Lentils and peas help Canadian win EY entrepreneur award

12 Jun 2017

Image: Andrii23/Shutterstock

Murad Al-Katib won EY’s top entrepreneur prize for his pulse foods business, with the Canadian’s philanthropic efforts a noted addition to his portfolio.

With revenues of $1.49bn, 2,000 employees, 46 manufacturing facilities and an extensive supply chain network, AGT Food and Ingredients is a significant success.

Its founder, president and CEO, Murad Al-Katib, has proved just as much of a success by taking home the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year award last weekend (10 June).

EY World Entrepreneur of the Year

Credited with a consolidated position in the global pulse seed and staple food sector, Al-Katib’s company caught the eye of the judges, not just for its business success, but its philanthropy, too.

In recent years, AGT delivered more than 4m family ration cartons to international agencies for Syrian refugees under food aid tenders.

It was activities such as this that propelled Al-Katib to gain EY’s top prize. He was also recently named the 2016 Global Citizen Laureate by the UN Association in Canada, and one of four honourees of the 2017 Oslo Business for Peace award.

Al-Katib said he was “deeply moved and honoured” by the prize, which saw him come out on top of the 59 country winners who had made it to the final.

“AGT is committed to building a successful and sustainable business. By taking risks and rethinking the approach to my industry, we have grown the business responsibly and transformed Canada’s agricultural industry,” he said.

The company has expanded considerably through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions, snapping up 17 businesses across five continents in recent years.

Jim Nixon, chair of the EY awards, said the judging panel came to a unanimous decision when awarding Al-Katib the prize.

“Murad is an incredible entrepreneur who has demonstrated outstanding value creation, organisational reach and expansion,” he said.

“Through sustainable agricultural practices, he is making a positive impact on the global environment.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic