DECATUR, ILL. — An investment by Archer Daniels Midland Co. in sustainable palm production in Brazil will encompass about 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of palm production and include construction of a palm processing plant, Decatur-based ADM said Feb. 9. ADM expects construction of the processing plant near Sao Domingos do Capin to begin in 2013 with operations starting in 2016. Palm production will take place in the state of Para.

“This investment adds a new crop to our value chain in Brazil and diversifies our feedstock options for biodiesel production there, while at the same time supporting our commitment to sustainability in terms of both agricultural production and the livelihoods of farm families in Brazil,” said Patricia Woertz, chairman, chief executive officer and president of ADM.

ADM’s production will be part of Brazil’s Social Fuel Stamp program that provides incentives for biodiesel producers to buy feedstock from small family farms. As part of the program, ADM will contract with about 600 family farms for 6,000 hectares of palm production and provide the farms with technical assistance focused on sustainable agricultural practices.

“Our investment in sustainable palm production will positively impact the lives of more than 3,000 people through higher farm incomes,” said Domingo Lastra, president of ADM do Brasil Ltda.

ADM is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which promotes the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products through global standards and engagement of stakeholders.