DECATUR, Ill. -- Today, at a Washington-D.C. panel discussion on corporate social responsibility, Archer Daniels Midland Company Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz announced ADM Cares, a social investment program that targets up to one percent of pretax earnings to initiatives that advance societal improvements in areas that are related to the company's business.

"Times like these put the values of private industry to the test. As we address short-term challenges, it is important to continue to take a longer view and invest for the future. That's why I am pleased to announce ADM Cares, our renewed and realigned commitment to the communities and issues that matter most to us," said Woertz. "ADM has long been a generous company, giving to many worthy causes. Now, we are focusing our giving so that we can have greater impact and make a more meaningful difference.

"As a global agricultural processor, our work is intimately connected to our social responsibility: turning the harvest into food, animal feed and cleaner, renewable energy and industrial materials. Food, energy and a better environment are vital human needs that are only going to grow. Our strategic investments, both capital and social, are focused on expanding the productivity and ability of global agriculture and our Company to meet these needs."

ADM Cares has three areas of emphasis:

  • Strong Roots, managed by a Social Investment Committee, will determine major global areas of focus aligned with the responsible, sustainable development of agriculture in which to invest half of the ADM Cares budget. Strong Roots projects to-date include ADM's work with West-African cocoa growers and cooperatives to provide support and education in areas ranging from agronomics to business management to HIV/AIDS prevention, and another program in Brazil that encourages local soy growers to adopt environmentally sound agricultural practices that produce more robust crop yields, mitigating economic pressure to expand into environmentally sensitive areas.
  • The Strong Communities component gives local managers resources to meet the pressing needs in their communities, with a special emphasis on educational programs for children and young adults.
  • Managed by an innovative volunteer Colleague Giving Council, Strong Bonds oversees employee-to-employee assistance, disaster relief, volunteer programs, and in-kind food donations.

  • Summarizing the ADM Cares giving strategy, Woertz added: "When it comes to improving society, business can't do it all, but it can play a unique role by harnessing intellectual and financial capital to drive progress, and by creating jobs and fostering economic opportunity for the community. Whether we are helping to make certain farm families stay safe, promoting education in ADM hometowns or protecting environmentally sensitive habitats, ADM will seek out partnerships and programs that help ensure the responsible, sustainable development of agriculture."

    Every day, the 27,000 people of Archer Daniels Midland turn crops into renewable products that meet the demands of a growing world. At more than 230 processing plants, we convert corn, oilseeds, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, chemical and energy uses. We operate the world's premier crop origination and transportation network, connecting crops and markets in more than 60 countries. Our global headquarters is in Decatur, Ill., and our net sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, were $70 billion.

    SOURCE: Archer Daniels Midland Company.