HIGH RIVER, ALBERTA, CANADA — Agriculture companies Cargill and Viterra, Inc. announced recently support for the ongoing flood relief efforts in Alberta, Canada.
Cargill announced on June 26 a donation of $250,000 toward relief efforts, with additional funding available through corporate matching and employee contributions to relief organizations. Viterra announced on June 27 a donation of $75,000, which will go to the Canadian Red Cross.
"Viterra has a strong presence in communities across southern Alberta, and we were saddened to hear of the events that have unfolded there over the past week," said Kyle Jeworski, Viterra's president and chief executive officer for North America. "Our thoughts go out to our fellow employees, customers and all those impacted by the flooding, and we would like to recognize the Red Cross for the excellent work they are doing to provide assistance."
In addition to the monetary donation, Cargill said during the worst part of the flooding it opened its High River plant’s cafeteria to serve meals to anyone who needed them, and sent food to relief workers.
“We did whatever we could to help those in need, including providing fresh meat, refrigerated trailers for storage, collecting clothing, providing shelter and assisting utilities companies and government agencies in their relief efforts,” said Scott Entz, Cargill’s beef plant general manager Our initial priority was focused on the safety and welfare of our employees and their families, and now we are focused on restoring our ability to produce meat as quickly as practical, which will also get our employees back to work serving and supporting our customers.”
Some of the plant’s 2,000 employees were directly impacted by floodwaters. Although Cargill’s beef processing plant in High River was not directly impacted by the floodwaters, operations there have been restricted until the fresh water supply – a key requirement for beef production – has been restored.
Although crews are working to restore fresh water to the community, then the plant, specific timing for the availability of sufficient water to process cattle has not yet been determined.
Cargill water that was in storage at the plant site was supplemented with water brought in by truck to allow beef production from carcasses that remained in the cooler from last week’s cattle harvest. No further beef production will take place until fresh water supplies are restored to the plant.
“I am proud of Cargill employees who generously supported relief efforts in many ways, some while their homes were inundated with floodwater,” said Entz. “People helped out any way they could, and Cargill giving back to our community will help us all to rebound more quickly.”