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Cargill celebrates the launch of Cocoa Project Management Unit in Vietnam

Project establishes Unit to develop and strengthen Vietnam's cocoa industry

Hanoi, Vietnam, 27 March 2012 – Cargill and the cocoa Public-Private Partnership (PPP), which includes the Vietnamese government, the government of Netherlands, the Rabobank Foundation, other commercial participants including Mars Incorporated, as well as NGOs, have jointly established a cocoa Project Management Unit (PMU).

The cocoa PMU, which comes under the responsibility of the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), is dedicated to strengthening the long-term growth of sustainable cocoa development in Vietnam.

The cocoa PMU complements Cargill's Sustainable Cocoa Program which works to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and their families, and to secure long term sustainability of cocoa production. It will also focus on helping Vietnam's cocoa farmers meet growing demand for high-quality certified and sustainable cocoa beans.

"Vietnam is playing an increasing role in the Asian agriculture market and the cocoa Project Management Unit signifies the government's commitment to developing the industry," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer. "Cargill is pleased to be a valued partner in Vietnam's plans for a sustainable, high-quality cocoa sector."

Immediate priorities for the Unit include enhancing cocoa research, improved farming practices to increase yields; improving market access, advocating independent certification; and engaging with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other institutions to drive sustainable development of the cocoa sector.

Cargill has been working in Vietnam since 2004 to develop the cocoa sector, providing the expertise for construction of seedling houses and production of high-quality seedlings, as well as training for farmers.

Since 2004, 12,000 farmers have been trained in good agricultural cocoa practices, such as pest control and cocoa fermentation, enabling them to increase their yields and incomes. From 2010 to 2011, 900 farmers received further advanced training to bring them up to UTZ Certified standards. For 2011 to 2012, the target is for an additional 1,000 farmers to receive such training.

Cargill has also built three buying stations close to cocoa growing areas, providing easy access to the market for Vietnamese farmers.

In 2011, Cargill reached a major milestone with the delivery of UTZ Certified sustainable beans from the first three certified farmers' organisations in Vietnam. UTZ Certified sustainable cocoa provides a higher value, branded-marketing opportunity for Vietnamese cocoa producers. Through 2011, the number of certified farmers' organisations rose to six, and the goal is to add another four farmer organizations by the end of 2012.

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About Cargill:
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com

About Cargill in Vietnam
In February 1995, we established our presence in Vietnam with the opening of our first representative offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In October 1997, Cargill Vietnam Limited was formed. In December 2009, we were the first US company to obtain a distribution license in Vietnam, allowing us to distribute products directly in the country. We employ over 900 employees across 15 locations. Our operations include animal nutrition, cocoa origination, food and beverage ingredients, grain and oilseed trading and marketing and metals trading.

About Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate:
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate offers the food industry a wide range of both standard and customised cocoa and chocolate ingredients to be used in delicious bakery, confectionery, and dairy applications all over the world. Our product range includes high quality Gerkens® cocoa powders, chocolate including Wilbur®, Peter's® and Veliche®, coatings, fillings, cocoa liquors and cocoa butters. With years of experience in technical food expertise Cargill supports its customers in new recipes and new product development.

Our facilities in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, UK and the USA are fully dedicated to produce in accordance with the highest food safety standards.

To secure a good quality and sustainable supply of cocoa beans we have our own cocoa bean sourcing operations for buying, handling and/or exporting of cocoa beans in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Indonesia and Vietnam. Presence in all the leading producing countries allows Cargill to oversee the supply chain from beans at origin to cocoa and chocolate products on our customers' doorstep. In addition, extensive market research and analysis proves to be a source of valuable information to our customers.

The Cargill Sustainable Cocoa Program:
The Cargill Sustainable Cocoa Program is working to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and their families and to secure the long term sustainability of cocoa production. By teaching sustainable agricultural practices and introducing more business transparency, it is enabling farmers to increase their yields and incomes. As well as strengthening the cocoa supply chain, the program is improving livelihoods in cocoa farming communities by supporting better access to education and healthcare. In partnership with a range of organizations, the program is making a real and lasting difference, and jointly with customers, is working towards a sustainable future for mainstream cocoa.