German agrochemicals firm Bayer has appointed Cherie Tan from Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) to lead the company’s sustainability, public affairs and science function in Asia Pacific.
She joins a company with a sustainability strategy focused on “inclusive growth”, and targets that include supporting 100 million smallholder farmers in developing countries by 2030 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050.
Bayer’s acquisition of biotech firm Monsanto in 2018, raised concern among environmentalists over both companies’ sustainability track records. Monsanto has previously come under fire for not adopting globally recognised best-practices when it comes to environmental oversight.
Tan’s role will be managing a regional team focused on policy, stakeholder relations and sustainability to secure the company’s license to operate and push for business growth in the region.
Tan moves on from APR after four years with the Indonesian company, which manufactures rayon fibre for the textile industry, using supply from sister pulp and paper company Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL). At APR, Tan led on sustainability and communications.
Prior to APR, Tan was global director for sustainable sourcing, renewables and smallholder development at multinational consumer goods firm Unilever. She was tasked with reducing deforestation from the company’s supply chain through certification and working with palm oil growers.
Earlier in her career, she worked in the civic society space, leading the palm oil and forest commodity team at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International. She also worked in agriculture finance for Dutch multinational bank Rabobank.
She started out her career in sustainability as a project manager in micro finance for rural farmers in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean, for Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), a Canadian organisation focused on poverty alleviation.