Syngenta Thursday announced the launch of a new set of commitments to address global food security challenges, collectively called the "Good Growth Plan."
The goals of the plan include setting specific, measurable targets that focus on boosting resource efficiency, rejuvenating ecosystems and strengthening rural communities, the company said.
David Morgan, Syngenta Seeds, Inc., president and North America region director, noted in a call with reporters that the plan is a multi-faceted effort that will also include stakeholders from government, industry and non-governmental organizations.
Specifically, the Good Growth plan involves six major goals: increase productivity of major crops by 20% without using more resources, improve farmland fertility, enhance biodiversity; empower smallholder farmers, train farm workers on safe work practices and strive for fair working conditions for all farm workers.
The company says the goals reflect its belief that agricultural productivity must increase to feed a global population, which they estimate is currently increasing by 200,000 every day.
"We are facing some really tough challenges," Morgan said, explaining concerns that soon, more food will need to be produced on finite land resources. Those resources, he added, are being threatened by growing urbanization, increased soil erosion and shrinking water availability.
Morgan said Syngenta will be seeking industry and government partners – even competitors – to achieve the stated goals. As part of the effort, the company hosted several launch events around the world Thursday.
"We as a company recognize we cannot do this alone," Morgan said. "Today was the first dialogue in what we hope will be a very fruitful discussion going forward."
Good Growth will be monitored by a third party to determine measurement metrics. According to John Ramsay, Syngenta chief financial officer, the audits will allow the company to ensure it is "making the necessary progress" toward outlined goals, which it hopes will be completed by 2020.
For more, visit www.goodgrowthplan.com.