Seed World

Partnerships are Necessary to Achieve Sustainability

We can’t do it alone.

Corteva Agriscience is two years young, and according to Steve Reno, Global Seed Business Platform President for Corteva Agriscience, partnerships and collaborations will bring growers the solutions they need.

“We have got to collaborate with folks, so whether it’s other companies in the industry, universities or non-profits, we know that we can’t come up with all the right answers alone,” he says. “We need to collaborate to be able to bring those solutions to growers around the world.”

He said Corteva is collaborating with Gentle Farming, a regenerative farming organization in the UK and Ireland. Working with them will help Corteva reduce their carbon footprint.

“We’ve pledged to be climate positive in agriculture and do it in a way that helps protect the water, gives us soils that are very nutrient-rich, and do it in a way that also allows our growers to continue to be productive and profitable.”

Reno cited another collaborative project Corteva is working on with Bejo Zaden, a Dutch vegetable breeding company. Bejo is going to have access to Corteva’s intellectual property with CRISPR-CAS9 and is going to use that for research in vegetables, to not only help bring products to the market, but develop varieties that can handle stress better, and will offer the consumer nutritious benefits.

Sustainability and Looking Ahead

Finding solutions and being transparent are also top-of-mind at Corteva, explains Reno.

“It’s exciting to think that we have 20,000 employees globally that get up every day and they are focused on one thing, that’s bringing innovative solutions to growers that helps them be more productive and do it in a way that also helps us meet the demands of consumers in a sustainable way.”

In terms of transparency, Reno says Corteva is a big believer in the newest breeding technologies, and he thinks those can help us bring more sustainable, more nutritious food to a growing population.

“We also want to make sure that we’re providing information to our consumers and our farmers, the way they want it.”

According to Reno, if you think about seed treatments, it’s really what Corteva does.

“We look at hundreds of different seed treatments and formulations every year in our Seed Applied Technology (SAT) centers and we’re looking for characteristics such as plantability, singulation, early vigor, and cold tolerance. We’re able to test those in a controlled environment in our SAT centers.”

Corteva has two SAT centers, one in U.S and one in Brazil. A third will be opening in Europe around the second half of 2022 in southwest France.

In terms of sustainability, Reno mentioned that although Corteva is only two years old, last year they launched 14 sustainability goals that the company intends to achieve by 2030.

“It’s not just about the goals — it’s about who we are, as Corteva and what we do as an organization, including the products that we develop. I’m also proud to say that in June, we released our first sustainability report and it’s important to be able to be completely open about how we’re tracking against those goals till 2030. So, we’ve accomplished a lot and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the first couple of years.”