InVivo Picks Ex-Cargill Trader Lipatoff To Head Grain Unit
French agricultural group InVivo has appointed Pierre Lipatoff, a long-serving trader with US-based Cargill, as head of its grain trading unit.
The appointment ends a year-long search by InVivo for a trading chief following the departure of previous head Stephane Bernhard.
Lipatoff will become head of the InVivo Trading unit on June 8 and will also be in charge of Grains Overseas, a grain export venture created by InVivo last year with two other French cooperative groups, it said in a statement.
Lipatoff has spent most of his 25 years in grain trading at Cargill, before most recently working for French grain firm Groupe BZ, InVivo said.
Lipatoff had held management roles in oilseeds at Cargill in Europe in recent years before joining BZ in 2019 as import and export director, his LinkedIn profile shows.
InVivo, a grouping of some 200 farmer-owned cooperatives and one of the largest exporters of French grain, has overhauled its trading business in an effort to end a run of losses in the past few years.
It formed Grains Overseas, in which it holds a 60% stake alongside Axereal and NatUp, which have 20% each, to improve competitiveness in overseas markets increasingly dominated by Black Sea producers like Russia and Ukraine.
Grains Overseas covers soft wheat and animal feed barley exports, with other grain and oilseed products still handled by InVivo Trading.
Under chief executive Thierry Blandinieres, who had taken temporary charge of the trading unit since last year, InVivo has also turned more to other agri-food activities like farming solutions, grocery retail and wine distribution.