Cargill—agricultural giant and the largest private company in the US – has experienced a slowing of profits this year, owing to less volatility in the global grain market and the collapse of meatpacking margins in the US. The company posted a record net income of $6.7 billion in the year ended May 31, contrasting with earnings over the ensuing nine months of $3.2 billion, putting the company on course for a less profitable year.
This year, Cargill implemented a number of leadership changes. In November, Cargill named then COO Brian Sikes as president and chief executive, effective 1 January 2023. Sikes – who has worked for Cargill for over three decades – took over the role from Dave MacLennan, who served as CEO since 2013. MacLennan has assumed the role of executive chair of the company’s board of directors. In January, the company announced that Jamie Miller was to step down as Cargill’s CFO to take a role at another company. Joanne Knight, who was vice president of finance for the business’ agriculture supply chain division, became Cargill’s acting CFO.
In November, Cargill announced the acquisition of Owensboro Grain Company, a soybean processing facility and refinery located in Kentucky, US. The purchase supports Cargill’s efforts to modernise and increase capacity across its North American oilseeds network to support growing demand for oilseeds driven by food, feed and renewable fuel markets, and is part of its mission to create a connected and modernised grain experience for its customers.
This year, Cargill has made multiple efforts towards its sustainability goals. In March, the agricultural giant announced it was teaming up with Nestlé and the US’s National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to scale the adoption of conservation practices that help fight climate change, with Nestlé and Cargill investing a combined $15 million. And in June, Cargill partnered with towage and maritime company Kotug to deploy the “world’s first” fully electric pusher boat and barges. The barges are used by Cargill to transport cocoa beans from the Port of Amsterdam to its cocoa factory in Zaandam, the Netherlands. Cargill expects the fully electric pusher boats and barges to reduce CO2 emissions by 190,000 kg per year, which is said to be the equivalent of 15,000 one-way trips by truck from the Port of Amsterdam to Cargill’s cocoa factory in Zaandam.