Bayer has reaffirmed its commitment to promoting increased worldwide consumption of fruits and vegetables, with the announcement of new portfolio innovations and a business strategy for horticulture.
The strategy focuses on activities that deliver tailored solutions to the farm, advance sustainable innovations on the farm and address value chain and consumer needs beyond the farm.
“Only a fraction of the global population comes close to consuming the daily recommended serving of fruits and vegetables,” said Inci Dannenberg, head of global vegetable seeds at Bayer. “In the UN’s International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, Bayer is doubling down on its approach to enabling growers and partners to address the barriers to improving fruit and vegetable consumption in order to achieve Health for All, Hunger for None.”
According to Bayer, the horticulture strategy is underpinned by its genetics, crop protection and digital capabilities.
These provide growers with the tools they need for smarter, on-farm decision making, and consumers with the quality and nutrition they need to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Bayer said it was working to realise a core part of its ‘to the farm’ strategy by utilising "the largest investment in research and development in the industry" to provide improved innovation in genetics, crop protection and digital.
“Through innovative, tailored solutions we are helping fruit and vegetable growers around the globe to produce marketable yields that meet the safety, quality and nutrition standards their customers expect,” said Kamel Beliazi, crop strategy lead of fruits and vegetables at Bayer. “This is a core part of our business strategy in horticulture.”
The group said that within its vegetable seeds division, it would continue to invest in ensuring its pipeline reflected not just the changing needs of growers and the value chain but of diverse consumers.
"The company is leveraging predicative consumer liking models and sensory insights from around the world at every stage of its pipeline development to deliver ground-breaking flavour while maintaining critical agronomic traits that are essential to a healthy harvest," the group stated.
As part of Bayer’s commitment to reaching 100m smallholder farmers by 2030, the company is partnering with organisations to provide the tools, training and resources smallholder farmers need to help minimise risk and grow their businesses sustainably.
It is partnering with Rabobank to develop digital solutions for smallholder farmers in Southeast Asia, and through its Bridging the Seed Gap initiative, Fair Planet and Bayer are providing training to help smallholders in Africa best grow hybrid vegetable seeds adapted for their local growing conditions.
"In order to respond to consumer demands for safe, healthy and sustainably produced food, the group is working from field to fork to promote market access for growers around the world by connecting them with food value chain partners and helping them adapt to meet changing consumer tastes."
Most recently, the company announced its membership in the Sustainability Initiative for Fruits and Vegetables (SIFAV), alongside other produce industry leaders – a cross-industry platform dedicated to scaling up collaboration and reducing the environmental footprint of fresh food.