b"Knowledge from the vegetable crops can be implemented into the field crops, and vice versa.the markets where the customer demandIMPACT OF THE DRIVEand our new products, says Dobrowolska-for organic foods is the highest, that areTOWARDS MOREHaywood.specifically setup and certified for organicSUSTAINABILITY application.The companys strategy is all about moreMISSION ZEROFor seed treatment, the company hassustainable agriculture. Its not justThe company has a slogan called Mission a few products already on the market thatmaking our products microplastic-free,Zero, aiming to have zero negative impact include priming, pelleting and film coatingssays Bartels. Climate change is another bigon the environment. This includes the that are organically certified.driver towards more sustainability. Climateenergy use in our eight seed treatment facil-change triggers drought, increased salinityities in the world. Our facility in India is SEGREGATION IS EVERYTHING levels or heat stress and asks for innovativealready energy positive, says Bartels. One Bartels underlines that it is important tosolutions. I think the seed industry canof the other activities is waste reduction. It setup the facilities in the right way. Withplay a massive role here. On the one handis all part of the company beliefs, that also the current analytical tools, a minor con- we have seed companies working on theirstretches into the products they supply to tamination can easily be picked up. So thatgenetic material to make plants more resil- the market. The end goal is regenerative means for our organic facilities, we have toient. On the other hand we develop specificagriculture. Can agriculture play a role in work very clean and very segregated. Weseed treatments targeting further resiliencecarbon sequestration? Can we store carbon have segregated production lines to avoidagainst those abiotic effects.dioxide in the soil? And what role can agri-any cross contamination, from traditionalDobrowolska-Haywood adds: Theculture and horticulture play here? he asks.seeds to organically treated seeds. aim is to protect the seedling from all theBartels shares that for his company, In Europe, Fibl is the authority thatstress that the plant will encounter. It is likeMission Zero is much wider than just cli-reviews all the ingredients in the seed treat- we give the seed a little backpack so it canmate or energy. It is also about being a ment formulations and decides whetherendure more stress by adding extra valueresponsible employerabout fair wages, those ingredients can be organically cer- to our film coatings, especially against heatand no child labour. About employees tified or not. They also decide whetherand drought stress and we have several pro- spending time in community projects via a specific ingredient must be replaced.jects in the pipeline with biobased materialsour so called 1%-club.Their main focus is the active ingredients.and biologicals. Ingredients that are applied on organi- The effect of nitrogen pollution isIMPACT OF THE PANDEMICcally produced seeds, do not need to beanother challenge, and in some EuropeanThe company managed to stay open during biobased or organically sourced, explainscountries there are restrictions on thethe pandemic, because the seed sector and Dobrowolska-Haywood. amount of fertiliser that farmers can apply.agriculture in general was classified as People sometimes confuse microplas- We are looking at more effective ways toessential. Dobrowolska-Haywood shares tic free, organic, biobased and biodegrada- get nutrients being taken up by the plant.that most of the production sites and the ble, says Bartels. These are four differentThese challenges are currently massive areasR&D departments could stay open. People terms, overlapping to a certain extent butfor R&D in the company, Bartels adds. that could, would work from home as much certainly not the same. And it's interestingAnd because of these challenges, theas possible. Eventually this created a bit of a that when some people talk about organic,company is now developing new products,gap, as people started missing the interac-they assume that it is therefore biodegrad- and exploring different technologies thantion with each other. But it also triggered a able, or biobased. It can be but doesn't nec- they would normally go into. Personally,different way of working.essarily have to be the case.I really enjoy this. This creates an extraThe good part was that people were still level of excitement about our new strategyable to work, and do the experiments in the EUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 7"