The coronavirus is rocking the world’ largest private company. Cargill, the Minnesota-based grains trader and processor, has banned all non-essential travel for the next two weeks.
Speaking through a spokesperson to Reuters, the company also said its Italian and Chinese employees would work from home for the next two weeks. The company did confirm that none of its employees had been diagnosed with the virus. The travel ban does not impact domestic travel by staff, Cargill’s spokesperson, April Nelson, confirmed.
“This is in the interest of our employees and out of an abundance of caution. We are trying to do our part to limit the spread of coronavirus,” Nelson said.
In late January, the company did warn its employees to take precautions. In an article in World-Grain.com, the company was quoted as telling employees to “defer or cancel business travel to Wuhan in Hubei Province.” In the same article, Cargill announced it had donated 2 million yuan ($285,526) to the Chinese Red Cross.
“Additionally, we are sourcing several hundred thousand N95 face masks to help address the severe shortage of these masks in China. Priority for these masks are with our employees and families closest to the Hubei Province, our customers and local communities,” the article quoted Cargill as saying.
The company said it operates more than 350 plants in 65 locations in China.
This news comes after Cargill announced plans to compete with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods on a plant-based protein. Retail sales of plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy have grown 11 percent in the past year, according to the Plant-Based Foods Association.
“We’ve created some of the best tasting products available in the plant-based category today,” said Elizabeth Gutschenritter, managing director of Cargill’s alternative protein team. “We’ve combined our deep knowledge of plant proteins with our expertise in R&D, product development and production to deliver products consumers will love.”
Source: Equities News