ADM, Syngenta sign MOU to support low-carbon next-generation oilseeds

Partnership also supports improved varieties to meet growing demand for sustainable products.

September 28, 2023

3 Min Read
Camelina is one of the crops Syngenta and ADM are looking to scale in research and commercialization to help meet the skyrocketing demand for biofuels and other sustainably produced products. Photo Credit: Business Wire

ADM and Syngenta Group announced Sept. 28 that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate in scaling research and commercialization of low carbon-intensity next-generation oilseeds and improved varieties to help meet skyrocketing demand for biofuels and other sustainably-sourced products.

The MOU envisions a collaboration in which ADM and Syngenta would leverage their existing capabilities to accelerate the research, processing, and commercialization of new, low carbon-intensity oilseeds, such as Camelina, that are typically grown in the fallow period of a crop rotation. The companies have broad capabilities including:

  • Syngenta’s R&D engine, which offers biotechnology support, seed treatments, and biologicals that further reduce the carbon intensity of crops, and agronomic knowledge from a network of local, field experts combined with excellent farmer relationships.

  • ADM’s global scale and logistical expertise, including unparalleled production and storage capabilities, a vast logistical network, and relationships with growers and customers spanning food, feed, fuel, industrial and consumer products.

ADM and Syngenta envision fostering partnerships with additional companies to support the creation, commercialization and processing of next-generation oilseeds.

“This exciting MOU with Syngenta demonstrates how we are working with partners to bring the full value chain together to support new seed technologies,” said Greg Morris, president of ADM’s Ag Services & Oilseeds business. “It builds on our unique capabilities by creating a path to scale the processing of cover crops, a process we’ve already successfully piloted. We look forward to working with Syngenta to advance this work and continue to meet demand for sustainably sourced fuels and other products.”

Justin Wolfe, president of Syngenta Global Seeds, commented: “Syngenta is excited to join forces with ADM to bring more sustainable and profitable solutions to farmers. Sustainability is a core enabler of our business strategy. We believe collaborations, such as this one, are important ways to drive quicker innovation that delivers higher yield potential while carrying a lower impact to our environment. Work will begin in North America.”

Global demand for biofuels – such as sustainable aviation fuel, which can be made from a wide variety of feedstocks, including oilseeds such as the ones envisioned in this MOU – is expected to grow by 35 billion liters per year, or 22%, over the 2022-2027 period, according to the International Energy Association.

“Farmers have always been stewards of the land,” said Alison Taylor, ADM’s chief sustainability officer. “We’re already expanding our partnerships with farmers through our re:generations regen ag program; this MOU represents another pathway for us to help them drive value by positioning their businesses to meet global demand for sustainably-sourced products.”

Daniel Vennard, Syngenta Group’s chief sustainability officer, said transforming agriculture will be fueled by innovation, “but it must be achieved at scale.”

“This cannot be done alone. The whole food and agriculture system needs to work in partnership with farmers at the center. Our collaboration with ADM is a perfect example of our continued commitment and we are excited to see what we will do together and how we can inspire the industry,” Vennard said.

The companies expect to sign definitive agreements by the end of the year and are already advancing important work together around growing and processing next-generation varieties.

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