He shakes hands, gives a taste of camemberts, motto with the patron saint of French farmers Christiane Lambert, the representative of major distributors Jacques Creyssel, distributes cheese boards and knives, sets dates with Mayenne milk producers… In this 2020 edition of the Salon de l’Agriculture, the CEO of Lactalis, Emmanuel Besnier, 52, a tall staker with graying hair and a piercing eye, is there, in flesh and bone. A first. For a long time he remained the most discreet big boss in the country. Yet he is one of the most powerful men in the French agri-food industry, ninth-richest person in France according to the magazine “Challenges”, at the head of the world’s leading dairy group and more than two hundred very popular brands, some of which known throughout the world (President, Galbani, Lactel, Company, etc.).
By participating in this media-political circus, his message is clear: the new Emmanuel Besnier has arrived. “It remained on the stand throughout the show!remembers Yohann Serreau, president of the producers of Normandy and the Center. We have discussed. We didn’t always agree, but after decades of “live happily, live in hiding”, he showed that he wanted to communicate. »
The change did not come lightly. For a long time there was only one series of photos of the CEO, taken during a meeting with the Croatian government in 2007. And the person concerned put up with it, contenting himself with communicating
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