Cargill Underscores Importance of Open Trade to Global Food Security at Nobel Peace Prize Forum

March 10, 2015

Speaking at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis March 8, Cargill President and Chief Operating Officer Dave MacLennan emphasized the importance of open trade to improving global food security. “There is no doubt we have the land and technology to produce enough food to feed the estimated 9 billion people on the planet by 2050,” said MacLennan.  “The question is: will we have the policies and infrastructure in place to ensure the poorest members of society will be able to continue to access that food? We cannot feed 9 billion people without open trade.”

MacLennan participated in a panel discussion entitled “Food Security = World Security” that served as a featured element of the “Business Day” program at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.  He was joined by Land O’Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Policinski and Elanco President Jeff Simmons in a discussion moderated by former CNN Washington Bureau Chief Frank Sesno.

The panel discussion followed a keynote address by economist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus.  Yunus, the father of microcredit and a leading social business innovator, is the founder of Grameen Bank and more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh. His conference remarks focused on the transformative power of businesses that are created to solve human problems, including his flagship microlending enterprise, a food fortification joint venture with Group Danone, and Grameen Shakti, which has installed more than one million solar power systems in homes in Bangladesh.

MacLennan also referenced the private sector’s contributions to helping create a more food-secure world, citing Cargill’s work fortifying commodities such as flour and cooking oils to make them more nutritious.  “Cargill has successfully worked with governments and communities around the world to provide training to farmers, establish fair, transparent pricing policies and increase farmers’ access to markets.  In doing so, we are helping them increase productivity and raise their standards of living,” he said.

“Most of our work since our founding in 1865 has been about feeding the world and nourishing people,” said MacLennan in his opening remarks.  “We are fortunate to have the breadth and depth of operations that gives us some insights into both the challenges we face in terms of food security and potential solutions.”

The Nobel Peace Prize Forum, now in its 25th year, is the Nobel Institute’s only such program outside Norway.  The forum brings together Nobel Peace Prize Laureates with leaders from business, academia and civil society, as well as citizens and students.  Its mission is to inspire and engage students and citizens to become full participants in peacemaking efforts around the world.