Farming for the Future

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

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Before social distancing: One of the Corteva experts on our F4G team is my coworker Loic Aubry, here talking silage corn with dairy farmers in France. [Corteva]

It may feel that 2020 has been the longest year ever, but it’s hard to believe we are already celebrating the first birthday of the Farming for Generations (F4G) partnership.

Launched by Danone with the support of Corteva Agriscience and six other like-minded companies, F4G is a three-year coalition with a singular ambition: To support dairy farmers as they work to preserve and renew our planet’s resources, respect animal welfare, and ensure the long-term economic viability of farms for the next generation.

Morgan Gray is the Global Sustainability Partnership Manager at Corteva Agriscience. 

Our organizations, which represent different points in the food supply chain, have come together to work alongside farmers, bringing innovation and expertise to their operations.

After all, we all share the same goal. A more sustainable agriculture is in everyone’s interests, as our Sustainable Food Systems study in Europe showed. We at Corteva believe in the objectives of the EU’s Green Deal. And we look forward to contributing to the European Commission’s Farm To Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system. Through a robust assessment of the impacts of the proposal across the full range of relevant policy goals, we have every confidence that we can collaboratively enable an environmentally sustainable, food-secure world.

The coalition created a network of 30 progressive farms, and we are working on 18 pilot farms on a range of ambitions including, but not limited to: reducing emissions, improving our soils and water and ensuring dairy farmers’ economic livelihoods. As we celebrate the coalition’s first-year accomplishments, we also recognize the challenges the global pandemic has created. On-farm visits have been replaced with virtual meetings – even for our global Annual Meeting -, and we have adopted other digital collaboration and communication tools.

While the way we’re working has changed, our commitment has not: Research is showing that consumers continue to note sustainability as a key decision factor, all while the images of empty supermarket shelves here in Europe at the start of the pandemic show that we must do more to give consumers confidence in our ability to produce enough food in an efficient and sustainable way.

In fact, during this time, we at Corteva announced our 2030 Sustainability Goals. We have committed to 14 sustainability goals that span across the globe and our entire business to advance sustainability for farmers, for the land, in our communities and in our operations. Improvements in soil health, on-farm productivity, climate action, water stewardship, biodiversity, supply chain transparency and worker safety, among others, are included. These ambitious goals reflect our company’s size and scope, total focus on agriculture, and deep on-farm relationships. Many align directly to the goals of the F4G coalition.

Corteva’s aim is to increase the resilience of our global food system; to enrich our lives and our planet for generations to come by activating the passion and expertise of our people, products and partnerships, like Farming for Generations. We know no individual company, NGO or government can create transformational change alone. By working together in this way, we create a bigger impact more quickly and increase trust with consumers and other important stakeholders.

As we build the next phases of the coalition’s work during the Annual Meeting this week, we look forward to another productive year of helping the pilot farmers champion and scale up sustainability practices to address the challenges of today and tomorrow.

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