ADM: Strong position has it planning for post-COVID world


By Ann Reus, Feed Strategy 

May 14, 2020


CEO Juan Luciano says he is optimistic about his company’s position despite challenges brought about by pandemic


Diversification and adaptability have kept executives at Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) optimistic throughout the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


The company took action early with strong leadership at the beginning of the pandemic and is looking ahead and planning for life after it.


“Our team has made an exceptional effort to keep our company safe and to keep our company running, and also we’re planning for life post-COVID-19 and what that transition looks like,” said Juan Luciano, chairman and CEO of ADM, during the BMO Capital Markets Global Farm to Market Conference on May 13. “When it became clear that COVID presented a growing risk both to our colleagues and our operations, we activated our global pandemic leadership team that meets every day … to review new information, evaluate risks and make timely decisions to protect our teams and our business.”


ADM put strict guidelines into place early on, Luciano said, including travel requirements and social distancing. He said the company is maintaining safe and efficient operation and that all of its 800 facilities worldwide are up and running, with many employees working remotely.


“If you would have asked me six months ago, ‘Can we operate a complex company like this remotely?’ I would have doubted,” he said.


Now, the company is planning for a “post-COVID transition” by developing protocols for re-entry into the workplace.


“We have the benefit of being a global company,” Luciano said. “We’ve seen the evolution of the virus from east to west, so we have, now, the teams in China back into work 100% and we have used all those learnings to improve our protocols. We have very strict protocols; we will be slow in our re-entering because, to be honest, we are operating successfully as we are today. We don’t want to lose the gains that we have made in that regard.”


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