From the moment Léopold Louis-Dreyfus founded our company in 1851, he understood that in order to fulfil a basic human need for sustenance, it was crucial to recognize the importance of mutual respect and partnership. But beyond the respect reserved for clients, suppliers and employees, there is one partner businesses should be wise never to overlook: nature.
Today, as a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods, Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) fully grasps the balance needed to produce the highest possible yield in the most sustainable way.
However, the path towards an entirely sustainable supply chain is paved with unexpected challenges. How can companies ensure sustainable production if this will compromise supply in an environment of soaring demand?
In this context, companies like LDC are faced with difficult choices.
But difficult choices are good for business, as they encourage us to think up new alternatives. As LDC works to foster and maintain long-term partnerships with farmers and suppliers, some of which go back for generations, we are in a good position to develop and establish new, more environmentally friendly forms of production, respecting the interests of the company, the farmer and the customer.
In an interview with Sarah Locket on The Business Debate, Guy Hogge, LDC’s Global Head of Sustainability, argued that, in light of the need for more sustainable business practices and in parallel with the need to feed a population expected to reach nearly ten billion people by 20501, agribusinesses must work with international organizations and NGOs..
One company alone cannot change the way all commodities are produced, but we believe change is possible if we all work together. Over the past few years, our sector has seen increasing collaboration between retailers, farmers, NGOs and banks; one successful example of this is the Soy Moratorium in Brazil.
The Soy Moratorium was set up in 2006, through a joint effort by companies affiliated with Brazilian agricultural associations, the Ministry for the Environment and the Banco do Brasil, as well as international civil society organizations, like Greenpeace. The agreement aims to preserve the Amazon Biome by integrating environmental preservation with economic development, through the responsible use of the country’s natural resources. It demands that companies only source grains planted in areas of the Amazon rainforest that were already deforested before 2008. A recent audit verified that LDC fulfills 100% of the agreement’s requirements.
We know that, more and more, the millions of people who benefit from our products and services around the globe want to know where goods have come from and how they have been sourced. They are no longer motivated by price alone. They want to know the cost of production – on communities and on the environment.
To learn more about our sustainability journey, download our 2015 Sustainability Report here.
1 Source: “World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision”, published by the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)