The Oxford Experience
Hi fellow traveller,
What’s the magic word?
I have been involved with food and agriculture my entire life. Growing up in the southeastern United States I was around agriculture but not raised on a farm. This made it challenging to become a farmer, so I chose a career working with farmers.
I have been with Syngenta for 24 years and started my career as a sales rep. This provided a foundation in agronomy and working with people that would serve me through other roles. I continued my career with stops in marketing and team management. Along the journey I led Syngenta’s Industry Relations group for North America, and this was my first introduction to Sustainability. Recognizing the important role this would have in the future of agriculture, it was also obvious that the efforts were fractured and inconsistent. I went on to manage much of the midwestern US for Syngenta CP with an eye on sustainability and regenerative agriculture. In June of this year, I had the opportunity to come back into sustainability in Syngenta by leading our Global Value Chain team.
I am a 33 year old Brazilian, married to my love, Bela, passionate about regenerative agriculture and addicted to sports. My journey into the world of agriculture began seven years ago when I joined Luxor Agro with the mission of reimagining their large-scale conventional livestock production.
As we delved deeper into the future of agriculture, the immense potential of regenerative practices became evident. Recognizing the opportunity to create a more resilient and profitable operation while nurturing ecosystems, I dedicated myself to studying and implementing it on Luxor’s farms. Along the way, I made numerous mistakes and developed a profound passion for the challenge at hand.
Simultaneously, we transformed the family farms into a thriving business, attracting more investors and elevating our governance standards. Two years ago, I assumed the role of CEO, focused on establishing a robust business system that integrates regenerative practices into our operations. This system will enable us to attract more investors and manage a larger portfolio of operations. I am fully committed to continuously improving my business skills to drive the realization of our vision.
I left Pakistan at the age of 18. After studying Engineering, Business Management and Technopreneurship in Singapore, and Computer Science in Canada, I started my career with Unilever in 2009. I have worked both in developing markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Argentina, Mexico and in developed markets such as Singapore and now in the Netherlands. I have deep expertise in partnership ecosystems development and value chain transformations in a wide variety of multi-billion Euro portfolios.
In my current position, as Global Head of Procurement for Nutrition Business Group, I am very passionate about the opportunity to lead in the design
of Unilever’s future economic (not financial) model and not only how that contributes internally to top and bottom line but also how it incentivizes and drives value externally. The biggest challenge lies in ensuring the head space
to think about it more deeply and to be able to make that degree of difference. I create that headspace for myself and for my internal and external partners, by courageous leadership. My role encompasses working with over 3000 partners across the globe to help land our Force for Good Foods strategy. In this capacity, my team leads the implementation of Unilever’s Regenerative Agriculture program working closely with our partners across the value chain – supply partners, disruptive innovators, investors, and governments.
Prior to this role, I was Global Director of Procurement for Food Ingredients. Under my leadership, procurement transformed the resilience landscape during the challenging pandemic period and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Before moving to the Netherlands, I was Head of Procurement for North Latin America. I led multi-million Euro partners’ and government’s investments to enable plastics recyclability and collection across the industry. I had the honor to represent Unilever when we became the first company in the Republic ́s history to sign a Plastic Memorandum in Mexican parliament.