Ronald Guendel

Impressions from GFIA Europe

After three years in Abu Dhabi, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) came to Utrecht for its first European conference. Although not the biggest country in terms of land area, the Netherlands is nevertheless the second-largest exporter of food in the world. So you can see why Dutch farmers need smart faming solutions – and why the Netherlands is a good place for bringing the entire food chain together.

Our Bayer Food Chain Partnership initiative is also very active in this region. One example is the Tour de Farm, which we organize in cooperation with Farm Frites and which last year brought together 170 farmers, processors, and suppliers interested in sustainable technologies for potato farming. As part of our partnership with Farm Frites, we offer farmers in the Benelux area solutions to their challenges and help them to improve their businesses. The Tour de Farm, where we’ll present new technologies and sustainable agriculture innovations, is taking place again this year on September 6 and 8.

Successful projects around the world

At the GFIA, we also showcased how Food Chain Partnership works on a global scale by discussing two very important programs that embody our approach: Valore and BayG.A.P. Valore is Bayer’s way of helping larger growers in Brazil, especially of sugarcane, cotton, and coffee, to reach socio-environmental certification standards.

BayG.A.P. effectively fights hunger – which for me is an important contribution to social responsibility – by enabling smallholder farmers to produce food where it is needed most. Our Food Chain managers, who are based in 70 countries around the world, provide training, consultation, and certification support to smallholder farmers, especially in Latin America, Asia and Africa – to promote good agricultural practices and advise them on technical aspects. Representatives of different organizations working with smallholder farmers approached me at our booth in Utrecht to express their support for the BayG.A.P. program – especially regarding the number of farmers we’ve already trained and connected to the food value chain.

Ronald Guendel
Ronald Guendel
Ronald Guendel,
Global Head of Food Chain Relations at Bayer Division Crop Science

Saving natural resources can lead to more profitability

On the last day of GFIA Europe, our colleagues organized a technical tour to Jasper Roubos’ ForwardFarm Het Groene Hart in Abbenes. There, attendees had the chance to see sustainable agriculture solutions in practice and how Bayer provides farmers with hands-on digital solutions that they can directly implement and adapt to their farming routine.

The tour was also an excellent opportunity to engage in dialog with people – in fact, I had the chance to talk to a young businessman from Russia working in the finance sector. His organization gives loans to farmers, and he told me that this tour gave him better insights into what new innovations there are and that this hands-on experience will help him to better assess and support farmers. Moreover, sustainability being an important aspect of his assessments, he was very interested in seeing such solutions implemented because he understood that only sustainable farming businesses – those protecting and nurturing the natural resources we have – can be profitable in the long run.

Learn more about Food Chain Partnership here.

Jasper Roubos talking to attendees during the technical tour at his farm in Abbenes.
Jasper Roubos talking to attendees during the technical tour at his farm in Abbenes.
Jasper Roubos talking to attendees during the technical tour at his farm in Abbenes.
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Thriving for Change - Championing Agriculture for a New Generation