Decatur, Ill.-based Archer Daniels Midland, with 2009 revenues of nearly $70 billion, was the first U.S. company to sign a contract with Cuba after the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 lifted part of the trade embargo.
By some estimates, ADM now accounts for nearly half of all U.S. food exports to Cuba. But the company doesn’t publicize its Cuban trade.
Asked last week about ADM’s trade with Cuba, media relations manager Roman Blahoski responded, “We generally do not discuss market conditions. We do not break down revenue by country or region, only by business unit—corn processing, etc.,—so we wouldn't have any revenue information specific to Cuba to provide.”
In October 2003, Tony DeLio, a former vice-president of marketing and public relations at ADM, was quoted by the ChicagoTribune: “We are always concerned when there is a lack of freedom. But as a company, our ability to affect that, and where we can help bring about change, is through trade.” (Correction--See Below)
Cargill Inc., one of the world’s largest privately owned corporations, also has been doing business with Cuba for 10 years. Since it’s privately held, Cargill is not required to file public reports on its financial profile, but its annual sales are estimated at well over $55 billion.
Asked this week about its trade with Cuba, media relations director David Feider responded by e-mail: “I can confirm that Cargill has sold U.S. agricultural commodities now for a number of years—corn, dried distillers' grains, wheat—licensed by the U.S. government under the Trade Sanctions Reform & Export Enhancement Act of 2000 into Cuba."
“This activity is consistent with our longstanding belief that that food is a basic right, and access to it should not be manipulated by governments for political purposes,” Feider added.