During yesterday's Bayer ForwardFarming webinar, Jan de Ruiter was one of the speakers. Jan is Sector Banker Agricultural at ABN Amro. He kicked off the live panel discussion during the event talking about innovation in the sector. In this capacity, he has a lot of contact with growers who want to further develop their business and are looking for significant innovations. This concerns entrepreneurship of growers in the broadest, innovative sense. Jan is able to view and follows this from a banking and financing perspective, closely following the developments and trends in this field worldwide.
Food supply, labor, health, sustainability and investments
Labor is one actor that should definitely be taken into account. In many areas, the demand for labor is greater than the supply. Or what about the labor costs? Is and will it remain profitable to deploy people? Or should we look for another solution? In any case, do not forget to include the working conditions in the costs, Jan states.
Due to our current diet, our health is increasingly in the picture. We are working on this more consciously than ever as we simply have to. Let's face it, healthcare is also being costly by modern diseases such as obesity and diabetes. In addition, nutrition is more often used to actively combat diseases. Ingredients in our food, therefore, deserve attention.
Energy, the environment, and the social effect of horticulture require a sustainable approach. Sustainability is also one of the drivers of innovation, according to Jan. "Just look around you; there are now plenty of examples of this. Frans Timmermans is working hard on this in Europe with his Farm-to-Fork strategy. This stands for a comprehensive program to make the European food chain more sustainable from the farmer to the consumer's plate. This strategy should also contribute to reducing the impact of food production on the environment and the climate", he explains.
Jos Pouwels, head of sales with Bayer Crop Science NL, was chairman during the webinar.
There is a lot of money to spend on new initiatives to cultivate in a new way, such as indoor and vertical farming. And there is a lot of attention, and money, available for novel foods. Consider, for example, new varieties, but also insects and seaweed. The growing world population, the demand for less waste, and climate change complete the picture, all this can be summarized as a call for innovation, Jan states.
In short, there are plenty of reasons to keep a close eye on the agricultural and horticultural sectors. They must be and remain an innovative sector, Jan concludes.
De Ruiter Seeds