Cargill promotes long serving executive Brian Sikes to chief operating officer

US – Brian Sikes, a long serving Cargill executive, has been promoted by the board of the US agricultural conglomerate to the role of chief operating officer (COO).

According to a statement from Cargill, Brian will also serve as a management director on the company’s board.

Sikes joined Cargill in 1991 and has held a number of leadership positions in the company’s protein business in North America and Europe.

Cargill says that under Sikes’ leadership, it has been able to expand protein offerings around the world, as well as launch its BeefUp Sustainability initiative.

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“Brian is always thinking about our customers and innovative solutions that will exceed their expectations today and in the future,” said David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and CEO.

“Equally so, he’s a people-first leader, with an unwavering commitment to health and safety, and builds diverse, inclusive teams that deliver strong results,” MacLennan added.

Strategic partnership with Mearsk Tanker

Brian ascends to the role of Chief Operating Officer at a time when the company has entered into a strategic partnership with Mearsk Tanker to combine their bunker volumes, offering a new bunker procurement service to tramp shipping companies and trading houses.

The initial goal of the partnership, which will officially launch on April 1, is to procure bunker fuel for the Cargill and Maersk Tankers combined fleet, while aiming to attract additional customers in the coming months.

According to Cargill, which currently charters a fleet of around 700 vessels and procures 2.5m tons of marine fuel per year, the new service will provide unique access to future marine fuels including Cargill’s growing internal biodiesel business.

Cocoa sustainability in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana

Cargill also launched a report detailing its partnership with CARE over the past 10 years in supporting cocoa sustainability in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

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In the report, the company noted that to date, it has supported the establishment of 27 community action plans, resulting in more than 160 community infrastructure improvements in both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, Cargill revealed that it is working with 132,000 smallholder cocoa farmers to support their business development in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

Additionally, the company reported that the CARE’s agricultural training package, combined with greater access to extension services and strong market linkage, led to a 29% increase in average farmer income among project-supported farmers in Ghana.

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