Seed World

Limagrain Field Seeds CEO Talks Company Values, Vision and Global Presence

Seed World caught up with Régis Fournier, CEO of Limagrain Field Seeds, at the Euroseeds Congress. Here’s a snapshot of their chat. A video of the full one-on-one chat is available here.

SW: Tell us about Limagrain’s company values and vision.

Régis Fournier (RF): At Limagrain, our company values run deep; they’re not just words on a page. Limagrain has four core values that drive everything we do: perseverance, cooperation, progress and boldness. We live and breathe these values. I asked my chairman what he wants for the future of Limagrain Field Seeds. His answer was straight from the heart: he said he wants to leave behind a legacy for his kids — a company that’s not only bigger, but a company that provides valuable services to farmers.

Régis Fournier, CEO of Limagrain Field Seeds

SW: What makes Limagrain different from other big seed companies?

RF: We have a farmer-centric approach. Limagrain is a cooperative group, owned by farmers — Limagrain is the only one of the big seed companies owned by farmers. Farmers oversee, direct and validate our strategy. We understand their issues; we talk to them every day.

SW: Tell us about your global presence.

RF: Limagrain Field Seeds is a global company present on six continents and in all the main markets. We have 5,000 employees in the Field Seeds organization. We invest 16% of our turnover in research — a huge investment for a company like ours.

SW: How do you reach the smallest farmers?

RF: We adapt to all kinds of farming models and use both physical and digital approaches to reach farmers. In some countries, like Africa and India, we have shops where we give advice to farmers. Seed Co, the largest seed company on the African continent, is our strategic partner. There are millions of small subsistence farmers, often only buying 1 kg of seed each. The small ones are very often growing corn or other crops just to feed their families. We also, of course, address the large commercial farmers who are selling their grains too.

SW: How do you make sure that your products are better than the competition?

RF: Limagrain’s farmer-owners invest in research; it’s our long-term vision. We invest in all the continents: we breed products to fit every climate and every economic situation worldwide as sustainably as possible. We also help farmers grow our products in the right place, the right way and with the right techniques.

SW: Tell us about your sustainability vision

RF: Limagrain understands sustainability is vital to longevity and success in business. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint: one project we’re currently working on is to completely renew our historical plant in the Auvergne, making it our most modern, sustainable plant in terms of economics and energy savings. We’re also helping our customers become more sustainable by talking about crop rotation and crop species. We are not just selling corn, sunflower, rapeseed or wheat, we want to help the farmers preserve and improve their soil fertility.

SW: What will Limagrain Field Seeds look like in say, 2030?

RF: Limagrain was the first pure seed player worldwide. A global Limagrain Field Seeds includes America, South America, China, Brazil, India and Africa. By 2030, we will be present in all markets on all continents, with all those markets contributing to Limagrain Field Seeds in a more balanced way. We will have a very performant multi-crop offer for farmers and, as always, the best advice to help them to get the best out of our products. And I would like to think Limagrain employees will still be very passionate about their work and about their company.