Agribusiness
Growing together

Agribusiness offers unique opportunities and challenges for the stakeholders within it. It’s a broad space ranging from protein production to animal nutrition, with products and processes that span long, complex lifecycles and value chains. It’s also a fast-modernizing sector, bringing together massive, iconic players and innovative startups offering cutting-edge agricultural technologies to create value through new partnerships and strategic acquisitions. These trends make finding the right agribusiness leaders paramount, whether for a multigenerational family business moving toward private-equity ownership and nonfamily leadership or an established player seeking digital transformation. In any scenario, it’s about building a deep bench of current and rising leaders and looking within and outside your subsector to identify the best talent for your future.

Heidrick & Struggles has a long history of supporting agribusiness clients of all scales and ownership structures, including in-depth work and strategic partnerships with established and newer players. We have deep experience getting the broader market excited about agribusiness opportunities, with success recruiting a new phenotype of agribusiness leaders from leading technology businesses to drive high-value innovations and initiatives. By partnering across Heidrick practices and global offices, we cover the sector’s value chain end-to-end, bringing a modern take on succession, sustainability, DEI, and other critical topics, with a growing team dedicated to this space. Our guidance, processes, and frameworks stretch across search, assessment, coaching, and training, to provide whatever you need. In short, we’re excited to grow with you, enabling future-ready leadership in this essential, dynamic industry.

Global Food & Agribusiness Trends
Global consolidation continues with an increasing number of mergers such as
  • Bayer acquiring Monsanto ($63 billion)
  • ChemChina acquiring Syngenta ($43 billion)
  • Dow and Dupont ($130 billion) spinning out Corteva ($42 billion)
  • Agrium and Potash forming Nutrien ($36 billion)
 
Shortage of high-quality executives
  • Leadership experience and capabilities required are not necessarily those that have been traditionally in demand. 
  • Shortage of ‘high quality’ globally minded, sector specific executives with commercial agility including digital transformation experience.
 
Convergence fast-track innovation
  • Agriculture, Food, Technology & Finance is converging to fast-track innovation.
  • Innovation is essential to combat rising on-farm costs; land use changes; consumer demand for transparency & sustainability; and fast shifting consumer food preferences.
 
Increasing consumer focus on where food is sourced.
  • Deepening connection between consumers and food supply chains.
  • Rising popularity of veganism and concerns over animal rights.
  • Awareness around sustainability inherent in the global livestock industry.
 
Global Food & Agribusiness Challenges -- Pressure on food security and renewable water sources constraints are only a few
 
60%
Increase in global food production needed to meet demand generated by a growing population.
 
70%
Amount of global water use that agriculture accounts for.
 
1.8 billion
Number of people expected to be living in regions with “absolute” water scarcity by 2025.
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