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Bayer showcases Food Chain PartnershipBayer showcased its Food Chain Partnership activities at Fruit Logistica in Berlin that took place from February 8 to 10. The company presented a number of successful partnership examples from various regions that link partners along the value chain enabling safety, quality, affordability, transparency and above all sustainability, from seed to shelf. In addition new vegetable seed varieties for the fresh produce chain were introduced, including hydroponic lettuce, colored carrots and a new snack vegetable label.
Bayer’s Food Chain Partnership initiative is based on delivering tailored integrated solutions that address the individual local challenges of growers and the supply chain. “We don’t have ready-made solutions,” says Ronald Guendel, Global Head of Food Chain Relations at the Crop Science division of Bayer. “In all our projects, we check out the situation on site, talk to our partners to find out which needs they really have. With this understanding we then develop individual action plans and provide growers with the tools to meet those needs.”
Currently about 70 Food Chain Managers from Bayer are active in 30 countries around the world and focus on more than 50 different crops.
Individual challenges addressed in numerous projects
To show the diversity of projects and share first-hand insights, the Food Chain Relations team highlighted five interesting new collaborations at the Bayer booth. One of these projects is the partnership with the Dutch trading organization Cefetra that is seeking to raise soybean production standards and encourage sustainable growing practices. Another Brazilian project features the responsible production and certification of potatoes. A fairly new collaboration from the Ivory Coast looks at the implementation of integrated pest management, training for growers and certification in cocoa production. The focus of a vegetable project in the Dominican Republic is on significantly reducing the application of chemical crop protection products. And in a Guatemalan vegetable partnership, Bayer among others supports its partner to build up an organic production program.
Additionally, Bayer demonstrated its collaborative approach that fosters sustainable agriculture in its Exhibitor Forum. In a series of expert talks with external partners such as Freshfel, Greenyard, Coexphal, Primor Fruit and Netafim, the company addresses key challenges and opportunities in fruit and vegetable production with a focus on Europe. The participants illustrated how they are working together with Bayer towards implementing innovative and sustainable concepts.
Innovative convenience products
The Vegetable Seeds team of Bayer used Fruit Logistica to launch some of its innovations for the fresh produce chain. A huge production trend, for instance, is hydroponic lettuce. These plants grow in a nutrient-rich water solution in a greenhouse. At first glance, producing hydroponic lettuce is more expensive than growing it in soil. However, there are also many benefits. Producing in a greenhouse means that growers are not dependent on the weather, they get results sooner and can harvest more often. For consumers and processors, hydroponic lettuce is easier to handle because they do not have to wash the crop intensively. And consumers can buy a sustainably produced product that requires fewer crop protection products during the growing stage.
Bayer also presented a new colored snack carrot design that contains four different colors and is based on different Nunhems Imperator varieties. Each one has its own taste and different healthy components, while the growers benefit from their disease resistance. Compared to traditional carrots, they are crispier, sweeter and have a more attractive color. In addition, the company showcases its recently launched Minigustos label, the world’s first brand for tasty, crunchy, and attractive snack vegetables. The first vegetables to be released under the Minigustos label will be snack cucumbers.
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Publication date: 2/13/2017
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