Moline-based John Deere is “deeply saddened by the significant escalation of events in Ukraine,” according to a recent statement on the company website.
“The safety, welfare, and well-being of our employees in the region remains our top priority, and we continue to support and maintain close communication with our affected teams, providing necessary resources when possible,” Deere said. “Our thoughts are with our employees, their families as well as our dealers, customers and all those impacted by this crisis.”
Two weeks ago, the farm and construction equipment maker suspended shipments of machines to Russia and then subsequently, Belarus. “We continue to monitor the situation closely, while we fully abide by U.S. and international sanctions,” the company said.
The John Deere Foundation has additionally been working directly with a number of organizations, including multiple UN agencies, to mobilize resources to support Ukrainians impacted by the crisis.
“Our mission is, and always has been, to help our customers feed the world,” Deere said.
The John Deere Foundation’s response to the crisis in Ukraine includes direct funding to the world’s largest humanitarian organization, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), as well as an employee giving program which is matched by the Foundation, Deere spokeswoman Jennifer Hartmann said Thursday.
At the outset of the crisis, the John Deere Foundation awarded a $250,000 grant to WFP to help launch its emergency response to the Ukraine crisis. WFP provides vital food assistance and other support for refugees in Ukraine and surrounding countries.
At the same time, the Foundation launched opportunities for John Deere employees around the world to support the work of dozens of nonprofit organizations serving those in need, including WFP, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the American Red Cross.
“Together with the Foundation’s matched gifts, we estimate employees have already helped raise over $150,000,” Hartmann said. “This mix of direct funding and matching employee giving is at the heart of the Foundation’s bold commitment to invest at least $200 million over the decade.”
The Foundation is actively working with nonprofit organizations to evaluate additional responses to this crisis.
Deere has approximately 40 employees in Ukraine and approximately 300 employees in Russia.