Al-Katib receives Business for Peace award at Oslo gala

Murad Al-Katib, CEO of AGT Food and Ingredients, received the Business for Peace award in Oslo on May 16. He is pictured here with Darla Lindberg, CEO of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.

By Joel van der Veen

REGINA — Murad Al-Katib’s career has taken him around the world, but at the same time he’s always stayed close to his roots.

Al-Katib, 44, is the president and founder of AGT Food and Ingredients, which distributes lentils, chickpeas and other pulse crops to more than 120 countries around the world.

“We’re in the business of feeding the world,” said Al-Katib, who was born and raised in Davidson.

He maintains close connections in the area, saying it plays a very important role in his business, which posted $2.1-billion in revenue last year.

Al-Katib made headlines this spring when he was announced as one of four recipients of the Business for Peace award.

The awards were presented in a ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo, Norway on May 16.

He was the first Canadian to receive the award, which places him in highly prestigious company, alongside other honourees like Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk.

He was nominated by the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, whose CEO, Darla Lindbjerg, also attended the ceremony.

During the dinner, Al-Katib found himself hobnobbing with global leaders like Haakon, crown prince of Norway, and former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. (The latter was responsible for chairing the Brundtland Commission and its pioneering 1987 report on sustainable development.)

The citation recognized contributions made by Al-Katib and his company to sustainable agriculture and to providing food for millions affected by the Syrian refugee crisis.

AGT is a major partner with the United Nations World Food Programme and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Though their efforts, more than 4.5 million parcels of essential food items were distributed to refugee families, equivalent to roughly 700 million meals.

Al-Katib said these projects are evidence of how companies can effectively address the issues facing society as a whole.

“Business leaders doing their business in a socially responsible way is what will contribute to advancing society,” he said.

“Entrepreneurs will be the ones who will solve problems like clean drinking water, pollution and food security . . . It’s not going to be governments.”

To read the full story, please see the May 29 edition of The Davidson Leader. To subscribe, contact The Davidson Leader.

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