LOS CABOS, Mexico, June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At the Mexico Business 20 (B20) Summit held in advance of the G20 Summit, Cargill Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Greg Page joined other business leaders in offering support for new recommendations to improve global food security, including increased public and private sector investment in agriculture, and the strengthening of national-level food security programs. Recommendations were provided in a dialogue between heads of state and CEOs representing the B20 Food Security Task Force.
Speaking on the critical role of trade and markets in feeding a growing population, Page said, "Today we live in a time where the world is the furthest it has ever been from caloric famine; the number of calories that the world's farmers are producing per inhabitant will be at a record level. But this bounty is not evenly distributed nor evenly available. Trade makes consumers less vulnerable to local shortages and the higher prices caused by bad weather, disease or civil disorder."
"Free trade helps feed a hungry world. Export restrictions and trading bans isolate local markets and give farmers little incentive to expand production for the next season. Governments must encourage open trade and a fair, transparent, rules-based system to everyone's gain, including the environment. And companies that are directly or indirectly in the business of feeding the world have a responsibility to promote trust-based free trade," said Page.
Twenty organizations from the private sector and civil society, including Cargill, came together to form the B20 Food Security Task Force, with the goal of developing recommendations and securing commitments for tackling the complex issues impacting food security. The Task Force is now asking for G20 government commitment to work with the private sector to make these recommendations policy. Among the specific B20 Food Security Task Force recommendations are creating an enabling environment for investment, optimizing agricultural productivity and nutrition, and ensuring sustainability through effective resource management.
The G20 is a forum for discussion between advanced and emerging countries that seeks to strengthen international cooperation and ensure global economic stability. The economies that make up the G20 represent almost 90 percent of global GDP and two thirds of the world's population. Its main goals are to coordinate macroeconomic policies to strengthen the global economic recovery; to reshape the international financial architecture; and to promote financial regulations.
As a company dedicated to being the global leader in nourishing people, Cargill is working to address the complex challenge of feeding the world while at the same time protecting the planet. Cargill advocates for policies that let markets work and enable farmers to thrive; helps expand access to food, improves nutrition and pursues partnerships to end hunger; and works to increase agricultural productivity and incomes while ensuring responsible land use. Over the past five years, Cargill has contributed more than $55 million to reduce hunger and improve nutrition globally.
Cargill in Mexico has long been involved with farmers in Mexico, helping them manage financial risks, as well as working with them to find competitive market options for their crops, either in Mexico or in other global markets. During Greg Page's visit to Mexico, Cargill formalized a long-term partnership with Fundacion Mexicana para el Desarrollo Rural, A.C. (FMDR), a non-governmental organization with almost 50 years of experience in promoting sustainable development for smallholder farmers.
Cargill will support, through FMDR, a program called Educampo, which aims to improve production practices and promotes human and social development in rural communities. The Program will help more than 300 farmers in the southern region of the State of Yucatan by integrating them into a process of training and improved agricultural practices. With this program, Cargill and FMDR expect to achieve an increase in productivity of 1,500 hectares of white corn in the region; with the potential for more than doubling yields and tripling family income.
About Cargill Mexico
Cargill has operated in Mexico since 1967 and opened its first official office in 1972. Today it has 22 operations in 12 states, employing more than 1,700 people. Its business in Mexico includes animal nutrition; grain and oilseeds supply chain; corn milling; animal protein; dressing, sauces and oils; texturizing solutions; sugar; and financial products.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 139,000 people in 65 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit Cargill.com and its news center.