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ADM is Scaling Solutions for a Sustainable Global Food System

Sustainability

Collaboration and innovation are critical to creating a future that is more sustainable

As a leading global nutrition provider and premier agricultural origination and processing company with one of the most comprehensive value chains in the world, ADM is leveraging its unique role in the food and agriculture industry to drive positive change for people and the planet. Across a portfolio spanning foods and beverages, nutrition for pets and livestock, lower carbon fuels, and bio-based products, ADM is committed to advancing food security, addressing climate change, promoting sustainable development, and safeguarding biodiversity.

Facing an interlinked global challenge encompassing food and the environment, ADM believes that all stakeholders across the agriculture value chain must participate in creating a sustainable and responsible global food system. Growers are producing more than ever before with lower environmental impacts, but more needs to be done to meet the nutrition needs of a growing world population while ensuring good stewardship of the natural systems and resources that farmers rely upon.

“There is no silver bullet to address climate change. Today the world is in a position where everyone has to do something,” Greg Morris, ADM senior vice president and president of Agricultural Services and Oilseeds, told a global audience during an Independent Dialogue as part of the first-ever United Nations Food Systems Summit. “There is an opportunity to help influence the way agriculture is viewed as part of the solution for the future.”

Making improvements at every step of the agricultural value chain can have a powerful compounding effect, Morris says. By changing practices and collaborating with others across the value chain, ADM is working to decarbonize food production. The company is committed to using its reach, on-the-ground partnerships, and pursuit of innovation to find solutions.

“We have developed trusted relationships with producers all around the world,” Morris said. “Ultimately the producer needs to be rewarded for the extra effort that they put in. We have to create the demand pull, but we also have to line up the various different financing opportunities.” 

Will Cannon, an Iowa soy and corn farmer, emphasized during the Independent Dialogue that when implementing sustainable practices, often farmers have to make up front investments or endure reduced yields before seeing benefits.

“There are some practices we can implement that don’t really cost anything, or may even save us money, but there are a lot of practices that are going to come with a cost,” Cannon said. “How do you make a commitment that is long enough for farmers to know that if they stick with it, they will get to the back end and see results? It is going to take long term partnerships to make it happen.”

As a major merchandiser of sustainable crops, ADM is supporting greater adoption of regenerative agricultural practices, and urges others in the industry to increase their investments as well. The company is exploring technology solutions that can measure sequestration of carbon in the soil, and is partnering on pilot projects that reward farmers based on their practices and results.

Looking to the future, Morris encourages stakeholders in the global food system to focus on two areas where ADM is already active: One, generating reliable data on the ability of regenerative agricultural practices to lower the carbon intensity of crop production. Two, incentivizing farmers to ensure they benefit from the transition to more sustainable production.

As the bridge between growers and consumer-facing brands, ADM is well-positioned to deliver responsibly and sustainably sourced products that meet customer needs, and to help scale solutions that build value for the company, its suppliers, customers, and society. “Changes in innovation are happening extremely fast all around us,” said Morris. “Technology has a large part to play in changing the way we solve global challenges.”