It's not just South African farmers who are mobile – many global agribusinesses have invested heavily in securing land use rights for the future – and where they establish a footprint there is often a need for both a local and a 'head office' leader. As a result, we see a large cohort of expatriate leaders across the African continent, possibly due to a need for translation, cultural and linguistic, between a global HQ (in Singapore or Amsterdam, for example.)
Acquisition and joint venture activity continue unabated, and where there is growth there is leadership demand. Leaders are expected to unlock additional value from their existing operations, make the most of new ones, and keep a cool head in difficult times. In return, they prefer to work for companies with good human rights records, high sustainability scores, and a diversity of products and opportunities.
Company behavior and image are key
‘Candidates are increasingly concerned about how corporates behave and brand themselves and in particular, the relationship of the farmer with the community within which the business operates is absolutely essential and a critical component of the value proposition. Really taking good care of the communities you operate in and being a responsible social citizen are also things that candidates are looking for in an agribusiness,’ adds Tracy Dawson.