November 5, 2018
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and Cargill, Incorporated, have agreed to form a technology joint venture, Grainbridge LLC.
The joint venture intends to provide grain marketing decision support, e-commerce and account management software for North American farmers. This includes the development of digital tools designed to help farmers across the US and Canada consolidate information on production economics and grain marketing activities into a single digital platform, at no cost to them.
"Farmers can more effectively market grain and improve their profitability using technology and data analytics," said Roger Watchorn, president of Cargill's North American agricultural supply chain. "They need digital tools that seamlessly connect their production and cost-of-production data from a variety of sources already used on their farms - but those tools simply aren't available today. Together, Cargill and ADM's unique technology capabilities, grain handling operations and years of farm consulting experience allow us to more quickly create the digital tools that will drive efficiency and profitability for farmers."
"Farmers deserve the convenience of technology that gives them the power to make quick, effective and fact-based grain marketing decisions," said Wes Uhlmeyer, president of ADM Grain. "This new joint venture will provide for these needs with a single, powerful, easy-to-use platform for farmers to manage their accounts, make grain marketing decisions and execute transactions. We're particularly excited to work with Cargill on this joint venture to offer an unparalleled array of tools that provide farmers across the country access to powerful decision support, business intelligence and transactional efficiency. While remaining strong competitors, we recognise the need to advance technology for farmers and believe that together we can accomplish that common goal."
One of the first tools being developed by Grainbridge will give farmers secure access to their combined ADM and Cargill transactions, including contracts, scale tickets and payment information. This dashboard is being designed to provide farmers with insights into their current grain position and real-time opportunities.
Soon after, the new venture intends to introduce a simple and easy way for farmers to execute grain transactions on their own schedule. With this platform, farmers will have access to automated intelligence that illustrates changing break-even levels (updated based on current crop conditions), margin price targets, total current grain and risk management positions, revenue at risk and access to benchmark and historical insights.
Grainbridge welcomes other grain companies, grain buyers, technology and data providers to participate on the platform. This open approach will enhance the information available on the platform, giving farmers a complete, seamless 360-degree view of their business without having to consolidate these information sources on their own. Strong protections built into the system will safeguard customer data and prioritize privacy. Data will not be on the Grainbridge platform unless approved by the individual farmer, and individual customer data will not be shared between participating companies.
"We are often asked by our farmer customers to provide technology solutions that provide them relief to a problem they are experiencing—and we can sense the underlying need to solve a variety of problems that go unmentioned," said Uhlmeyer. "This new platform will be a tool they've long needed that solves many of those known and suspected pain points we hear about each day. We're excited to bring these types of innovative and progressive solutions to the industry."
"The ultimate goal is to help farmers make better, smarter decisions, using the data that is already existing in their operations. We are simply putting that data and related insights at their fingertips, allowing them to more effectively adapt to changing market conditions," said Watchorn. "Both Cargill and ADM are committed to helping farmers succeed. It's why we're in this business, and why we'll continue to invest in these tools well into the future."
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the next few months. Terms of the joint venture are not being disclosed.