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Cargill SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52585553| Sep 2019| 15 pages


Business Sector :Agribusiness, Diversified

Operating Geography :United States, North America, Global

About Cargill :

Cargill was founded by Willian Wallace in 1865 in Conover, Iowa, when he gained proprietorship of a grain warehouse. Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Cargill has grown to become an international producer and distributor of agricultural products such as sugar, refined oil, coffee, cotton, etc. The group also provides allied services such as risk management, transportation and commodities trading services to farmers. Cargill has 160,000 employees who are located globally and committed locally. It was ranked America’s best private employer by Forbes in 2018.
With 154 years in the industry and presence in 70 countries, Cargill has emerged as a leading brand in food and agriculture industry. Cargill’s purpose is to be the global leader in nourishing people. Its approach is to be trustworthy, creative and enterprising. Its performance measures are: engaged employees, satisfied customers, enriched communities, and profitable growth.
Cargill’s mission is to “Create distinctive value.”

Cargill Revenue :

$113.5 billion - FY ended May 2019 (year-on-year growth of -1%)
$114.7 billion - FY ended May 2018

Competitive Analysis of Cargill

The SWOT analysis of Cargill is presented below:
1. Diversified product portfolio
2. Global presence with local manufacturing and marketing capabilities
3. Strong commitment towards delivering quality
4. Efficient supply chain management system
5. Strong brand equity globally
6. Sustainable business practices
1. Adverse impact of extreme weather conditions
2. Slowdown in Thailand’s poultry market
3. Involvement in activities related to illegal deforestation
1. Explore agriculture market in China
2. Leveraging technology, digitalization and R&D to promote healthy diets
1. Availability of various brand switching options
2. Operating challenges due to local market disruptions
3. Trump’s trade war with China increasing uncertainty
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Detailed SWOT Analysis of Cargill



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1. Vulnerability to extreme weather conditions: Agri business is susceptible to loss in extreme weather conditions. Its adjusted operated earnings fell 44 per cent in FY 2018. Cargill’s trading margins squeezed due to crop gluts. Cargill’s earnings before adjustment increased only marginally from $3.02 bn in 2017 to $3.4 bn in 2018. In the past years too, draughts, poor yield due to erratic weather conditions have increased volatile commodity markets and hurt livestock demand as well. Unfavorable weather conditions disturb the normal distribution of raw materials, push more international sellers in the market and affect market prices. Price cuts in vulnerable cycles puts more pressure on prices, reduces profitability and may also affect brand equity due to supply shortfall. Flooding in the US has also contributed to the 41 per cent decline in adjusted quarterly profit in the first quarter of FY 2019.

2. Slowdown in Thailand’s poultry market: The demand supply mismatch in Thailand’s chicken market adversely affected Cargill’s global poultry results. Thailand’s poultry market has slowed down due to government’s price intervention on domestic feed ingredients such as corn which accounts for nearly 60 percent in broiler feed rations. The higher feed costs, less than break-even prices for live broilers for almost 10 months from October 2017 to July 2018 resulted in a production slowdown. Live broiler prices fell due to broiler supply surplus and reduction in meat prices. It also led to decrease in prices for day-old chicks to plummet.

3. Involvement in activities related to illegal deforestation: Cargill had to face the consequences of illegal deforestation in Brazil when it was charged with a $29 million fine. In order to avoid this in the future and reduce impact of deforestation, Cargill has developed new strategies and operational methods for its cocoa, palm oil, and soy production supply chains. However, in spite of steps already taken, it seems unlikely that the stakeholders to the pledge will achieve their 2020 goal of eliminating deforestation from the beef, soy, and palm oil supply chains. In a 2019 report by environmental campaigners Mighty Earth, Cargill has been labeled as “the worst company in the world”. These impact not only the brand image of the company but also put questions into its sustainability practices and investments.


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Check Out Analysis of Other Relevant Companies

References used in Cargill Analysis Report
1. Cargill Annual Report 2019:

2. Cargill Annual Report 2018:


4. Cargill 2019 Sustainability Report-

5. Innovation and Technology Will Change The Way We Feed the World -

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Copyrights and Disclaimer

Cargill SWOT and PESTLE analysis has been conducted by Kanupriya Sheopuri and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

Copyright of Cargill SWOT and PESTLE Analysis is the property of Barakaat Consulting. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions and Disclaimer for usage guidelines.

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