American agriculture major Archer Daniels Midland will embark on a plan to restructure its Asia-Pacific operations to take into account changes in the region as incomes grow and diets evolve.
“With that shift comes an increase in demand for crops and other products from agriculture. For decades, ADM has connected the world’s harvest with the Asian market,” said ADM chairman and chief executive Patricia Woertz. “Now, we’re taking a series of actions to enhance our ability to efficiently serve that growing demand.”
ADM is one of the biggest exporters of agricultural commodities to Asia-Pacific and markets a wide range of food ingredients, animal feeds and feed premixes through its network of sales offices located throughout the region.
The company also holds a 16.8% stake in Singapore-based agribusiness Wilmar, and a 19.85% stake in Australia’s GrainCorp.
New plants for China
Under its new plans, ADM will invest in its food and feed production capabilities with the addition of two production facilities in China, as well as hiring a new business head for the country to grow its sweetener and feed portfolio.
It is currently building a sweetener and soluble-fibre manufacturing complex at the port of Tianjin. The sweetener facility is expected to be fully operational in early 2015, with the soluble fibre facility operational in the second-half of next year.
The company will also increase staffing for ports and logistics coordination across the region, and has appointed Nigel Hart as director of its Sydney-based Asia-Pacific ports and storage operation. It will also add specialty ingredients sales offices in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam. The company already has specialty ingredients sales teams in Singapore, Australia, Japan and China.
In Australia, ADM is a leading provider of amino acids for feed applications and of cocoa and lecithin for food products. Its Toepfer business markets wheat, barley and canola across Australia, making ADM one of Australia’s top five domestic grain merchandisers and among the top five agricultural commodity exporters.
Through its acquisition of the remaining stake in Toepfer, ADM will strengthen its merchandising operations in Asia-Pacific. The combined ADM and Toepfer team in the region merchandises more than US$14bn in commodities annually.
Collin Benson, ADM’s former head in Japan, will head up the company’s Australia and New Zealand operation following the retirement of Bill Fitzgibbon after 16 years’ service. His office will also oversee business in Japan and Korea lead the integration of the Toepfer acquisition.
Tim Henry, general manager of Toepfer Australia, will lead ADM’s Australian grain merchandising operations as they become part of its global Agricultural Services business.
To support growth across ADM’s various businesses in Southeast Asia, Kristina Hermanson has been appointed direct development in the region.
The company will also centralise coordination of its activities across Asia-Pacific by moving its regional headquarters from Shanghai to Singapore, which is currently the hub of ADM’s regional merchandising operations.