Illinois-based agribusiness giant, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), told its employees last week that by June 30 the company was planning to take steps to improve productivity, and service to customers, as well as boost growth, said Jackie Anderson, ADM spokesperson.
As part of that, it will start an voluntary early retirement process for some employees in the company’s US and Canadian operations, according to a company statement provided to us.
There also may be some individual roles cut as some areas of the company are restructured. However, ADM also plans to find “alternative opportunities” for affected individuals within the company where possible, she said.
The company, as of December 31 2018, had 31,600 full-time employees.
“These actions are necessary to strengthen the core of our business and establish ADM as a global leader in nutrition as we continue to grow and transform our business,” Anderson said.
Other actions being evaluated include capturing synergies from its recent acquisitions, and realigning the organization worldwide to further streamline and standardize processes, implement new technologies, and eliminate overlap in roles and responsibilities, she said.
Contrary to rumors, ADM said it is not considering a sale of its grain handling business.
First quarter profit drop
At the end of last month, ADM announced the severe winter weather had hampered its operations in the first quarter beyond that usually anticipated.
“In March, powerful snow and rain storms early in the month and resulting flooding and its after-effects are affecting both carbohydrates solutions and origination operations,” the company said at the time. “Rail transportation has been disrupted throughout the region; our corn processing complex in Columbus, Nebraska, was idled due to flooding and currently is running at reduced rates; and unfavorable river conditions since December are severely limiting barge transportation movements and port activities.”
Additionally, cold temperatures and snowstorms hampered work at some of its processing facilities in the Midwest. The weather also lowered corn processing volumes by slowing rail and truck transportation and affecting shipments.
The weather-related challenges were anticipated to generate a “negative pre-tax operating profit impact” of about $50m to $60m for the first quarter, the company said.
ADM is due to publish its Q1 financial results on April 26.