Cargill says it will continue to operate its essential food and feed facilities in Russia, but it is scaling back its business activities there and has stopped investment.
Food is a basic human right and should never be used as a weapon, said the agribusiness giant in a statement released on Friday, March 11.
“This region plays a significant role in our global food system and is a critical source for key ingredients in basic staples.”
Cargill began supplying grain to the Soviet Union in 1964 and opened its Moscow office in 1991, then continually expanded its operations. Today, it employs 2,500 people in Russia across activities in grain and oilseed trading, oilseed crushing, refining, poultry processing, animal feed formulation, food and feed ingredients sales, vital wheat gluten production, starches and starch derivatives, among other businesses.
The company said it would increase its support and humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
ADM also released a statement on Friday, saying it had made the decision to scale back its operations in Russia, in relation to entities that are not related to the production and transport of essential food commodities and ingredients. It stressed that its footprint in Russia is relatively limited. “And we will of course continue to comply with all sanctions, laws and regulations.”
Last week, Bunge announced it had suspended any new export business from Russia, but it confirmed that its oilseed crush plant in that country would continue to operate.
Earlier this month, ag commodity trading group, Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), reported that it had halted its operations in Russia. It operates a grain export terminal on the Azov Sea, with annual capacity of about 1m tons, and it exports 1.5m to 3m tons per year in total from Russia.
Mass corporate exodus
Since Putin's invasion of Ukraine began, 375 companies have announced their withdrawal from Russia, as of March 14, according to a list compiled by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his research team at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute.
"When this list was first published on Monday, February 28, only several dozen companies had announced their departure. Hundreds of companies have withdrawn in the days since, in a mass corporate exodus from Russia," said the Yale team.