Black Earth Farming – leader of the revolution?
Nobody could ever accuse Michel Orlov, president and founder of Black Earth Farming, of lacking the courage of his convictions. As the one-time private equity professional who quit the industry in 2005 to take up the helm of a greenfield farming play in Russia freely admits: "At the time a lot of people thought I was mad."
"We’re a highly needed play given that Russia is a net importer of food"
Some three years on and as the head of a listed public company valued at $1.2 billion and counting, Orlov can safely claim to have proved many of his doubters wrong. Despite the after-effects of a chest infection, Orlov as an interviewee is as expansive as the company he now heads, and displays more than a little of the missionary zeal of anybody who has overseen the translation of a concept into reality.