Monheim, November 21, 2013 - To help enhance world food security, Bayer CropScience is committed to sustainably increase the productivity of agricultural crops as basis to secure a healthy food supply. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 1.3 billion tons, one third of the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted, and loss during agricultural production is highest. The company is addressing food loss at the early stages of the food chain and contributes with agricultural inputs, improved crop management, investments into research and development and collaboration with public and private sector partners.
In his presentation, Dominique Steiger, Segment Manager Fungicides, Vegetables and Potatoes at Bayer CropScience, demonstrated that in-season control of latent plant diseases leads to a large reduction of pre- and post-harvest losses.
At Bayer CropScience’s Horticulture Symposium held today in Bonn, Germany, around 230 representatives of the international horticulture value chain and industry experts met to discuss key challenges. "Bayer CropScience has an important role to play in reducing food loss at the beginning of the value chain", said Hartmut van Lengerich, Head of Crop Strategy and Portfolio Management for Cereals, Rice and Fungicides at Bayer CropScience. "We have to find ways to reduce food loss during crop production itself and post-harvest stages of the food chain, mostly in developing countries. Besides, more research is needed in the field of food loss associated to the international trade, as many food products are produced, stored, transported, processed and consumed in different parts of the world."
"We strongly believe that our improved vegetable seeds, chemical and biological crop protection products as well as our broad range of services respond to the increasing demand for innovative and integrated solutions", Dr. Klaus Koetting, Head of Crop Strategy and Portfolio Management Fruits & Vegetables and Insecticides at Bayer CropScience pointed out. "We help growers to get the best from their fields - in accordance with sustainable agricultural principles and measures to prevent food loss." As a leader in integrated crop solutions, Bayer CropScience plans to further expand its position in the agricultural sector. The company´s high-yield strategy for the fruit and vegetable business is based on innovative crop protection products, improved vegetable seed varieties, dedicated crop teams including horticulture specialists to develop customized services, fostering Food Chain Partnership activities and collaborations. "We are continuing to invest in our fruits & vegetables business to strengthen our leading market position", Koetting added.
The one-day event themed "Less Waste.More Produce." aimed at stimulating discussions on the production of high-quality horticulture crops with a focus on pre- and post harvest crop protection treatments. Speakers represented companies, research bodies and organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Nielsen Perishables Group, Chicago/USA, the British Cranfield University, the Agricultural Research Institue of Chile (INIA) and IRTA, a research institute owned by the Government of Catalonia adscribed to the Department of Agriculture of Spain.
According to Jorge M. Fonseca, FAO Agro-Industry Officer, it is estimated that roughly 45 percent of fresh produce is lost, which is more than in other food categories
Infinito™, Luna™ and Serenade™ against destructive fungal diseasesLosses of horticulture crops due to fungal diseases or food spoilage during production, storage and transport can have a large impact on human food supplies and local economies. Late blight in potatoes, scab on apple and strawberries or brown rot blossom blight on cherries are destroying million tonnes of these sensitive crops each year. Constantly introducing innovative crop protection products, Bayer CropScience offers growers new options to combat these diseases which allow retailers to provide the consumer with high-quality fresh produce.
Infinito™ for example controls all stages of the late blight life-cycle, and provides long-lasting control of foliar and tuber blight in order to maximize marketable yields and storability in potato crop. Bayer CropScience´s broad spectrum fungicide Luna™ extends the vitality of produce beyond harvest, thus giving it a prolonged shelf-life, better storability and increased marketability. It is effective on many crops including apple, stone fruits, potato, watermelon and table grape crops.
The biological fungicide Serenade™ is effective against aggressive fungal pathogens that cause botrytis, rust, sclerotinia, bacterial spot and white mold as well as against several soil diseases.
But these fungicides do not only control fungal diseases, they also help to make agriculture more environmentally sound. They increase the quality of the harvested produce. As part of integrated crop solutions, they help growers to meet quality requirements and minimize losses further down the supply chain, such as in transport, processing and storage. Furthermore, growers are able to increase their profitability, maximizing agricultural productivity and helping traders, processors and consumers to get the healthy high-quality fresh food they want.
Food Chain Partnerships addressing food supply challengesEnsuring that growers produce high-quality crops is the first step to successfully enter the fresh food marketplace. Each member of the food chain contributes to fewer losses during processing and storage. "While we cannot solve the problem of food loss and food waste on our own, we are working closely with partners across the value chain", explained Silke Friebe, Head of Food Chain Management. "By forming Food Chain Partnerships, we foster closer linkage between farmers, traders, processors and retailers and share our agronomic knowledge and value chain expertise. The common goal is to help drive a sustainable productivity increase and to improve harvest quality."
Bayer CropScience’s Food Chain Partnership projects bring together growers, processors, exporters and importers, and retailers. Currently 240 projects in 30 countries are ongoing and span 40 crops, primarily fruit and vegetables. In these projects, Bayer CropScience offers customized integrated crop solutions based on high-quality seeds, effective chemical and biological crop protection, complementing services and expertise in environmental protection, efficiency and safety.
Bayer CropScience joins the "Save Food" initiativeBayer CropScience is engaged in a number of initiatives locally and globally on the topics of sustainable agriculture and food security. Recently, the company has become an official member of the Save Food initiative. "This initiative is addressing the global issue of food shortage and food waste", said Silke Friebe and explained that with its experience and global network of experts, Bayer CropScience contributes to protecting fresh produce and reducing food loss during agricultural production. "We can make a meaningful contribution to ensuring a healthy food supply and reducing food loss during production."
The Save Food initiative (http://www.save-food.org) is a joint campaign instituted by the FAO and Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. It is establishing a global partnership of public and private sector organizations and companies that are active in the fight against food loss and waste. The program includes field studies on a national-regional basis and studies of the socio-economic impacts of food loss and waste, and how the political and regulatory framework affects food loss and waste.