LDC adds venture capital unit, new innovation head

13 July 20203 min reading

Louis Dreyfus Company launched its corporate venture capital program, ‘LDC Innovations’, as an essential element in LDC’s strategic plans to reinforce its position as a key value chain participant.

Agricultural commodities trader Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) has launched a venture capital programme to invest in food and farming firms while also announcing a change of head for its innovation business, Reuters reports. “This program is another positive step in our strategic growth plans, as part of which we are investing in innovations and technologies that can help meet increasing global demand for healthy, nutritious products that are responsibly sourced and produced. Over the coming months, we will invest in early-stage companies with the potential to transform the food and agriculture industries,” Chief Executive Ian McIntosh said in a statement. The venture capital initiative, called LDC Innovations, will be part of LDC’s innovation and downstream division. The group said it was too early to comment on the potential budget of the unit. Dreyfus is the “D” of the so-called ‘ABCD’ quartet of global commodity traders that includes Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N), Bunge Ltd (BG.N) and Cargill Inc. Like its peers, it has been looking further down the food chain in response to declining profits in trading and shipping crops. It is also considering bringing outside investors into the family-controlled group. LDC Innovations will be led by Max Clegg, who has held business development and innovation roles at the group in North America since 2012. The overall innovation and downstream business will be headed by Thomas Couteaudier, who will assume the role in addition to his existing responsibilities as Head of South & Southeast Asia Region, LDC said.

‘LDC OUT-PERFORMED ITS GLOBAL REDUCTION TARGETS’ Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) published its 2019 Sustainability Report, highlighting significant progress in its environmental performance, reinforced governance of key issues, and positive strides for supply chain transparency.  The company reported that it had exceeded its year-on-year reduction goals for all four of its key performance indicators. These include CO2 emissions (down 11%), electricity and energy consumption (down 10%), water usage (down 14%) and solid waste sent to landfills (down 57%). “In 2019, we significantly out-performed global annual reduction targets across all our environmental metrics, thanks to investments in modern equipment, efficiency savings and process improvements around the world. This puts us back on track to meet our global goals to reduce each indicator by 5% between 2018 and 2022. As a leading industry player, it is essential for LDC to help reduce the environmental impact of our sector,” continued Mr. McIntosh. Louis Dreyfus Company is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods. LDC is active in over 100 countries and employs approximately 18 000 people globally.

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