USA, Minneapolis. Global agri-food corporation Cargill has reported a formidable 66% rise in net profit for the first quarter of the fiscal year.
Cargill showed profits of $852 mill. for the first quarter to 31 August. This was a significant increase on the $512 mill. reported by the business a year ago and was supported by lower beef prices due to higher cattle supplies and growing beef demand.
The company’s burgeoning meat division was the main driver of growth for the commodities trader. While beef will rightly take most of the plaudits, its global poultry and egg operations delivered increased earnings too, and animal nutrition enjoyed sales growth in Asia and North America.
David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and CEO noted that the recent acquisitions have significantly optimised the company’s plant efficiency and cost structure. Cargill completed the takeover of Texas-based cooked protein firm Five Star Custom Foods in June for an undisclosed sum. To streamline its beef division the company also announced plans to offload two feedlots to Friona Industries in a deal to help the business redeploy tens of millions of dollars in other investments.
One such investment is the roll-out of an antibiotic-free product line Honest Turkey , expected to hit the shelves in the US this month. This line expands the company’s commitment to scale back antibiotic use in turkey, amidst calls for the meat industry to cut routine antibiotic use over antimicrobial resistance fears.
Cargill and the non-profit organisation Heifer International have also entered into a partnership in Qingshen, south-west China, to provide 100 family-owned poultry farms, mostly led by women, with chicks, business training and nutritional and veterinary guidance. The business said it hoped the effort would improve food security and the livelihood of local farmers in China.