May 27, 2020
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A Recent Timeline of ADM

1/25/1999: After 28 years, Dwayne Andreas resigns as chairman of ADM, while retaining a seat on the board as chairman emeritus. Andreas' nephew, ADM CEO G. Allen Andreas, is elected to take over as chairman of the board. Andreas tells the board of directors that his work "is not finished. There are still a billion people starving in the world, while several hundred million live in absolute luxury. I guess when you come right down to it, if there's one thing I've learned in all these years, it's that if we really want to feed the world we can." (CNN Money, "ADM Chairman Checks Out," 1/25/99).

7/9/1999: Whitacre is sentenced to 30 months in prison for his role in the global price-fixing conspiracy, while former vice chairmen Michael D. Andreas and Terrance Wilson are each sentenced to two years and fined $350,000. (Sharon Walsh, "3 Former Officials at ADM Get Jail Terms; Price-Fixing Plot Was Global in Scope," Washington Post, 7/10/1999).

9/2/1999: Although ADM says it "remains supportive of the science and safety" of genetically engineered crops, the company advises its grain suppliers to begin segregating GE crops from conventional crops in order to satisfy consumers in Europe and elsewhere. (Scott Kilman, "US suppliers warned to segregate gene-altered crops," Wall Street Journal, 9/2/1999)

6/9/2000: European Union regulators fine ADM $45.5 million, along with four other companies (who together paid) $60 million for the global lysine price-fixing cartel. (Chicago Tribune, 6/9/2000).

10/29/2000: Nearly 2 percent of ADM shareholders support a resolution introduced by the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Caldwell, New Jersey, calling upon ADM to reject genetically modified crops. ("ADM Will Still Accept Genetically Modified Crops," AP Newswire, 10/29/2000).

12/24/2000: In an interview with the New York Times, CEO Allen Andreas refuses to rule out the possibility that Michael D. Andreas would return to the company after his three-year prison term ends in late 2000, pointing out that the case is still on appeal. The company reportedly suffered from a large drop in world commodity prices in recent years, forcing its stock price to hit a 10-year low in September. The Times reports that the company is experimenting with hydroponics and fish farmingt, and preparing a global network of grain elevators and processing plants that make it possible to efficiently track and ship supplies of grain. Company executives also say they want to build closer relationships with farmers, helping them choose their seeds, chemicals and fertilizers, while lining up their contracts and financing along with an agreement to process and ship the crops.

4/2001: ADM launches new ad campaign.

8/10/2001: ADM announces that Dwayne Andreas is leaving its board of directors.

11/21/2001: ADM signs a $2.5 million deal to deliver 20,000 tons of wheat to Cuba.

12/19/2001: Although former Vice Chairman Michael Andreas is released from prison, the company says it has no plans to rehire him.

5/11/2002: ADM, the government of Botswana and the Illinois Department of Agriculture announce a partnership to send soy-based products to the African nation to help feed HIV patients.

5/17/2002: ADM CEO and Chairman Allen Andreas meets with Chinese State Councilor Wu Yi. ADM has 13 joint ventures in China, representing an investment of over $90 million.

8/1/2002: Reuters reports that the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division will review a proposal by ADM (which already controlled 37 percent of the U.S. ethanol market) to acquire Minnesota Corn Processors (which has about 6 percent). After filing a complaint, Justice approves the merger pending an agreement by the companies to dissolve a joint venture with a competing corn wet miller. ADM officials downplay the market share issue: "Four or five years ago, ADM's market share in ethanol was as high as 70 percent," said ADM Senior Vice President Larry Cunningham. But company critics remain unconvinced, pointing to recent congressional action requiring increased ethanol use: "The consolidation is bad news for smaller farmers and consumers," said the Agribusiness Council's Nicholas Hollis. "What DOJ Antitrust does not care to factor is the de facto control ADM exerts across many farm-owned ethanol producing facilities and coops - as the primary purchaser, financer and distributor of ethanol." A group of antitrust experts argue that the sale also raises concerns about concentration in the corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup markets.

4/9/2003: U.S. DOJ and EPA (along with over a dozen state governments) announce that ADM has agreed to spend $340 million to lower its air pollution emissions by 63,000 tons/year at 52 plants in 16 states.

6/4/2003: Nutrient manufacturer Solae (a joint venture between U.S. agribusiness giant Bunge and DuPont Protein Technologies) sues ADM, alleging that the company violated patent rights related to soy-based isoflavone. Within two years the suit is settled and ADM acquires Solae.

9/23/2003: The Chicago Tribune reports that CEO G. Allen Andreas' compensation is nearly doubled to about $5.26 million. ("ADM Chief's Pay Jumps," Chicago Tribune, 9/23/2003).

6/14/2004: ADM settles price-fixing allegations by agreeing to pay Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other customers $400 million.

11/13/2004: ADM announces a plan to buy back as much as 15 percent of its shares over the next five years, to use for acquisitions or pension plans.

4/2005: ADM hires Shannon Herzfeld, a leading lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry. Since ADM does not lobby Congress directly (a long-standing policy), she does not have to register as a lobbyist for ADM. Given the amount of subsidies it receives for ethanol, however, ADM promotes itself aggressively among farm organizations, politicians and the news media. As a result, ADM "is by far the biggest beneficiary of more than $2 billion in government subsidies the ethanol industry receives each year, via a 51-cent-a-gallon tax credit given to refiners and blenders that mix ethanol into their gasoline. ADM will earn an estimated $1.3 billion from ethanol alone in the 2007 fiscal year, up from $556 million (in 2006), said David Driscoll, a food manufacturing analyst at Citigroup." (Alexei Barrionuevo, "Boom in Ethanol Reshapes Economy in Heartland," New York Times, June 25, 2006)

10/28/2005: ADM announces plans to invest $1 billion to boost ethanol capacity 50 percent, from 4 to 6 million gallons per day. With seven big plants, the company controls 1.1 billion gallons of ethanol production, or about 24 percent of the country's capacity.

11/19/2005: Already the world's largest processor of cocoa beans, ADM announces plans to build a new cocoa plant in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region in 2007. The firm ends up choosing Hazelton, PA.
March 15, 2006: ADM and Metabolix announce plans to build the first commercial-scale (50,000 tons/year capacity) factory for the manufacture of corn-based PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates - made from microbial fermentation of corn sugar or cane sugar) plastics in Clinton, Iowa. ADM helped underwrite Mirex, which was formed in 1994 by two MIT scientists who identified a bacterial gene responsible for producing PHA.

4/10/2006: Forbes reports that ADM is seeking a new CEO to replace Allen Andreas. During his nearly ten-year tenure, Andreas "moved quickly to shore up ADM's ethics policies and expand overseas, forging ventures in Europe, China, Russia, South America and Africa. ADM's sales more than doubled in eight years to $36 billion. Its stock price doubled to $35 in the same period, twice the rise in the S&P 500 index." (Emily Lambert, "End of the Line," Forbes 4/10/2006). Weeks later, ADM's board announces that the company's new President and CEO will be Patricia Woertz, a former executive at Chevron. Market analysts welcomed the appointment as a sign that the company is positioning itself as a leader not only in food but also fuel production.

8/1/2006: Business Week reports that rising ethanol demand has driven up the cost of ethanol, lifting ADM's net earnings by 26 percent. "While ADM basks in the glow of ethanol's growth, there are some negatives for the industry. Ethanol producers are often criticized for receiving heavy government subsidies. U.S. producers also enjoy another advantage that has drawn some flak: tariffs on imported Brazilian ethanol, which is made from sugarcane." (Alex Halperin, "Ethanol Fuels ADM's Performance," Business Week, 8/1/2006)

2/15/2007: The Wall Street Journal reports ADM will open new biodiesel plants in Brazil and Indonesia. ("ADM to open Brazil, Indonesia biodiesel plants - WSJ," Reuters, 2/15/2007).

4/16/2007: ADM wins a Department of Energy grant to accelerate research into the commercial production of ethanol from plant-based cellulose - including corn stalks and switch grass - in conjunction with Purdue University, Indiana. ("ADM wins federal grant for cellulosic ethanol," Reuters, 4/16/2007).

8/22/2007: ADM reorganizes to streamline its operations and cut the number of management jobs.

9/27/2007: ADM and ConocoPhillips announce an agreement to collaborate on the development of transportation fuels from biomass. (Carl Gutierrez, "Biofuels bridge Conoco and ADM," Forbes, 9/27/2007).

1/4/2008: ADM announces that it is planning to bury greenhouse gases generated by its own ethanol plant. The pioneering carbon-sequestration project is expected to cost $84 million. ADM worked with the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium and the Illinois State Geological Survey to develop the project at its Decatur, Illinois ethanol plant, where it was scheduled to begin drilling a 6,500 foot (1,980 meter) injection well and start injecting the gas into porous sandstone deposits in late 2009, concluding in 2012. (Timothy Gardner, "ADM to bury carbon from ethanol plant," 1/4/2008). Critics say the project violates the principles of green engineering.

5/15/2008: A top judge at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) says ADM's appeal to reduce a fine for involvement in a sodium gluconate cartel operating from 1987 to 1995 should be dismissed. ("EU court says ADM's appeal to reduce cartel fine should be dismissed,", 5/15/2008).

1/23/2009: ADM purchases the Mannheim, Germany-based chocolate firm Schokinag-Schokolade-Industrie Herrmann GmBh & Co KG, to expand its reach in the global cocoa and chocolate business.

2/10/2009: Reuters reports that ADM may face criminal charges related to barge fleet wastewater discharges at its St. Louis, Missouri facility, according to a company SEC filing. (Lisa Shumaker, "ADM warns of criminal indictment over wastewater," Reuters, 2/10/2009).

7/9/2009: Europe's highest court reduces a fine against ADM from 39.69 to 29.4 million euros for its role in a citric acid cartel, explaining that the firm had been unfairly classified as a leader of the cartel. ("EU court cuts ADM cartel fine by 10.3 mln euros," Reuters, 7/9/2009).

9/16/2009: A jury awards $6.7 million to the family of a man who died from steam-related burns in an accident at one of ADM's Decatur, Illinois plants. ("Jury awards $6.7 million in fatal ADM accident," Associated Press, 9/16/2009).