A number of big name global farm machinery companies have pulled their operations in Russia, condemning the country for starting a war with neighbouring Ukraine.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February and has continued to shell a number of key cities, vital supply networks and residential areas in the European country killing thousands of innocent men, women and children.
Machinery giant, John Deere, has suspended all shipments to Russia and its ally Belarus for supporting the war.
In a statement, John Deere said: “John Deere is deeply saddened by the significant escalation of events in Ukraine. The safety, welfare, and well-being of our employees in the region remain our top priority, and we continue to support and maintain close communication with our affected teams, providing necessary resources when possible. Our thoughts are with our employees, their families as well as our dealers, customers and all those impacted by this crisis.
“Two weeks ago, we suspended shipments of machines to Russia and then subsequently, Belarus. We continue to monitor the situation closely while we fully abide by US and international sanctions. The John Deere Foundation has additionally been working directly with a number of organisations, including multiple UN agencies, to mobilise resources to support Ukrainians impacted by the crisis. Our mission is, and always has been, to help our customers feed the world,” it said.
Meanwhile Dutch machinery and equipment manufacturer, Lely, has also discontinued commercial activities in Russia and Belarus.
A spokesman said: “Lely is shocked by Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. Lely condemns Russia’s invasion and is immediately ceasing commercial activities in the region. This means that we will stop supplying robots to Russia and Belarus. We will continue to supply spare parts and consumables to our existing customers in these countries, considering that otherwise cow welfare and food supply in the region would be compromised.”
Meanwhile, Caterpillar Inc. has suspended operations at its plants in Russia due to the challenges of doing business there.
Caterpillar said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic events continuing to occur in Ukraine and hope for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Through the Caterpillar Foundation, we are donating more than US$1 million to support both urgent and long-term needs of the Ukraine humanitarian crisis. We are complying with all applicable laws and evolving sanctions, while remaining focused on our employees, dealers and customers.
“Operations in Russia have become increasingly challenging, including supply chain disruptions and sanctions, and we are suspending operations in our Russian manufacturing facilities. We recognise this is a time of incredible uncertainty for our valued employees, and we will continue to look for ways to support them.”
The German Agricultural Society, DLG, that organises Agritechnica, the world’s biggest farm machinery show in Hanover, added its weight to the situation.
A DLG spokeswomen said: “The DLG condemns the war in Ukraine as a contravention of international law. As a partner of European agriculture and as a supporter of a free Europe with the right to freedom, peace, self-determination for all states and cross-border personal and professional exchange, the DLG views the assault on Ukraine with great concern.
“DLG’s thoughts are with all people affected by the war, especially the farmers in this important agricultural region. Our support goes in particular to our employees and DLG members in Ukraine.”
CNH has also suspended all shipments to Russia and Belarus. A CNH spokesman said: “CNH Industrial strongly condemns any and all acts of unprovoked violence and aggression, and especially the current war in Ukraine which is having a devastating impact on so many people, including many of our own employees and dealers.
“Two weeks ago, the company suspended all shipments to Russia and Belarus. CNH Industrial is continuing to prioritise the safety of our 38 employees and their families in Ukraine. We are providing them with ongoing assistance, including financial aid and relocation support. CNH Industrial is also supporting its employees in Russia. As a company we make a clear distinction between our employees and their respective governments.
“The company has taken action to support Ukrainians impacted by this crisis by donating $500,000 to NGOs who are providing on the ground assistance to those in need, as well as establishing a global employee donation fund, with a dollar-for-dollar company match.
“As a company, we are doing everything we can to support farmers and our dealer partners during this difficult period to help maintain global food supply. CNH Industrial fully abides by all US, EU and other national sanctions regimes, and is keeping the situation under constant review.”