Global production of vegetables is valued at $500 billion and continues to grow, driven by consumer demand for fresh produce. Technology is playing an increasing role in meeting multiple requirements that go beyond consumer priorities of taste and convenience. Vegetable growers focus on yield, cost and resistance to disease, while retailers demand attractive appearance, consistency of supply and long shelf life.
Global growth, rapid emerging market expansion
Vegetable consumption in developed markets continues to rise, reflecting increased awareness of the link between health and diet. Yet the fastest growth rates are found in emerging markets: while increased meat consumption is often highlighted, growing prosperity brings a desire for better quality and more varied vegetables, facilitated by the expansion of retailer channels.
In Seeds, we have augmented consistent increases in sales with strategic acquisitions to broaden our diverse germplasm base. Through advanced breeding and new native traits, we are continuously delivering new benefits across the value chain. We complement our seeds offer with our range of fungicides and insecticides, which we have adapted to meet the rigorous quality demands of both consumers and retailers. The roll-out of our new fungicide REVUS® in 14 additional countries in 2010 has further reinforced our position.
Examples of our integrated offer include the combination of clubroot resistance and insecticide treatment for cauliflower. New disease-resistant seed varieties are coated with Far More ® Seed Care technology with two components: fungicides to protect against soil and airborne fungal diseases and an insecticide treatment to replace field-applied products in an environmentally favorable way.
Global resources, local offer
Syngenta has a global R&D presence that provides economies of scale and a broad germplasm base. We leverage this alongside our expertise in genetics to develop seed varieties tailored to meet local needs. In emerging markets, the focus is on improving quality and productivity. In Brazil, for example, we are the only company driving the rapid expansion of the processed sweet corn market. We owe our success to a focus on product features that matter to consumers – tenderness and taste – as well as on efficiency for processors. We have pioneered a shift from feed corn into sweet corn and have developed high-quality tropical varieties that are opening up new export markets for our customers. We are now developing our breeding program to enable expansion into the fresh sweet corn market.
In India, we have a broad offer across a large number of high-value crops. We have differentiated our technology by adapting it to the local market, offering solutions such as native traits for disease resistance in tomatoes. Our offer increases the reliability and abundance of the harvest for growers whose livelihood often depends on a single crop.