The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of millions around the world – as both a health and economic crisis, but also as a food crisis, posing logistics, labor and commercial challenges that disrupted food production and delivery chains globally. And as livelihoods were impacted, food security concerns arose, and already acute world hunger and malnutrition issues worsened.
This scenario, which underlined and amplified some of the world’s biggest challenges, highlighted the urgent need for global society’s Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda to accelerate.
Businesses have an essential role to play in doing so, and LDC’s vision to contribute to a safe and sustainable future of food takes on even greater sense, importance and urgency in this respect, while fulfilling our role to help feed and clothe millions of people around the world.
Resilience and Progress in 2020
I am proud of what we achieved as a Group in 2020, with our people everywhere adjusting to new ways of working– some staying home and working remotely for months to help keep everyone safe, others remaining at the front lines to keep our business activities and operations running, as enablers of food supply continuity. I am extremely grateful to all our teams for their great flexibility and resilience.
LDC’s efforts to rise to unprecedented global challenges around us were effective, as we protected our workers, continued to operate with minimal disruptions and delivered very strong business performance, while making very positive strides with our strategic plans.
Not least of these was the agreement signed with ADQ as long-term partners and investors, fulfilling a decade-long strategy envisioned by our Supervisory Board and following the search for a partner whose vision for the future concorded with our own.
As we seek to contribute to global and sustainable access to food, and pursue the transformative strategy to keep LDC in a leading position to do so, ADQ brings additional experience and strength to the pursuit of our plans.
Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, LDC also pursued its essential work to drive increasingly sustainable practices across our activities, and to influence other value chain participants to do the same.
An important part of our work remains focused on farmers, recognizing their crucial role as the heart of the food chain. Although the pandemic caused delays due to restrictions and lockdowns, still our dedicated teams found innovative ways to continue engaging with farmers around the world, sharing knowledge and tools to improve their productivity and incomes sustainably.
Working individually, alongside the Louis Dreyfus Foundation and with other partners, we continued to support the farming communities on which global food security relies, and whose resilience has never been more crucial.
Contributing to global efforts to address increasingly urgent climate challenges, LDC also continued to make positive strides to reduce its environmental footprint in 2020.
Much work remains, with an urgent need for more coordinated, industry-wide action in multiple areas to drive large-scale and lasting change. For this reason, I am all the more convinced that our local and global approach to work collaboratively is the right one, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
As the 170th year in our Group’s history, 2021 represents a milestone for LDC, not least with the completion of our agreement with ADQ, which marks the start of a new chapter in our history, as the first time that we open our capital to external investors.
The challenges posed by Covid-19 continue this year, and our priority remains to keep our people safe and well, wherever they are and whatever they role at LDC.
As demonstrated by their resilience and performance in 2020, however, I have every confidence that our teams will rise to the challenges and continue to deliver for our customers with the reliability and quality that they have come to expect from LDC.
Bringing ADQ on board enables the acceleration of investments as part of our transformational strategy, with exciting opportunities and projects ahead as we pursue our roadmap to shape the future of LDC and the future of food, guided by our purpose to create fair and sustainable value for the benefit of current and future generations.