Cargill’s response to Oxfam Australia’s “Still Banking on Land Grabs” report 

February 15, 2016

An Oxfam report, “Still Banking on Land Grabs,” published February 15, 2016, criticizes Black River Asset Management, a former subsidiary of Cargill, regarding investments made by Black River in Colombia. Oxfam has aired its criticisms twice before, in reports published in 2013 and 2014. Throughout, Cargill has maintained an open dialogue with Oxfam, as it continues to do so today. We also have strongly refuted, as we do again today, the assertion in the reports that the investments made by Black River Asset Management violated the law or the spirit of the law. Cargill’s response to Oxfam’s original report can be found on our company’s website at http://www.cargill.com/news/company-statements/cargill-response-oxfam-smallholders-risk-and-divide-and-purchase-reports/index.jsp.

The status of Black River Asset Management has changed significantly in recent months. Its core businesses exited the firm in January and February 2016, to become separate, independent and employee-owned firms. This included Black River’s private equity business, which holds the fund that raised capital and invested in Colombia. Cargill has no ownership interests in the new firms, and Black River will soon be closed.

Oxfam’s report centers on four banks in Australia. Cargill maintains lending relationships with these banks. Each has extended loan facilities to our company, i.e., commitments to fund Cargill’s operations. At this time, no money has been lent to Cargill under the loan facilities named in Oxfam’s report. Additionally, the loan facilities have no connection with the fund investment made in Colombia by the former Black River business. That business funded itself by raising capital from third-party institutional investors. It did not receive funding through Cargill’s banking arrangements.

In summary:

  • Cargill refutes the assertions made in Oxfam’s report regarding investments made in Colombia by former subsidiary Black River Asset Management.
  • Cargill maintains relationships with Australian banks.
  • There is no connection between Cargill’s relationships with the banks named in the report and its former subsidiary’s investments in Colombia.
  • Cargill will continue to engage in constructive dialogue with Oxfam to advance our shared interest in a more sustainable, food secure future