Agribusinesses Seek to Modernize Global Agricultural Commodity Trade Operations
CHICAGO & WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. & MINNEAPOLIS & ROTTERDAM, Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Driven by opportunities to increase transparency and efficiency for customers, global agribusinesses are turning to emerging digital technologies – including blockchain and artificial intelligence options – to reduce resource- and time-intensive processes associated with the global agricultural commodity value chain.
Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) (“ADM”), Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG) (“Bunge”), Cargill, Incorporated (“Cargill”), and Louis Dreyfus Company (“LDC”) are investigating ways to standardize and digitize global agricultural shipping transactions for the benefit of the entire industry. The companies also seek broad-based industry participation to promote global access and adoption.
Initially, ADM, Bunge, Cargill and LDC are focused on technologies to automate grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes, as they represent a highly manual and costly part of the supply chain, with the industry spending significant amounts of money every year moving documents around the globe. Eliminating inefficiencies would lead to shorter document-processing times, reduced wait times and better end-to-end contracting visibility.
Longer term, the companies want to drive greater reliability, efficiency and transparency by replacing other manual, paper-based processes tied to contracts, invoices and payments, with a more modern, digitally based approach. Specific benefits would include:
- Improved quality and reliability of documents and data, with reduced review time and seamless transfer of transaction data to customers;
- Greater visibility across supply-chain movements underpinning transactions, leading to reduced costs associated with shipping, storage and wait times;
- Standardized data using technologies accessible to all players, driving further efficiencies;
- Compatibility with other applications supporting electronic and digital solutions, providing an end-to-end experience for users; and
- Increased efficiency and transparency, enabling the industry to better serve its customers and consumers.
“We’re pleased to join the effort to foster modernization and standardization of data and documents in the global agribusiness value chain. By working together to design and implement a digital transformation, we will bring hundreds of years of collective knowledge and experience to simplify processes and reduce errors for the benefit of the entire industry,” said Juan Luciano, ADM’s Chairman and CEO.
Soren Schroder, Bunge’s CEO, said, “We expect an industry-wide initiative of this nature to be able to accelerate improvements in data management and business processes, and bring much-needed automation to the industry. Promising technologies will not only provide synergies and efficiencies for ourselves, we believe they will prove vitally important to serving customers better by laying the foundation to enable greater transparency.”
David MacLennan, Cargill’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Agriculture has always been a technology industry. Farmers and our customers expect us to deliver innovations that make them more efficient, effective and profitable. We embrace this as an opportunity to better serve the industry and ignite innovation through new products, processes and partnerships.”
Ian McIntosh, LDC’s CEO, said, “In January this year, LDC completed the first agricultural commodity transaction through blockchain, which showed the technology’s capacity to generate efficiencies and reduce the time usually spent on manual document and data processing. By working with the industry to adopt standardized data and processes, we can truly harness the full potential of emerging technologies to improve global trade.”
About Archer Daniel Midlands Company
For more than a century, the people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) have transformed crops into products that serve the vital needs of a growing world. Today, we’re one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, with approximately 31,000 employees serving customers in more than 170 countries. With a global value chain that includes approximately 500 crop procurement locations, 270 food and feed ingredient manufacturing facilities, 44 innovation centers and the world’s premier crop transportation network, we connect the harvest to the home, making products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses. Learn more at www.adm.com.
About Bunge Limited
Bunge Limited (www.bunge.com, NYSE: BG) is a leading global agribusiness and food company operating in over 40 countries with approximately 32,000 employees. Bunge buys, sells, stores and transports oilseeds and grains to serve customers worldwide; processes oilseeds to make protein meal for animal feed; produces edible oil products for consumers and commercial customers in the food processing, industrial and artisanal bakery, confectionery, human nutrition and food service categories; produces sugar and ethanol from sugarcane; mills wheat, corn and rice to make ingredients used by food companies; and sells fertilizer in South America. Founded in 1818, the company is headquartered in White Plains, New York.
Cargill’s 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 153 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.
About Louis Dreyfus Company
Louis Dreyfus Company is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods. We leverage our global reach and extensive asset network to serve our customers around the world, delivering the right products to the right location, at the right time – safely, responsibly and reliably. Our activities span the entire value chain from farm to fork, across a broad range of business lines (platforms). Since 1851 our portfolio has grown to include Oilseeds, Grains, Freight, Global Markets, Coffee, Cotton, Sugar, Rice, Dairy and Juice. We help feed and clothe some 500 million people every year by originating, processing and transporting approximately 81 million tons of products. Structured as a matrix organization of 6 geographical regions and 10 platforms, Louis Dreyfus Company is active in over 100 countries and employs approximately 17,000 people globally. For more information, visit www.ldc.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws, including statements regarding the anticipated development, success and benefits of the proposed digital platform. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will" and "expect" and similar statements. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts and involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Several factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including in this case the risk that the platform may not be successful or fully achieve the objectives of the participants. Further information regarding risks associated with forward-looking statements is included in Bunge Limited's and Archer Daniels Midland Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All statements herein are made as of the date of this press release, and the participants undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable law.