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About Us

A Bright Future Born from a Single Grain

From our company’s humble beginnings in 1851, the legacy of Louis-Dreyfus family leaders throughout our history continues to inspire us today. Our story is one of vision, hard work and innovation – a rich entrepreneurial heritage that guides us as we drive toward our future.

Our Story Begins

Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, a determined 16-year-old who laid the foundations for our global company, which he named after his father, understood early on that this business would fill a great human and economic need. His entrepreneurial spirit remains a source of inspiration for us to this day.


Fulfilling a Human and Economic Need

Léopold Louis-Dreyfus travels from France to Switzerland, a country with interesting prospects for a budding food production industry, to make his first sale of grain and establish his business

The Promise of Europe’s Breadbasket

Aged just 23, Léopold recognizes opportunities for higher profitability by expanding his range of commercial activities, and buys grain from Hungary and Romania to sell in Western Europe. By the 1870s, his company is one of the few to have reached a continental scale.

A New Communication Channel

The telegraph and transatlantic cable come into use in trading offices, dramatically improving communication between Europe and the Americas and allowing farmers to negotiate product pricing while their crops are still growing. As one of the first businessmen to fully embrace technological innovations, Léopold makes full use of these new communication channels, but also of the new railroads connecting Europe’s hinterlands with wheat ports in Odessa and Rostov.

Going to Market

The grain trade spreads extensively during the 19th century, with key markets developing in Liverpool and London in the United Kingdom, and in Chicago in the United States. With official authorization from the Liverpool Corn Trade Association, the company begins trading futures.

The Next Generation

Léopold welcomes his sons, Charles and Louis, into the company, introducing them to the business early on. Following in their father’s footsteps, Charles and Louis expand the business, seeking new horizons and markets for their products.

Across the Sea

Léopold begins to operate a fleet of vessels, all named after family members, such as Pierre LD and Louis LD. The fleet carries Russian crops and grains from Odessa to Liverpool and major Mediterranean ports.

Handing Over the Reins

By the time of his death in 1915, Léopold has received multiple honors, including Commander of the Royal Russian Order (1905), Commander of the Légion d’Honneur (1912) and Grand Officer of the Romanian Crown (1914). The second generation of the business, with Charles and Louis at the helm, now takes the lead and expands to the Americas and beyond.


From Argentina to the World

By the late 1920s, nearly three quarters of Argentina’s agricultural land is used for cereal farming. Throughout this decade, more than 1,000 company representatives buy corn, wheat, barley and oats from local farmers at harvest time, shipping them around the world to meet global demand.

A Guarantee of Efficiency

With grain now traded all over the world, and with coded telex messages exchanged by trading correspondents, Léopold’s company code Sesostris becomes a symbol of reliability among suppliers and customers. Messages arriving at the company’s offices are ‘flown’ from one floor to another through a pneumatic pipe system.

New Ventures in the Americas

The company enters Canada, buying and exporting grains and oilseeds to the world, and contributing immensely to a local economy where one in three people live on farms. And after four decades of activity in Brazil, a permanent presence is established in the country with the acquisition of Comércio e Indústrias Brasileiras Coinbra S/A, trading sugar, citrus products, oilseeds and coffee.

Postwar Recovery

Though not immune to the challenges of wartime, the company remains in business and, with the death of Léopold’s son Louis in 1940, his grandsons Jean, François and Pierre now take charge. Throughout the 1950s they expand our geographic presence, opening trading offices in Chicago, Winnipeg, Buenos Aires, New York, Johannesburg, São Paulo, Saigon, Shanghai and Bombay.

Unprecedented Expansion

Building on Léopold’s legacy and heritage, the company seizes opportunities to diversify the business in the decades following the end of World War II. Guided by a new generation of Louis-Dreyfus leaders, our operations grow to a new scale, laying the foundations for our long-term future.


A New Leader, a New Path

Passionate and charismatic, Gérard Louis-Dreyfus leads the company through a period of unparalleled growth. Understanding the immense value of partnerships based on trust, and capitalizing on arbitrage opportunities, he carves out a new path for our trading activities in a variety of commodity markets.

Growth Through New Activities

From the 1970s to the 1990s, the company increases its direct involvement in agricultural activities across cotton, sugar, citrus, and coffee, expanding origination and marketing activities, and adding citrus and oilseeds processing to a growing value chain.

Opening General Lagos

Our General Lagos soybean crushing plant and port facility opens in Argentina. Today, it is considered one of the most efficient plants in the world and has made LDC the main national producer and exporter of biodiesel in Argentina.

Expansion in the Americas

From 1998 and into the new century, we build up our presence in Canada with a network of 10 grain elevators, and expand our presence in several locations in Brazil. Capitalizing on the individual strengths of each state, we add a coffee warehouse, a soybean processing plant, a juice plant and terminal, a cotton warehouse and several sugar production operations to our Brazilian portfolio.

Rise of a New Visionary

Building on the growth and success achieved by Gérard, Léopold’s great-grandson, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, writes a new chapter in the company’s history, giving employees advice which remains relevant in today’s complex times: “Look, learn, and then grow”.


A New Company Structure

Taking charge of his family’s company, and guided by his own entrepreneurial spirit, Robert Louis-Dreyfus consolidates the company structure and creates Louis Dreyfus Commodities (LDC). Under his stewardship, the company incorporates three new business lines (fertilizers, dairy and metals).

Toward Sustainable Soy

The company signs the Soy Moratorium in Brazil, aiming to preserve the Amazon biome by reconciling environmental preservation with economic development through responsible and sustainable use of land and natural resources.

Opportunities in Europe and South America

After Robert’s untimely passing in 2009, the company honors his legacy by following his expansion strategy. LDC acquires a rapeseed crushing plant in Wittenberg, Germany, which now also produces lecithin for food and feed applications, as well as pharmaceutical-grade glycerin, following significant infrastructure and technological improvements. In Brazil, the merger of LDC’s sugarcane operations with those of Santelisa Vale creates Biosev, today LDC’s sister company and the world’s second-largest sugarcane processor.

Investing in the Future

During a period of remarkable growth and expansion, capitalizing on favorable commodity market conditions, the company prepares for the future with major investments and strategic acquisitions to develop our value chain, business lines and logistics capabilities. We enter the apple juice concentrate market in China, purchase cotton facilities in Argentina and invest in our logistics network in Indonesia.

Committed to Better Business Practices

We make a contribution to a sustainable future by signing the United Nations Global Compact: a set of ten key principles for businesses that cover human rights, labor rights, workplace safety, the environment and the fight against corruption.

Building our Brand Portfolio

Having established a strong presence in global markets, we acquire leading international dairy trading house, Ecoval Dairy Trade, and the US-listed Imperial Sugar Company, venturing into the consumer product segment with the latter’s Imperial Sugar and Dixie Crystals brands.

New Ventures and Continued Growth

The company unveils an upgraded grain and oilseed export elevator at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, US – the busiest port in the Western Hemisphere. We also establish new joint ventures in cotton (Australia), rice (South Africa) and grains (Ukraine) – further expanding our local network.

A New Name, a New Chapter

The company begins forging a new way forward, with renewed focus on sustainability and on building strong relationships based on trust, inspired by our past as we drive toward the future.


Creating a Future with a History

Guided by a clear strategic growth plan to consolidate relationships with customers and suppliers, the company enters a new chapter in its history with a new name: Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC).

First Biodiesel Plant in Asia

Building on our presence in Indonesia, which already includes two oil refineries and several logistic assets, a new biodiesel plant opens in Lampung – LDC’s first in Asia and our fifth worldwide.

New Milestone in Claypool

Our oilseed processing facility in Claypool, US, expands to include a new glycerin refinery, LDC’s second worldwide. Since first opening its doors in 2007, this industrial complex has become one of the largest crush and biodiesel facilities in the country.

Toward Fully Traceable Palm Oil

Pursuing our efforts in sustainability, we become members of The Forest Trust (now called Earthworm Foundation), an international non-profit organization working toward sustainable value chains. Together, we are working to build and maintain high levels of traceability in our palm oil supply chain.

Partnerships for Sustainability

By joining the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), we are working collaboratively toward a safe and sustainable future.

Becoming the Value Chain

Increasingly, we are adding more value to the products ourselves on the journey from producer to consumer.
This enables us to leverage our focus on sustainable sourcing to respond to the need for a seamless, traceable and responsible value chain from farmer to customer and consumer, as we move downstream.


Focus on Core Businesses

We successfully complete the divestment of our metals and fertilizers businesses, as part of a refocus on core businesses in our long-term growth strategy.

First Agricultural Commodity Blockchain

Working with partners, we complete the first full agricultural commodity transaction using a blockchain platform. This lays the foundation for an industry-wide effort to modernize agricultural commodities trade operations through digitization.

New Oilseeds Processing Capacity in China

LDC invests in a new facility in Tianjin, building up our capacity to process protein-rich soybeans for animal feed and cooking oils in China, a key growth market for the company, as part of our commitment to grow with the country by providing high quality products that address the needs of its growing population.

Investing Downstream and Diversification

Pursuing innovative, sustainable solutions to address changing consumer demand and feed a growing world population, we partner with key feed, food and nutrition value chain players to diversify further downstream, among others through a coffee roasting joint venture with Luckin Coffee, and an aquatic feed joint venture with Guangdong HAID Group, in China.

Transformation Sustained

As the world is swept by an unprecedented pandemic in modern times, our global reach, trading expertise and entrepreneurial outlook allow us to navigate challenges, deliver strong results and pursue transformation plans.


Eco-efficient Juice Fleet

We invest in an upgraded fleet for the transportation of citrus juices and by-products, increasing annual static shipping capacity by approximately 25%, reducing fuel consumption by almost 70% and cutting sulphur emissions by over 90% per ton of product transported.

Vertical Integration

In China, we set up a coffee distribution operation with Kunshan Yiguo and launch new high-end cooking oils under our Mastergold brand. In Brazil, we reposition our Kowalski brand as a key partner for food, aqua feed and animal nutrition manufacturers, refreshing its B2C corn flour and premium pet food portfolios.

Founding Signatory of Sea Cargo Charter

Among many sustainability initiatives, LDC becomes a founding signatory of the Sea Cargo Charter to help drive decarbonization and shape a more sustainable future for the international shipping industry.

Development in Africa

We open a new office in Alexandria, Egypt, and conclude the construction of two new multi-commodity warehouses in the port of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where we also acquire land for tank farm expansion.

Further Flows Downstream

We form joint ventures to construct a soluble coffee plant in Vietnam and bring specialty coffees to Japan’s fast-growing premium coffee market, and our Kunshan Yiguo joint venture becomes one of China’s top three coffee merchants. We also continue to diversify our B2C cooking oils portfolio in China, partnering with e-commerce leaders in the country for their distribution.

Decarbonization in Action

We create a dedicated Carbon Solutions Platform to drive forward LDC’s decarbonization journey through emissions-reduction actions in our own operations and across our value chains, such as use of renewable energies, energy efficiency enhancements, methane avoidance, carbon sequestration, regenerative agriculture and others.

Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Growth

We welcome ADQ to our shareholder group as strategic partners and investors. The investment potential this new partnership creates will accelerate our transformative growth strategy, while supporting our pursuit of increasingly efficient, transparent and sustainable food and agriculture value chains.

Committed to Zero Deforestation

We commit to eliminate deforestation and conversion of native vegetation of high conservation value for agricultural purposes from all our supply chains, by the end of 2025, as part of our work to help shape increasingly fair and sustainable food and agriculture value chains.