Responsibility from the start
As a sugar producing company, we are a key player in the value chain between farmers, suppliers and customers. We fulfil this role by promoting human rights and environmental protection along the entire supply chain.
An important focus is on making beet cultivation future-proof and even more sustainable together with our farmers. We master the challenges along this path in partnership with them and also cooperate with research institutes, institutions for the promotion of agriculture, industry partners and associations. By setting up our own trials and carrying them out with growers on site, we consistently transfer ideas and new approaches to solutions into practice – for results that help everyone. We also offer our beet farmers digital services to promote digitalisation in the field. These are easy to use and help the grower to make the right decisions, which also have a lasting effect. We share all the knowledge we gain in the process – and are also available for advice and support beyond that.
A look at the project: Smart Beet Initiative
New paths are better explored together. That is why we work closely and trustingly with our farmers when it comes to bringing new requirements and solutions to the field in terms of crop protection, fertilisation or biodiversity. And together we address important issues that would often be too time-consuming and cost-intensive for individual farms. Since 2019, we have been bundling all related projects running in seven European countries in our Smart Beet Initiative. They are implemented directly on site on the practical plots of our cultivation partners and can subsequently be adopted or adapted by others.
A large proportion of the more than 30 initiatives currently underway are aimed at enabling the implementation of the EU Green Deal and its sub-goals – including, above all, the significantly reduced use of chemical crop protection – as well as fertilisers – in beet cultivation.
The focus is on new cultivation concepts, but also on very targeted individual measures. At present, the possibilities of reducing herbicides in beet cultivation are being monitored in practice. One option is the use of spot spraying, with which, thanks to new technologies, significant savings can be achieved depending on the year and the situation in the field. Other examples are the use of flower strips to promote beneficial insects or tests with pest traps to reduce the use of insecticides. Projects are also underway to test biopreparations with the aim of reducing the amount of fertiliser needed. With this knowledge network with trials from practice for practice, which we adapt annually to the challenges of tomorrow and continue to expand, we secure regional beet cultivation for the future and also ensure that it remains economical.