MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. – Looking to grow its business and corporate responsibility impact, Cargill released its annual report on Aug. 8 that outlines how the business is realizing the benefits of two years of work to build a more integrated, agile and focused organization.

"We are proud of the momentum we have generated this year and look forward to continued progress as we help build the food system of the future," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David MacLennan and Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Marcel Smits in the company's annual report. "We know we have a clear contribution to make in the world. Working with farmers, customers, communities and other partners, we look forward to making powerful progress."

In the last year, Cargill established a new strategic direction, and identified and strengthened capabilities that will accelerate future growth. The company reshaped its business portfolio with investments in strategic acquisitions, joint ventures and new and expanded facilities, as well as divestitures in non-strategic assets.

The annual report highlights a number of ways Cargill built positive momentum over the past year, including:

• Connecting with new partners to expand markets: Cargill set up joint ventures and strengthened its supply chains to serve growing poultry markets in Asia. In the U.S., it joined with Silicon Valley-based innovator Calysta and third-party investors to construct the world's largest gas fermentation facility to produce FeedKind protein, a sustainable animal feed ingredient made with microbes that convert methane gas into protein that can be substituted for fishmeal in aqua feeds.

• Sharing expertise to boost innovation: Cargill opened three new research centers in Shanghai, China; Colaco, Chile; and near its home base in Minneapolis. At these labs, Cargill is partnering with customers, scientists and others to create new products and solutions.

• Applying analytics for growth: Cargill is applying data to give farmers around the world the digital edge they need to be more productive and sustainable. Cargill's proprietary data network contains about 7 petabytes of information.

• Scaling up sustainability:  The company is advancing goals to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and other sustainability priorities. Partnering with World Resources Institute's Global Forest Watch, the company mapped about 1,900 commodity sourcing areas worldwide to establish a baseline for measuring progress in eliminating deforestation.

• Taking action to build stronger communities: During fiscal year 2017, Cargill provided training for more than 650,000 farmers worldwide. Partnerships with organizations such as CARE, Feeding America and World Food Program USA were deepened, benefiting farmers, school children, educators and communities around the world. Cargill's global corporate contributions this year totaled $54.7 million.

The 2017 annual report is available here