Cargill Siam Celebrates 100th House Built With Habitat For Humanity Thailand

Over 100 Staff From Cargill, Betagro And Nestle Work On Houses In Chiang Mai Before Ceremony Marking Milestone

BANGKOK, 5th January 2010: Cargill Siam marked a milestone in its long-standing partnership with Habitat for Humanity Thailand by celebrating the building of its 100th house in Thailand.

Aptly demonstrating employee involvement, more than 110 volunteers worked on four houses in Chiang Mai. The volunteers included staff from Cargill's businesses in Thailand and other countries as well as staff of Betagro, one of Thailand's leading pork producers, and Swiss-based food giant Nestle.

Back in 2007, the international food and agricultural products group had set a goal of building more than 100 houses with HFH Thailand by 2010. Then, Cargill sent about 100 staff on a Habitat build in northern Thailand to celebrate the 80th birthday of Thailand's monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Of the 100 homes built in the Cargill-Habitat partnership, half of them went to tsunami-affected families in southern Thailand while the remaining 50 homes were constructed for families living in poverty in the provinces of Mahasarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima and Udon Thani in the northeast, and Chiang Mai, Lampang and Phitsanulok in the north.

Cargill, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnoesota, USA, has contributed more than 15 million baht (US$447,800) toward local Habitat programs.

At a special ceremony to celebrate the 100th Thai house, government official Surachai Chongrak, permanent secretary for Chiang Mai province, said that "assistance from the government alone is not enough to thoroughly relieve the distress of people. Therefore, it is extremely beneficial that the projects by Habitat for Humanity Thailand receive support from Cargill".

Chainarong Monthienvichienchai, board chair of HFH Thailand, thanked Cargill for its contributions and expressed his desire for continuing Habitat's partnership with Cargill in promoting safe and decent homes.

Apart from home construction, Cargill Siam awards scholarships to children from families in need and, in rural areas, has installed water purifiers and water coolers in more than 120 schools. The group has also constructed school buildings and libraries, renovated old school buildings and refurbished school toilets. In addition, Cargill has assisted schools in impoverished areas by building ponds for rearing fish and vegetable gardens for sustainable lunch projects.

Founded in 1865, privately held Cargill employs 159,000 people in 68 countries. In Thailand, Cargill Siam has actively supported Habitat with funding and volunteers.