Syngenta announced today that it will accelerate its innovation to address the increasing challenges faced by farmers around the world and the changing views of society.
“Farmers today need to manage climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss, as well as changing consumer expectations and views on agricultural technology,” said Alexandra Brand, chief sustainability officer of Syngenta. “There is a clear call for innovation and more action to address these challenges in ways where everybody wins – from growers to consumers and the environment.”
The announcement follows the completion of more than 150 listening sessions worldwide, engaging a broad cross section of views. The result was a much clearer understanding of what society and farmers expect and what sustainable agriculture means to different groups.
Syngenta’s new approach aims to further improve the way crops are grown and protected, and find solutions that address interconnected environmental, societal and economic challenges.
Work will focus on three areas:
- Society and nature guided innovation. Society’s views and environmental needs will increasingly become central drivers for innovation alongside meeting farmers’ needs. New products will be developed in consideration of externally verified sustainability principles.
- Strive for the lowest residues in crops and the environment. Syngenta stands by the safety of its highly-regulated products and the role they play in protecting food quality and safety. Nonetheless, Syngenta has listened and will work with partners to further reduce residues in crops without impacting farmer productivity, and continue to improve soil health and prevent soil erosion.
- Invest where it matters to farmers and nature. Syngenta will collaborate – with farmers, academia and environmental groups – on researching and developing sustainable solutions. And it will report transparently on the progress and outcomes of these investments.
“There is an undeniable demand for a shift in our industry. This has been the clear message throughout the listening sessions,” Brand said. “We will put our innovation more strongly in service of helping farms become resilient to changing climates and better able to adapt to consumer requirements including reducing carbon emissions and reversing soil erosion and biodiversity decline.”
Next steps include further consultation with stakeholders to develop clear targets and metrics against these focus areas, which will be announced later in the year. Work is also underway to build insights from the listening sessions into the next evolution of The Good Growth Plan in 2020. The Plan, which is in its sixth year, is well on track to deliver all commitments.