Farming and Agriculture

Benson Hill Deepens Business, Operations and Food Science Expertise with Senior Strategic Hires During Period of Rapid Commercialization and Growth

14 November 2021, Missouri: Benson Hill, Inc., a food tech company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants with its cutting-edge food innovation engine, has announced senior strategic hires Andres Martin, Trent Collins, and Ratna Mukherjea. The Company continues to attract top talent from a range of disciplines and backgrounds as it prepares to commercialize its soybean ingredient portfolio and identify new pathways for the growing meat alternative market which is forecast to reach approximately $140 billion by 2029 according to industry sources.

“At Benson Hill, we have built a category-defining company striving to make a meaningful environmental and social impact in food production by evolving beyond the traditional commodity system,” said Matt Crisp, Chief Executive Officer of Benson Hill. “Andres, Trent and Ratna share our bold vision and bring extensive experience and diverse expertise to drive execution and innovation across our company.”

As Executive Vice President and General Manager, International, Andres Martin focuses on expanding Benson Hill’s customer base and introducing Benson Hill’s proprietary, non-GMO soybean portfolio to markets outside the United States. Martin brings over 25 years of experience in supply chain operations and agribusiness, most recently as President of Bunge North America and as Head of Grains and Oilseeds at Bunge. Martin is a member of Benson Hill’s Executive Leadership Team reporting to Benson Hill CEO Matt Crisp, and is located in Barcelona, Spain.

“Benson Hill’s integrated business model and focus on more nutritious and sustainable food and ingredient options have great appeal for human food, animal feed and aquaculture markets globally,” said Andres Martin, Executive Vice President and General Manager, International at Benson Hill. “For instance, a considerable portion of the demand in the growing meat alternative market comes from outside of the United States, including Europe and Asia. As Benson Hill’s momentum in the U.S. continues to grow, I’m excited to position the company to penetrate global markets and capitalize on near-term and long-term growth opportunities.”

Trent Collins joins the Company as Senior Vice President, Ingredient Operations. Before joining Benson Hill, Collins held various engineering, manufacturing and operational roles during his 28-year tenure with Archer Daniels Midland, most recently as Global Director, Proteins Technology. Collins will report to Bruce Bennett, President of the Company’s Ingredients business segment, who joined the company in July 2021. 

“We believe Benson Hill’s proprietary, non-GMO soybean ingredients portfolio and future innovations in yellow pea are unlike anything available through the traditional commodity system. For food companies, these ingredients check all the boxes, including reduced processing steps, an improved sustainability profile, and the quality attributes consumers are looking for,” said Trent Collins, Senior Vice President, Ingredient Operations at Benson Hill. “My team works to ensure operational excellence and efficiency at Benson Hill’s facilities, including the recently-acquired soybean crushing facility in Seymour, Indiana, which are critical to our integrated model and ability to scale and commercialize our innovative ingredients.” 

Ratna Mukherjea, PhD., joins the Company as Senior Director, Food Innovation. Mukherjea has more than 20 years of experience in clinical and translational research at academic institutions and in the food industry, most recently at International Flavors & Fragrances, formerly DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. 

“Benson Hill’s innovation platform is designed to continuously iterate our portfolio to better align with the nutritional and sensory preferences of the consumer that are critical for the plant-based protein and other markets,” said Ratna Mukherjea, PhD., Senior Director, Food Innovation at Benson Hill. “The through-line in all of this is data insights. Predictive modeling enables my team to link food science outcomes like higher protein, taste and texture back to the genomics of the seed. This is ground-breaking to identify high-quality characteristics and develop ingredients that are better from the beginning compared to traditional undifferentiated commodity ingredients.”