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Bunge, Cargill, ADM and Louis Dreyfus join forces to digitise agrishipping

Four of the largest grain traders in the world are partnering to seek ways to digitise shipping transactions.

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus said in a release they are investigating ways to standardise and digitise global agricultural shipping transactions for the benefit of the entire industry, citing the benfits of blockchain and artificial intelligence.

Initially, the four companies will focus on technologies to automate grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes.

Longer term, the companies said they want to drive greater reliability, efficiency and transparency by replacing other manual, paper-based processes tied to contracts, invoices and payments, with a more modern, digitally based approach.

“By working together to design and implement a digital transformation, we will bring hundreds of years of collective knowledge and experience to simplify processes and reduce errors for the benefit of the entire industry,” said Juan Luciano, ADM’s chairman and CEO.

Soren Schroder, Bunge’s CEO, said, “We expect an industry-wide initiative of this nature to be able to accelerate improvements in data management and business processes, and bring much-needed automation to the industry. Promising technologies will not only provide synergies and efficiencies for ourselves, we believe they will prove vitally important to serving customers better by laying the foundation to enable greater transparency.”

David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and CEO, said, “Agriculture has always been a technology industry. Farmers and our customers expect us to deliver innovations that make them more efficient, effective and profitable. We embrace this as an opportunity to better serve the industry and ignite innovation through new products, processes and partnerships.”

Ian McIntosh, Louis Dreyfus’s CEO, said, “In January this year, LDC completed the first agricultural commodity transaction through blockchain, which showed the technology’s capacity to generate efficiencies and reduce the time usually spent on manual document and data processing. By working with the industry to adopt standardised data and processes, we can truly harness the full potential of emerging technologies to improve global trade.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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