CS Companions: First Ever Ag and Meals Tech Wage Survey Reveals Benchmarks

LONDON–()–The fact that women earn the highest-paid salaries amongst agri-food tech executives is one of several intriguing insights into an industry that has been increasingly capturing big dollar investment attention.

CS Partners, a London-based executive talent search company serving the agri-food tech and life sciences sectors in Europe and North America, released the first-ever agri-food tech salary survey this month. They interviewed nearly 400 C-suite executives from agri-food tech companies in Europe and North America, collecting 2020 salary and compensation data.

“Agri-food tech is maturing rapidly,” said Simon Leich, CEO of CS Partners. “As it does, its trends reflect the motives of a fast-paced, mission-driven sector disrupting the traditional agricultural and food supply chain and shaking up how the world’s food is grown, produced, processed and dispersed.”

With climate change and a growing global population threatening world food security, agri-food tech has attracted record investment interest, raising $22.3 billion in investment funds in 2020 and predicted to go higher in 2021, according to Finistere Ventures. The sector includes recent stock market IPO successes like alt-meat producer Impossible Foods, sustainably-minded pasture-raised egg supplier Vital Farms and AeroFarms, a warehouse vertical farm company.

The salary survey is the first of its kind explicitly conducted for agri-foodtech. Until now, agri-food tech companies had been forced to rely on data compiled from the life sciences sector when comparing industry-wide compensation trends.

“Considering how impactful agri-food tech has become at a rapid pace, it is high time we had our own industry compensation data,” Leich said. Executive talent searches have become highly competitive in agri-foodtech, Leich added.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • While only 10% of agri-food tech C-suite executives are women, they hold seven out of the top ten CEO salaries earned. The highest paid CEO surveyed was a woman.
  • Early-stage CEOs in agri-food tech startups sacrifice their compensation to support the mission-driven values of their business.
  • Salaries across regions are not being weighted to reflect cost of living adjustments, creating opportunities for agri-food tech companies headquartered outside traditional tech sectors to attract key talent.
  • More than 70% of finance executives were hired after a successful series B funding round, reflecting the increasing need of companies targeting public listings.

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