greater access for European households to high quality and affordable food products and greater food security,” said Young.
With the critical role that natural resources play in providing access to nutrition worldwide, creating a more resilient and sustainable global food system represents an opportunity for responsible investment, according to Young.
“Investors know as well as we do that there is a strong business case for environmental stewardship, social impact programs and good governance,” said Young. “We believe that ESG performance is as a driver of sustainable growth, and that action in these areas provides value to customers, consumers, employees and investors while simultaneously making a positive impact on people and the planet.”