Duke of Westminster’s agritech business looks to change farming

Graham Ramsbottom, chief executive of Wheatsheaf, which aims to transform the way food is produced and delivered © Jim Holmes

Graham Ramsbottom, chief executive of Wheatsheaf, which aims to transform the way food is produced and delivered © Jim Holmes

TriStrata is a proud member of the Wheatsheaf Group

Wheatsheaf Group directly operates, invests in and helps to develop businesses in the food and agriculture sectors. Through the activities of over 2,500 people across 34 countries and the development of innovative technologies, Wheatsheaf aims to contribute enduring solutions to improve efficiency in the production of healthy and nutritious food to meet the food requirements borne out of the increasing demands of a changing global population.

“Companies that are trying to replicate meat using plant proteins may be in the spotlight, but one of the UK’s largest agritech investors is looking for simpler and more pragmatic ideas to disrupt the food chain.

The Eaton Estate in Cheshire is the home of Wheatsheaf, the agriculture and food investment business of Hugh Grosvenor, the current Duke of Westminster, whose family estate is estimated to be worth some £9bn.

Wheatsheaf has a portfolio of 19 companies, and the value of its portfolio and capital allocated for further investments exceeds half a billion pounds. Its bets have come against a backdrop of a growing middle class and the need to develop sustainable food supplies. In a former red-brick livestock shed transformed into the investment group’s headquarters, Graham Ramsbottom, Wheatsheaf’s chief executive, said: “You’ve got this very rapidly changing population whose consumption patterns will change dramatically. You’ve got this tripling of affluent consumers and how is the world going to find the food to feed them?” Wheatsheaf, which launched in 2012, is among the growing number of investors in the sector including billionaires such as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, corporate VC arms and sovereign wealth funds from Singapore to Dubai backing technology that is transforming the way food is produced and delivered. They believe that agriculture is ripe for the technological transformation that has changed other sectors.”

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