NETHERLANDS – Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), a Rotterdam-based agricultural commodity trader has launched its corporate venture capital program, LDC Innovations, as part of the company’s strategic plans to reinforce its position as a key value chain participant.
Ian McIntosh, LDC’s Chief Executive Officer, said that the venture capital program will enable the company to invest in innovations and technologies through early-stage companies operating in the food and agriculture industries.
“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,” said Ian.
“Over the coming months, we will invest in early-stage companies with the potential to transform the food and agriculture industries. Most importantly, we will support businesses which share our vision for a safe and sustainable future through transparent supply chains, responsible sourcing and long-term value creation.”
LDC has appointed Max Clegg to manage the program as Head of LDC Innovations, as part of LDC’s Innovations and Downstream team, to be led by Thomas Couteaudier in addition to his existing responsibilities as Head of South & Southeast Asia Region.
“Max brings significant experience to the program, and will play a key role in building long term, productive relationships with companies in the LDC Innovations portfolio,” said Thomas Couteaudier.
Most recently the company formed a joint venture with luckin Coffee, a Chinese chain of coffee shops start-up to support its expansion into the juice market.
The business will focus on co-branded Not From Concentrate (NFC) orange, lemon and apple juices, for which LDC masters the full value chain from its farms to customers at destination, and plans to build its own bottling plant in the future.
The Joint Venture also plans to bottle and brand other fruit and vegetable juices. As part of the agreement, the business was to leverage Luckin Coffee stores as sales outlets, in addition to marketing its juices via other channels.
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