Company News: Rabobank, Kubota, Smithfield

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Rabobank Announces Plan To Strengthen U.S. Rural Banking Business
Rabobank will transfer the food and agriculture loan portfolio from its California retail banking operation, Rabobank, N.A., to Rabo AgriFinance. The move comes as part of an agreement to sell the retail, business banking, commercial real estate, mortgage, wealth management and other non-Food and Agribusiness assets of Rabobank, N.A. to Walnut Creek, CA-based Mechanics Bank, a full-service community bank with 44 branches and $6B in assets in California.

Rabo AgriFinance focuses on financing leading U.S. farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses and traces its roots back more than 115 years to its parent company, Netherlands-based Rabobank Group. When this transition is complete, Rabo AgriFinance will be the only U.S. lender to offer a broad, nationwide view of agriculture coupled with local expertise and global resources, according to a company release.

Approximately 170 employees who are currently supporting food, agriculture and renewable energy at Rabobank, N.A. will become employees of Rabo AgriFinance.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, the approval of Rabobank Group and the completion of various closing conditions and is anticipated to close in the third quarter of 2019.

Kubota Accelerates Large Tractor Business in North America
Kubota Corporation will utilize the development and production capabilities of Buhler Industries Inc. for a new series of tractors. Buhler has a proven track record for designing, manufacturing, and distributing large tractors in North America. Kubota has chosen to take this direction with a view toward improving development lead time and optimizing product specifications to meet local requirements, according to a company release.
This new agreement enables Kubota to add tractors in a horsepower range greater than that of its currently largest 170-horsepower line to accelerate its large tractor business in the North American market.

These new large tractors have been customized exclusively for Kubota through the company’s engineering expertise for ease of operation and functional design. The tractors will be launched in the U.S. and Canada in the second half of 2019 as Kubota continues its strategy to penetrate the North American large tractor market.

Smithfield Foods Recognized with Manufacturing Leadership Awards
National Association of Manufacturers has recognized Smithfield Foods Inc. with two 2019 Manufacturing Leadership Awards for its zero-waste-to-landfill initiative and SAP technology integration project. 

Smithfield’s zero-waste-to-landfill initiative, which encourages the company’s domestic facilities to meet a rigorous set of criteria to eliminate waste sent to landfill, was recognized with a Manufacturing Leadership Award. This program results in reduced waste disposal costs, additional revenue from selling recyclables, and decreased pollution, contributing to the company’s goals to reduce waste to landfills 10% by 2020 and greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025. 

The company's SAP technology integration project earned a Manufacturing Leadership Award for successfully integrating and streamlining the global food company’s business functions under one operating system, which drives efficiencies and enhances performance across all plants and production lines. Smithfield’s modernization of its infrastructure and harmonization of business applications also increases visibility of the company’s performance and customer orders and optimizes its manufacturing processes, a company release said.

Smithfield will be recognized at the 15th Annual Manufacturing Leadership Awards Gala, which will be held on the last day of the Manufacturing Leadership Summit in June.


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