Farmland to divest Tradigrain

by Chrystal Shannon
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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, U.S. — In a move that had been anticipated for some time in the grain trade, Farmland Industries, Inc. has announced plans to sell or shut down its Tradigrain, Inc. international grain trading operations.

In May 2001, Farmland ceded control of its domestic grain operation, forming a joint venture with Archer Daniels Midland Co. that is managed by ADM. According to Farmland, Tradigrain, which operates in 11 countries, trades and markets grains and sugar worldwide, does not coordinate operations with the ADM-Farmland, Inc. joint venture and no longer supports any of Farmland’s core businesses.

"While our preference would be to sell all of Tradigrain as a going concern, that does not seem likely in today’s environment," said John Berardi, Farmland chief financial officer. Mr. Berardi formerly headed the Farmland grain business. Recent discussions concerning Tradigrain with the Australian Wheat Board concluded without an agreement, Farmland said.

"Over the next few months, we will complete the sale of some Tradigrain assets and will be winding up the remaining operations in an orderly manner," Mr. Berardi said.