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Successful start to new model for the production of high-quality, safe food

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 03 February, 2006  (New Product)
Bayer CropScience intends to further expand its activities to optimize food production. The company has established its own
The members of the team work closely with partners in the international food chain and form an important link in the production process. Bayer CropScience contributes its innovative crop protection products, its research expertise, the extensive knowledge of its experts and its international network to this partnership.

The common goal is the production of high-quality fruit and vegetables at a price which is affordable to the end consumer. “Consumer safety is paramount,” explained Dr. Rüdiger Scheitza, member of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience AG, at a press meeting during Fruit Logistica in Berlin, adding, “Our food has never been as safe as it is today.”

Three success factors: variety, sustainability, traceability

Modern crop protection products not only protect harvests against pests, competition from weeds, and diseases, but they also help the farmer to grow a wide range of different varieties of fruit and vegetables economically. Sustainable agriculture means more efficient, resource-conserving crop-growing and responsible use of crop protection products in accordance with Good Agricultural Practice. These principles prohibit the use of unauthorized products and help to prevent maximum concentrations being exceeded, thus keeping residues in fruit and vegetables to a minimum. Said Dr. Scheitza, “This is only possible, however, if the entire production process can be made transparent.” A promising solution in this context is contract farming, which makes complete traceability of the product from the shelf to the field possible.

Bayer know-how as a success factor for pilot projects in Spain and Turkey

Table grapes and bell peppers are two of the “problem cases” in the fruit range. Experts from Bayer CropScience are therefore developing individual concepts and training measures, for integrated cultivation of bell peppers in Almeria, Spain, and production of table grapes in Turkey. The use of crop protection products is optimized, and experts from the company also advise on the selection of varieties, determine the best possible time for harvesting and help fruit and vegetable growers to improve their greenhouse hygiene. Analyses and regular quality controls ensure the consistently high quality of the fruit. Any deficiencies are identified at an early stage, traced back and dealt with immediately. The results achieved with the two pilot projects to date, which were presented at the trade fair, have measured up to the expectations of the partners involved.

In the words of Dr. Scheitza, Bayer CropScience’s new “food chain partnership” model offers its partners a range of advantages, including, for example, reduced residue levels and the avoidance of rejects with the resultant supply bottlenecks. “We are convinced that consumer confidence can be won back by more transparent production,” he said. Bayer CropScience has already initiated similar projects in Peru, Morocco, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.
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