Interview with Luc De Villele, LDC’s Head of Trade Execution for Europe, Middle East & Africa
Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods, with activities across a diversified range of business lines, covering the entire agriculture and food value chain, from farm to fork.
The company relies on its global reach and extensive asset network to deliver its products to customers and consumers around the world - safely, reliably and responsibly.
We spoke with Luc De Villele, LDC's Head of Trade Execution for Europe, Middle East & Africa, about how the company's sources, transports and delivers its products.
What products do you store at destination, for distribution?
As it prepares for the future, LDC is moving further downstream toward end consumers. We source and transport agricultural goods, but also increasingly refine and transform them into finished products.
Our storage and distribution operations take place all over the world. In Africa and Western Europe specifically, we store rice, sugar, juice, grains and oilseeds, as well as processed by-products such as glycerin, citrus oils and biodiesel, until they are ready for further transport and distribution to a wide range of customers, from large multinationals to local manufacturers and retailers.
Our strategically located silos, warehouses, transloading facilities and ports facilitate market access for farmers around the globe, and enable LDC to control costs and mitigate risk throughout the product journey.
What storage issues do you encounter?
Our top priority is the wellbeing of people who work for and with us, by creating a safe work environment wherever we operate. We equip our people with all necessary protective equipment and duty-specific training to ensure their safety, and invest continually in safety enhancements to protect them.
Other key concerns for LDC are to ensure product quality and secure products against misappropriation. Although we store products in LDC warehouses and silos, or those of trusted partners who offer conditions that meet our strict quality and safety standards, we undertake regular controls to ensure that facilities comply with requirements - our own and those of local authorities.
This assures our customers that LDC can keep them supplied with the quality products they have come to expect.
What precautionary measures do you implement to prevent or mitigate these risks, and how does SGS support you?
A key part of ensuring product safety and quality is to inspect any storage facility we plan to use, and doing so with the right partners, who uphold our standards, is important.
We work with SGS to conduct inspections, identify and manage operational risks, ensure compliance with local regulations, and set up port controls at loading and unloading stages, taking into consideration parameters such as quality, weight and condition.
SGS supports us with inspection, verification, testing and certification expertise, through stock monitoring agreements adapted to the nature of the product and risk profile of the operation.
Do you believe that innovative technologies could contribute to safer product storage?
LDC has embraced new technologies throughout its history, as part of its development and growth as a company.
That remains true today, and we are convinced that new technologies can help to optimize our operations and give us greater control over the risks associated with these.
For example, technologies enabling live data collection and management with automatic flags, could help reduce human error and fraud.
Investing in data management capabilities is a key part of our strategy to further strengthen our position as a leading agribusiness.
For inquiries, please contact:
Global Business Manager, Stock Management
t: +41 22 739 93 47
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 89,000 employees, we operate a network of more than 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.