In September 2011 Bayer CropScience announced a new growth strategy comprising four elements that will enable the subgroup to drive forward its diverse solutions for sustainable agriculture even more strongly:
1. Rejuvenating our crop protection business: Crop protection agents are the most commercially important area of Bayer CropScience’s business. The efficient use of herbicides, insecticides or fungicides protects crops and therefore farmers against crop failure caused by pests or disease. In the future, crop protection agents will play a significant part in increasing productivity, as will be necessary, and safeguarding food supplies. Bayer CropScience is currently restructuring its crop protection business by phasing out older products and focusing on new product families that have been identified as growth drivers. In this context, all remaining insecticide formulations in WHO Class I are to be removed from the crop protection portfolio by the end of 2012.
2. Strengthening customer focus along the entire value-added chain: We are aiming to strengthen our customer focus along the entire value-added chain. This involves boosting our commitment to farmers and improving processes in the sales channels. We are also employing new systems for maintaining customer relationships that utilize the know-how associated with the Bayer brand and expand the successful “Food Chain Partnership” business model.
3. Refocusing and reweighting innovation activities: In developing our product innovations, we will focus more strongly in the future on the BioScience Business Unit, doubling its annual research and development (R&D) spending through 2015 (compared to 2010).
For example, we are conducting research into stress-resistant plants. In addition to being pest-resistant, agricultural plants will in the future need to be better equipped to deal with the effects of climate change. Drought tolerance is one important example.
The total research spending of Bayer CropScience is to be increased by around 20 percent (compared to 2010) to more than €850 million through 2015.
4. Extending BioScience business in core crops: We want to further expand our market shares for cotton, canola and vegetables in particular and achieve significant market positions for soybeans, rice and wheat – three of the four most important field crops worldwide. With regard to rice, we want to drive forward the spread of hybrid varieties in Asia and support farmers through comprehensive agronomic programs such as “Much More Rice/Vietnam.”
Nina von Radowitz, Head of Sustainability of the METRO GROUP
“The METRO GROUP and Bayer CropScience work together on “Food Chain Partnership” projects. Their common objective is to promote sustainable methods of cultivation and help food manufacturers meet customer requirements in terms of quality, safety and traceability. One example of this successful collaboration is a project initiated in India in 2011 which involves purchasing vegetables from more than 120 farmers. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved. Bayer CropScience‘s crop protection expertise and training boosts the volume of salable goods, small-holder farmers enjoy higher incomes, the industry benefits from traceability throughout the process and end consumers obtain high-quality food.“