CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, US and SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA, US – Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Farmers Business Network (FBN) on Nov. 18 announced that ADM has made an equity investment as part of FBN's latest capital funding raise, and that the companies have signed a letter of intent to expand their existing relationship through a wide range of potential future areas of cooperation.

The companies said the partnership combines ADM’s scale and expertise across the global food and agriculture value chain with FBN’s cutting-edge digital farm commerce and data-analytics capabilities to identify opportunities to increase farmer profitability, expand sustainable agricultural practices, and provide farmers convenience and product accessibility.

ADM and FBN said they have agreed to examine several areas of collaboration, including developing premium end markets for low-carbon grain that will reward farmers for the adoption of regenerative practices.

They will also explore working together to advance innovative technologies, like those currently offered through FBN’s Gradable platform, to improve access and data security for producers who market grain to ADM locations. Other areas of potential cooperation include:

  • Enabling FBN’s 30,000 farmers to conveniently sell grain to ADM’s extensive network of origination facilities with full digital transactional record-keeping, sustainability tracking and payments through FBN’s Gradable Platform.
  • Advancing research to develop new biologicals, seed traits, fertilizers and crop protection products.
  • Enabling FBN farmers to conveniently and transparently purchase ADM products such as fertilizer and animal nutrition with FBN's leading e-commerce and finance platform.
  • Increasing farmer convenience and input product access by leveraging ADM's substantial physical distribution network for FBN farmers.

“Differentiated grain and sustainable solutions are two of ADM’s strategic growth platforms, and FBN is the perfect partner to help power our success as we work together to find new ways to cultivate incremental value for stakeholders across the food, sustainable solutions and agricultural value chain,” said Greg Morris, president of ADM’s Ag Services & Oilseeds business. “We’ve already been working with FBN and producers to connect verifiable low-carbon crops with market demand, and now we’re excited to explore new areas of growth, from digital technology and analytics, to e-commerce, to shared infrastructure and geographical expansion.”

Amol Deshpande, FBN co-founder and chief executive officer, said the partnership enhances FBN’s mission “to improve the profitability of family farms around the world for generations to come.”

“This partnership with ADM promises to accelerate the development of our technologies, including our grain and sustainability platforms, that are designed to increase farmers’ profit potential,” he said.  “This partnership enables us to double down on putting farmers first by further investing in technologies that lower costs, improve transparency and create local community development opportunities in rural areas.”

The companies are also continuing their pilot program, launched earlier this year, to use FBN’s Gradable platform to measure and verify the carbon score of soybeans, and to connect farmers with customers eager to purchase low-carbon intensity crops and products that command premium prices.

“Producers have played a leading role in advancing sustainable agricultural practices, and now we have new tools to quantify the beneficial impact they’re having on the environment so we can go to market differently,” Morris said. “We’re excited to work with FBN to advance these innovative technologies, and we look forward to doing even more to help support producers.”

ADM’s minority investment in FBN is being made via ADM Ventures, the company’s corporate venture capital arm.