"Cargill: the company feeding the world by helping destroy the planet:" The Bureau Investigates reported on Cargill's wanton destruction of Brazil's forests.
Cargill is an American global corporation, based in Minnesota. Founded in 1865, it is the largest privately-held corporation in the USA in terms of revenue, leaving the Koch Brothers $billions behind in 2nd place. Operating across ~70 countries, Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to farmers, customers, govts and communities.
The business operates in 4 areas:
- § Agriculture: purchases, processes and distributes grain, oilseeds and other commodities to makers of food and animal nutrition products. Also provides crop and livestock producers with products and services.
- § Foods: provides food and beverage manufacturers, foodservice companies and retailers with ingredients, meat and poultry products, and health-promoting ingredients and ingredient systems. Cargill has multiple joint ventures, including:
- Avara Foods Ltd, a poultry JV with Faccenda Foods. Avara supplies chicken to Tesco, Nando's, McDonald's, Ahold Delhaize, and many, many others.
- Frontier Agriculture Ltd, an agriculture JV with Associated British Foods plc to supply seed, crop 'protection products' and fertilisers to farmers;
- § Truvía Company LLC, a JV with the Coca-Cola Company to produce and market a largely-synthetic non-calorific sweetener.
- Joint Venture with Ahold Delhaize for a meat packaging facility in Rhode Island – despite Ahold Dehaize saying it wants to provide responsible meat.
- § Financial: provides agricultural, food, financial and energy customers with risk management and financial solutions.
- § Industrial: serves industrial users of energy, salt, starch and steel products. Also develops and markets products made from agricultural feedstocks.
- Cargill, Incorporated, reg. Delaware
- Cargill Holdings, holding co. for the UK financial business.
- Cargill Financial Markets Ltd
- Cargill Global Funding plc
- Cargill Investments Holdings Ltd
- Green Hercules Trading Ltd
Avara Foods Ltd
Truvía Company LLC
Sued in 2014: the plaintiffs alleged Cargill misled consumers by advertising Truvia as a natural sweetener, when Truvia is largely synthetic and produced chemically. Cargill agreed to pay $6.1m and modify the labeling.
CarVal Investors LLC
The firm pursues situations where it can readily identify value creation in a predictable timeframe. The credit strategy includes Corporate Securities, Liquidations, Loan Portfolios and Structured Credit in developed and emerging markets. CarVal Investors has approximately $10bn in assets under management in both credit and real estate sectors. cargill.co.uk, investment-strategies, History
- 2019: Joint Venture with Ahold Delhaize who, despite its pledges, launched a new meat packaging facility in Rhode Island with Cargill. Ahold Delhaize is an international supermarket giant that owns Stop & Shop, Giant, Food Lion, Hannaford, and many other brands, is a key customer of Cargill, and could exert pressure, but instead chose a partnership.
- 2018: Brazil Deforestation: it turned out that Cargill had not stopped sourcing soya from Brazil's forests. Furthermore, it has refused refused, and encouraged its competitors to refuse - to stop.
- Sept.2018: Disease + Illness: 78 tons of contaminated Cargill beef caused an E Coli outbreak across the USA.
- 2018: Antibiotic Resistance: a Bureau investigation found that samples from animals slaughtered in Cargill meat-packing plants revealed 11 different antibiotic substances that had been in use within Cargill's supply chains - including three classified as being critically important to human health.
- 2018: Cargill was responsible for the distribution of more than 70 tons of contaminated beef to supermarkets.
- Nov.2017: Fraud: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined Cargill $10m for deliberately misreporting its trade valued by up to 90%, in order to defraud both its trading partners and the Govt.
- Jun.2015: Price Fixing: the state of Ohio brought suit against Cargill, charging it with illegally conspiring to fix the price of road salt. Cargill settled, paying $7.7m.
- Mar.2015: Pollution: 29m gallons of toxic waste led to 64,566 dead fish in a bay and linked waterways in Illinois.
- Apr.2014: Land Grabs + Forced Labour: expanded into ancestral lands in Papua New Guinea; used child and forced labour on plantations in Indonesia; expanded onto the farming lands of local communities in Liberia. All without consent.
- Sept.2013: Land Grabbing in Colombia: through 36 shell companies, Cargill acquired 52,576 hectares of land in Colombia, in direct violation of laws prohibiting such concentration of ownership by more than 30 times.
- Sept.2012: Slavery: palm oil supplied to Cargill by Indonesian company Kuala Lumpur Kepong was found to have been produced from child and slave labour.
- Jul.2012: Disease + Illness: 40 cases of Salmonella across 8 states were traced to Cargill, who had to recall 29,339 pounds of ground beef.
- Jan.2012: Joint Venture with the Coca-Cola Company to produce and market a largely-synthetic non-calorific sweetener. In 2014, Cargill found itself being sued for advertising Truvia as a natural sweetener. Cargill agreed to pay $6.1m and modify the labeling.
- Jun.2011: Tax Evasion: Argentina charged Cargill with illegally evading $252m in taxes.
- Feb.2011: Death, Disease + Illness: a salmonella outbreak across 37 states resulted in 136 people becoming ill, 37 hospitalisations, and another death. 36m pounds of contaminated meat was recalled.
- Aug.2010: Disease + Illness: 3 people became ill from E Coli, produced by Cargill in Pennsylvania and sold at BJ's Wholesale Clubs.
- Nov.2009: Disease + Illness: yet more Salmonella-contaminated ground beef was distributed to Safeway Inc stores, and had to be recalled.
- May.2009: Disease + Illness: 68 cases of E Coli in 15 states, from Cargill's contaminated hamburgers made from a mish-mash of cheap scraps, doused in ammonia to kill bacteria. The process saved Cargill 25% in costs, but left a 22-yr-old dance instructor paralysed from the waist down. Much like the UK Govt, Cargill mouthed "Word Salad" in response.
- Aug.2007: Disease + Illness: 46 cases of E Coli across 15 states from contaminated Cargill ground beef; 845,000 tons had to be recalled.
- Aug.2006: Pollution: Cargill polluted marshes near Fremont, California with 218,000 gallons of toxic waste, killing fish and plants. Fined $228,000 .
- 2006: Brazil Deforestation: following a Greenpeace campaign, Cargill and other major soya buyers – along with their customers – agreed not to trade in soya beans grown in newly-deforested areas of the Amazon. Amazon deforestation dropped steeply, and Cargill was patted on the back.
- 2005: Joint Venture with Associated British Foods plc. Frontier Agriculture Ltd has 44 sites across the UK, and supplies seed, crop protection products and fertiliser to farmers.
- Sept.2005: Pollution: Cargill was sued by the USA Govt and 10 States for systematic violations of the Clean Air Act in 27 plants across 13 states. Settling the case cost Cargill $135.1m.
- Jul.2005: Slavery: Cargill, Nestle and Archer Daniels Midland were sued by Malian children, trafficked into Cote d'Ivoire, forced to work 12-14 hour days without pay, little food and sleep, but lots of beatings on farms producing coca beans for Cargill.
- Jun.2005: Pollution: Cargill was sued by Oklahoma for polluting lakes, streams, drinking water and public health, violating state and federal law.
- Feb.2005: Slavery: Cargill was identified as a major buyer of Uzbek cotton, produced by unpaid workers, including children.
- Sept.2004: Pollution: a Cargill plant released 65m gallons of acidic waste into Tampa Bay, Florida in one of the worst environmental disasters for years.
- Aug.2004: Pollution: a Cargill fertilizer plant in Florida dumped 60m gallons of toxic waste into a creek . endangering the health and livelihoods of fishermen and crabbers in the area.
- Mar.2004: Price-Ficing: Cargill handed over $34m to settle a lawsuit for conspiring with rivals to rig prices for high-fructose corn syrup.
- Aug.2002: Pollution: 50,000 fish were killed when Cargill illegally dumped hog manure. The plant managers were sentenced to prison for 5 months.
- Jan.2002: Death, Disease + Illness: antibiotic-resistant salmonella was found in Cargill's ground beef, resulting in 1 death, 47 illnesses and 17 hospitalisations.
- Jun.2001: Pollution: Cargill's subsidiary was fined $7.7m for misleading officials about polluting emissions, 15-30 times the limit.
- Dec.2000: Death, Disease + Illness: 7 people died, 29 were sickened and 3 women had stillbirths or miscarriages linked to a listeria outbreak in a Cargill processing plant in Texas. A three-year-old girl died, and 140 others became ill after eating E coli-tainted meat supplied by a Cargill meat-packing plant that had a number of previous citations for faecal contamination.
- Jul.2000: Death, Disease + Illness: Cargill supplied meat to Sizzler retaurants linked to an outbreak of E Coli that killed a 3-yr-old girl and made 140 others sick. The plant had been cited multiple times for fecal contamination of meat.
- 1955: Cargill expanded into the UK.
- WWII: Govt Contracts: boosted by lucrative government contracts during World War II, Cargill’s US grain exports increased 400% between 1955 and 1965, with annual sales rising to $2bn.
- WWI: Profiteering: Cargill was accused of wartime profiteering, and was suspended from the Chicago Board of Trade for buying up corn futures, allegedly to corner the market.
- ?dates?: Price-Fixing: Cargill’s was often the only grain elevator at major railroad stations, leaving farmers little choice but to accept its prices – which had sometimes been fixed in backroom deals.
- 1865: William Wallace Cargill founded Cargill, buying a single warehouse at the end of a new railway line in Iowa.
- Sept.09.2016: Cargill's Plans to Sell CarVal Investors Fizzle. Cargill Inc has had difficulties selling off its investment branch. CarVal Investors was initially put on the market in 2015. However, a bitter fight between Cargill and CarVal's former president has begun, and the possibilities of an easy sale seem to have disappeared. CarVal's compensation system for employees at the management level was anything but standard. Cargill set up its fund such that Brice and others in management level positions would receive a whopping 90% of carried interest and half of the management fee from each investor. Many funds are not eager to take on a company with a history of such lucrative compensation. Nathan Reiff, Investopedia.
- Cargill: The Worst Company in the World. Mighty Earth, Jul.2019.
- Cargill: the company feeding the world by helping destroy the planet. Lucy Jordan, Alice Ross, Emma Howard, Andrew Wasley, Alexandra Heal, Alice Milliken, Pat Thomas, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Nov.25.2020.
- The secretive Cargill family has 14 billionaires — more than any other clan on earth. Drake Baer, Business Insider, Mar.02.2015.
- Cargill at a Glance. Cargill Inc. Accessed Nov.12.2020.
- The Secretive Cargill Billionaires And Their Family Tree. Brian Solomon, Forbes, Sept.22.2011.
- Cargill Stock Doesn’t Exist. Here's Why. Chris Katje, Investopedia, Mar.17.2020.
- Cargill-MacMillan family. Forbes, Dec.16.2020.
- Cargill merges with Faccenda Foods in new UK poultry venture. FoodBev Media, Sept.25.2017. Original archived
- Cargill and Faccenda Foods to combine their fresh chicken, turkey and duck activities to create a leading UK food business. Press Release, Cargill Inc, Sept.25.2017.
- Cargill, Faccenda Foods form UK poultry firm Aidan Fortune, Food Navigator, Sept.25.2017.
- Cargill / Faccenda Investments merger inquiry. Competition and Markets Authority cases, Gov.uk, Oct.18.2017.
- Truvia calorie-free sweetener launches new advertising campaign. Press Release, Truvia, Jan.05.2012. Original archived on May.05.2012.
- Cargill Introduces ViaTech Line Of Stevia-Based Sweeteners. Kristen Cloud, The Shelby Report, Mar.11.2014.
- Cargill agrees to Truvia label changes in settlement. Jeff Gelski, Food Business News, Dec.01.2014.
- Cargill Meat Solutions Recalls Ground Beef Products due to Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination. News Release, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, Aug.23.2017.
- CFTC Orders Cargill, Inc. to Pay a $10 Million Civil Monetary Penalty for Providing Inaccurate Mid-Market Marks on Swaps, Which Concealed Cargill’s Full Mark-up, in Violation of Swap Dealer Business Conduct and Reporting Requirements, and for Failing to Supervise Swap Dealer Employees. Release 7640-17, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Nov.06.2017.
- Divide and Purchase: How land ownership is being concentrated in Colombia. Oxfam International, Sept.27.2013.
- Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Rights Abuses. E Benjamin Skinner, Bloomberg Businessweek, Jul.20.2013.
- The Burger That Shattered Her Life. Michael Moss, The New York Times, Oct.03.2009.