DECATUR, ILL. — Archer Daniels Midland Co. has launched a new corporate giving program, ADM Cares, designed to align social investment with corporate strategy. The program will aim to use up to 1% of pre-tax earnings on initiatives that advance societal improvements in areas that are related to the company’s business.

"Times like these put the values of private industry to the test," said Patricia Woertz, chairman and chief executive officer for ADM. "As we address short-term challenges, it is important to continue to take a longer view and invest for the future."

Ms. Woertz said that while ADM long has been a generous company, the ADM Cares program will allow it to focus giving so it may have greater impact and make a more meaningful difference.

"As a global agricultural processor, our work is intimately connected to our social responsibility: turning the harvest into food, animal feed and cleaner, renewable energy and industrial materials," she said. "Food, energy and a better environment are vital human needs that are only going to grow. Our strategic investments, both capital and social, are focused on expanding the productivity and ability of global agriculture and our company to meet these needs."

The ADM Cares program has three areas of emphasis: strong roots, strong communities and strong bonds.

Through strong roots, ADM said it will rely on a Social Investment Committee that will determine major global areas of focus aligned with the responsible, sustainable development of agriculture in which to invest half of ADM Cares’ budget.

The strong communities component gives local managers resources to meet the needs in their communities, with special emphasis given to educational programs for children and young adults.

The final emphasis, strong bonds, will be managed by Colleague Giving Council, a volunteer group. The council will oversee employee-to-employee assistance, disaster relief, volunteer programs and in-kind food donations.