Nordzucker Post 04/2021 - 21 July 2021
Lars Gorissen: Agriculture is system-relevant
“Agriculture is system-relevant!” This is how the final report of Germany’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture, which was recently presented in Berlin, begins. All relevant organizations and representatives from science, agriculture and society, including environmental associations, agreed on this groundbreaking core statement.
The report appreciates that it is through increases in production over many decades that agriculture has made our current prosperity possible in the first place. The downside of this progress is negative impacts on nature and the environment. “Given the external costs associated with the prevailing forms of production, an unchanged continuation of today’s agricultural and food system is out of the question for ecological and animal ethics, as well as economic reasons,” the report says.
So there will be a fundamental change. With our Sustainability Strategy 2030, we are hitting exactly the right nerve: Our goal is also to preserve the earth for the generations after us – with a focus on people, sustainable agriculture through our Smart Beet Initiative, sustainable procurement, production, products and packaging. With planning security for entrepreneurial decisions and fair competition in our markets, Nordzucker and beet growers will also achieve the prices required for regional and sustainable products.
Regional value creation comes into focus in the report. Here, beet and sugar are at the forefront. The report also clearly points to the need for digitalization in agriculture and rethinking modern breeding methods. The passages on the desired development of consumer behavior point to future trends. Even if they are to follow government steering measures and one wonders what sugar reduction has to do with agriculture. After all, without alternative uses, reducing sugar beet production would run counter to the goals of more crop rotations and sustainable management.
Ultimately, it’s all about everything, as the report goes on to say, “It (agriculture) is the basic economic activity of humankind. It is what made societies based on the division of labor, cities and states possible in the first place and is thus also the basis of every civilization. At the same time, agriculture and forestry shape more than 80 percent of the surface of our land.” Sugar beets belong to this picture – also in the future.
I wish you an inspiring reading of this Nordzucker Post.