Agriculture and biodiversity are inextricably intertwined. Healthy crops depend on resilient ecosystems comprised of soil organisms, beneficial insects like pollinators, habitats for wild flora, animals that live in and around the crops—and even the genetic diversity of the crops themselves. At the same time, ensuring a safe and secure food supply involves changing how the natural environment and resources are used—and this has an impact on biodiversity.
Biodiversity loss has increased alarmingly in the past several decades. In agriculture, this is primarily attributed to land use change, deforestation, climate change, some crop management practices and pollution. Beyond agriculture, invasive species are a threat to many natural environments. According to the latest IPBES report on biodiversity and ecosystem services, more than one million species of plants and animals face extinction, driven by human activity.
Addressing biodiversity loss requires a significant shift towards a more balanced delivery of food production and other ecosystem services such as the provision of habitats. This involves redesigning the way we grow certain crops to take into consideration biodiversity conservation and restoration at the farm level. We believe that sustainable innovations and business models will empower growers to achieve this balance, which is why we are committed to working with growers to develop and implement solutions that help their operations thrive together with biodiverse ecosystems.
We have the opportunity, capability and responsibility to ensure that healthy, biodiverse ecosystems and productive fields can coexist. While there is no “one size fits all” solution, we are investing in the development of innovative tools and services that improve farming and land management practices while balancing production and conservation objectives. By innovating and collaborating with growers and other stakeholders—public and private—we are:
In Valpolicella, Italy, the Capurso family produces wine varieties such as Valpolicella, Valpolicella Superiore, and Amarone, also known as “The Great Bitter” because of the partially dried grapes that help give the wine its full body and rich flavor. The Capurso’s strive to uphold the renowned legacy of the Veneto region wines by implementing modern farming techniques and respecting their surroundings. At the vineyard, integrated crop management is a key pillar to produce high-quality wine grapes. Real-time information on changes in weather and soil moisture enables optimal irrigation and correct crop protection use. Smart digital traps provide real-time data on the population and dynamics of insect pests harmful to the vines and enable intervention only when needed. Biodiversity is promoted by habitat enhancement measures such as flowering strips and bird nesting boxes. The presence of bees is encouraged by fostering food availability and living space. Regular biodiversity monitoring takes place through the biodiversity Friend® certification by the World Biodiversity Association.