Linked In
News In
Linked In

You are viewing 1 of your 2 complimentary articles.

Register now to receive full access.

Already registered?

Login | Join us now

Top ag companies face 'huge brand risk'

Twitter Linkedin

Top agriculture companies face "huge brand risk" if they ignore the growing campaign for health, sustainability and human rights improvements in food supply, Jonathan Kingsman told the Agrimoney Investment Forum.

"Health, sustainability and human rights - if you do not respect those, do not even think about it [operating in the food industry]," said Mr Kingsman, founder of the Kingsman sugar house, sold to Platts three years ago, and now a commentator on broader agriculture.

While there are many millions of farmers and consumers, there are about 50-100 companies who are the main buyers and processors in the middle of the supply chain which faced "incredible brand risk" if they ignored the environmental and social campaigns being promoted by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

'NGOs can damage your business'

He warned, for example, over companies found selling sugar from a source ignoring land rights, or palm oil produced in plantations not covered by the sustainable palm oil certification scheme.

"You will be all over the papers. NGOs can damage your business," he told the Agrimoney Investment Forum in London.

Ag trading giants Bunge and Cargill have come under scrutiny this week for buying palm oil from IOI, which lost its sustainable palm oil certification in March.

While many consumers "don't really care", about environmental and social factors, and may be swayed by pricing factors, traders and suppliers, and in particular the top 50-100 companies, needed to take a responsible attitude.

"That's where the NGOs concentrate" their campaigns, he said.

"They can really damage your business."

'Problem and solution'

Mr Kingsman also highlighted that local knowledge was essential when contemplating business in new countries, citing a large Dreyfus investment in Brazil which "didn't quite work".

"You need local knowledge on the best seed, the land and the government.

"I was involved in an Indian company which was very successful in India, but it had a complete disaster in Brazil."

Keeping government "onside" was essential, he said.

"It can be a problem and a solution at the same time. There are numerous ways they [officials] can interfere with your business, and they can be very fickle.

"They can ruin your business if they are against you. You need them on your side."

By Emma Penny

Twitter Linkedin
Related Stories

Festive staff shortages 'likely' as British growers cut ties with UK supermarkets

Faced with mounting concerns over labour shortages and fears they may not be able to fulfil retailer contracts, some British growers have sought to cut ties with UK supermarkets in favour of companies elsewhere in Europe.

Hard Brexit to have 'catastrophic' effect on European meat industry; new report

A hard Brexit will have a ‘catastrophic impact’ on the European meat industry, according to a report published by Europe’s meat industry body, UECBV, as the UK and EU continue negotiations.

Manufacturers stockpile agrochemicals in bid to keep post-Brexit prices down for farmers

Manufacturers of crop protection products are stockpiling agrochemicals in warehouses in a bid to keep input costs down for farmers after Brexit, according to the chief executive of the Crop Protection Association, Sarah Mukherjee.

Dairy groups sidestep shockwaves from GDT price slump

Indeed, shares in the likes of A2 and Beston soar. Still, that does not mean there are no losers from the dairy price falls...
Home | About | RSS | Commodities | Companies | Markets | Legal disclaimer | Privacy policy | Contact

Our Brands: Comtell | Feedinfo | FGInsight

© 2017 and Agrimoney are trademarks of Agrimoney Ltd
Agrimoney is part of the Briefing Media group
Agrimoney Ltd is registered in England & Wales. Registered number: 09239069