Soy production in Lucas do Rio Verde-Mato Grosso, a municipality in the Brazilian Cerrado.  Brazil.
Soy production Soy production in Lucas do Rio Verde-Mato Grosso, a municipality in the Brazilian Cerrado. Brazil. © Rafael Araujo


The Nature Conservancy engages ex-Louis Dreyfus CEO for pro bono advisory role

Ian McIntosh will help guide global non-profit’s pioneering work on regenerative food systems

As efforts deepen to encourage a global transformation of food systems to better balance the needs of people and planet, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will be tapping into expert insights from the former CEO of one of the world’s largest agriculture commodity companies.

Having retired from his role as chief executive of Netherlands-based Louis Dreyfus Co. Holdings BV in September 2020, Ian McIntosh has agreed to provide ongoing pro bono consultancy to TNC’s global agriculture leadership, based on his experiences at the helm of one of world’s ‘Big Four’ commodity traders.

McIntosh’s insights will contribute in particular to the Conservancy’s efforts to reduce deforestation, habitat conversion and land degradation across global food systems, as well as informing its work to expand the role played by innovative financial mechanisms in driving progress against these and other pressing conservation priorities.

Commenting on this new advisory role, TNC’s global agriculture director David Cleary said: “Few figures in this sector boast a resumé quite like Ian’s, so we’re proud that he has consented to share his expertise across initiatives including our Innovative Finance for Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco program, which has already seen soy farmers in Brazil provided with innovative low-cost financing in return for avoiding further habitat conversion.”

Alongside these efforts to promote regenerative food systems in the terrestrial realm, McIntosh will also provide insights for TNC’s efforts to stimulate a ‘blue revolution’ in regenerative aquaculture and large-scale fisheries.

Elaborating on his pro bono role, McIntosh said: “Having spent over three decades at the forefront of the global agricultural commodities sector – and witnessing considerable change and evolution during that time – I’ve seen first-hand the potential for food systems that better reconcile the need for productivity with a ‘net-positive’ impact on biodiversity, and I’m excited at the prospect of working with a pragmatic, solutions-focused organisation like The Nature Conservancy and its global stakeholder audiences at such a critical time.”

To read more about TNC’s vision for a truly sustainable global food system, visit:

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.