Agriculture giant Bunge to move world headquarters to St. Louis

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Photo credit via Opus Group

CHESTERFIELD (KMOX) -- A food and agriculture processing giant plans to set up global headquarters in the St. Louis area -- and this one should be a familar name.

Bunge North America has long been based in west St. Louis County. Late Tuesday, the company announced that Bunge's world headquarters would leave New York state and move to the "St. Louis metropolitan area."

This could add another notch to the region's Fortune 500 tally. Bunge ranks no. 247 on the global version of the list with about $42 billion in revenues.

Bunge CEO Gregory Heckman, in a statement, says St. Louis has become a hub for food, agriculture, animal health and plant science organizations and customers.  He says locating its head office in the midst of all this will help Bunge be smarter and more efficient.

"We are grateful to have called White Plains home for many years, and now look forward to the new growth and development opportunities which our expanded St. Louis presence will provide," Heckman wrote.

Bunge competes with the likes of Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill.

Its North American operations first moved to St. Louis in 1990. A new office complex opened in Chesterfield in November 2017. Currently the company says about 525 employees work there, with capacity for about 750.

Also in 2017, Bunge moved its "Creative Solutions Center" from Bradley, Illinois to a facility in St. Charles, Missouri with pilot plants and a test kitchen.

The number of moves and potential new hires in St. Louis isn't clear yet.

We’re excited by Bunge’s decision to relocate its global HQ to St. Louis County. This announcement underscores our region’s growing status as an international leader in ag tech.

— County Executive Sam Page (@DrSamPage) August 13, 2019

"We are conducting an assessment of our organization design, which will determine the impact on roles in White Plains and in St. Louis," a spokeswoman wrote to KMOX News. "We anticipate some relocations from White Plains and know that there may be duplicative roles with the move that may result in eliminating or combining certain roles in St. Louis."

The global headquarters shift is expected to be done by the end of the second quarter of 2020.