Louis Cabouat

Meet our Coordinator: Louis Cabouat

What drives someone to leave a secure position in a multinational company to work in cooperative development? For Louis Cabouat, the answer lies in his desire to make a meaningful impact.

Originally from France, Louis has been residing in the Netherlands for over a decade. His journey began with a career in the food industry, where he held various positions at Danone, primarily in finance and purchasing. This multinational experience laid a strong foundation in business operations and strategic sourcing, critical skills he would later bring to the agricultural sector.

Seeking a more impactful role, Louis transitioned to Agriterra, a key partner in the AgriGRADE initiative. For the past four years, he has been heavily involved with projects in the West Africa region, leveraging his French-speaking capabilities. This experience has provided him with deep insights into the challenges and opportunities within the agricultural sector, particularly in cooperative development.

Motivation and Vision for AgriGRADE

What makes AgriGRADE’s approach stand out in the crowded field of agricultural development initiatives? For Louis, it’s the unique combination of systematic, data-driven methods aimed at scaling impact. Drawn by this innovative approach, he believes in AgriGRADE’s potential to transform the cooperative landscape in emerging economies. Starting with pilot projects in Kenya and Tanzania, Louis envisions ensuring these pilots are successful, yielding valuable insights and proving the concept’s scalability and effectiveness.

Louis Cabouat

“I really want to make sure we can implement well those pilots, but also get some learnings and knowledge out of those in order to then extend. I envision AgriGRADE going beyond these two pilots and proving that it’s a solution to scale up impact at a much larger level,” says Louis.

Measuring Success

For Louis, the success of the Centre of Excellence will be measured by the satisfaction of its partners and the tangible results achieved through pilot projects. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining alignment among all partners and building a clear strategy for AgriGRADE’s future.

“My role will be to keep everybody aligned and ensure we don’t lose track of our vision. Success will be when partners see the added value and feel that this new approach makes sense for everyone,” he explains.

Louis acknowledges the need for continuous development and strategic partnerships, particularly in monitoring, evaluation, and learning. He sees potential in collaborating with knowledge institutes, local governments, and financial institutions to enhance AgriGRADE’s impact.

“I think we could benefit from additional partnerships, especially with local governments in the countries where we are active. Strengthening existing partnerships and building new ones will be crucial for AgriGRADE’s success,” he notes.

One of the main challenges Louis anticipates is ensuring theoretical plans translate effectively into practical implementation. Therefore, he aims to keep partners consistently aligned and maintain harmony within the team.

Personal Connection to Agriculture

How does someone born and raised in the Paris area, far from farming communities, develop a passion for agriculture? For Louis, the interest in nature and agriculture was sparked during childhood holidays spent visiting farms. This passion led him to pursue a combined degree in agriculture and food science, paving the way for his career in the food industry and, ultimately, his transition to Agriterra.

“Even as a child, I was always interested in nature and visiting farms during holidays. This passion led me to pursue studies in agriculture and food science,” he shares.

Outside of his professional life, Louis is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys sailing, hiking, and biking. He has a small sailing boat in Amsterdam and dreams of one day crossing the Atlantic.

Leveraging Experience for AgriGRADE

Louis brings to AgriGRADE not only his expertise but also the collaborative culture of Agriterra. He is well-versed in working with partners like IDH and Oikocredit and understands the importance of leveraging these relationships for greater impact.

“I bring with me the culture of Agriterra and the experience of working with partners. This will be crucial in ensuring AgriGRADE’s success,” he emphasizes.

Louis Cabouat’s extensive background in the food industry, coupled with his experience in cooperative development, positions him as a valuable asset to AgriGRADE. His strategic vision, commitment to partner satisfaction, and passion for sustainable agriculture will undoubtedly drive the success of the Centre of Excellence.

As Louis steps into this new role, AgriGRADE is poised to make significant strides in professionalizing the cooperative sector, enhancing the livelihoods of farmers, and creating sustainable agricultural development in emerging economies.

For more insights and updates on AgriGRADE’s initiatives, stay tuned to our communications and follow our journey towards transforming agricultural cooperatives globally.