WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Cargill announced on March 1 that it was awarded a 2015 U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) which recognizes American companies that make an important contribution to the growth and sustainable development of the local economies in which they work. The company was one of three finalists in the human rights and labor rights category.

Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken presented the award to Dave MacLennan, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer, who accepted it on behalf of Cargill, the company’s 1,600 employees in Vietnam and the 1 million farmers and community members it partners with in the country. 

“Cargill is committed to helping our customers, farmers, employees and their wider communities thrive,” said MacLennan. “We’re proud to be investing in Vietnam’s rural economy and advancing our global commitment to building a more sustainable, food-secure future.”

In the past 20 years, Cargill Vietnam has trained more than 12,000 farmers in sustainable agriculture practices and more than 1 million farmers on animal husbandry. The company has also strengthened local economies and improved rural education, the company said. Through Cargill’s partnerships in education, it has built and improved 76 schools across Vietnam – benefiting more than 13,000 students every year. Cargill has pledged to invest in a total of 100 schools by 2020 to reinforce its commitment to education and economic development.

“Cargill is proud to be partnering with government, non-governmental organizations and rural communities across Vietnam,” said Jorge Becerra, Vietnam country representative. “The real winners, of course, are the local farmers and communities that Cargill in Vietnam works with every day.”

In 2008, Cargill received the Award for Corporate Excellence for its programs and activities to promote rural development in China.