Some changes not always for the worse
Every year farmers must deal with changes. This includes who they do business with, new products available, and who will buy the products we raise. Along with local changes, global influence is also changing the way we do business.
Internationally-based company ownership is all around us. CASE IH is owned by Fiat, which is an Italian company. Bunge is an Argentina-based company, Guardian is Japanese owned, BASF has German ownership. The list goes on and on. Everywhere we look, changes in global agriculture are always occurring. This year is no different as the announcement came of Syngenta being purchased by a Chinese company.
Depending on your point of view, much of the global influence and consolidation has been positive, some less so. For those who have stayed up-to-date in the DuPont Pioneer and Dow merger, the effects are being felt right here in Mankato, Minn. Pioneer’s office, which is practically next door to the Minnesota Soybean office, is now closed and our busy parking lot seems empty. While some employees were moved to other locations others were not so lucky. This type of consolidation is common when large groups merge. Downsizing is a necessary step to reduce cost but more importantly, it helps companies focus on what they do best. Changes like these can negatively affect the people who have helped us with our business and may require us to be more independent.
Not much is known yet of how this typical business practice will affect the Syngenta team or the products they offer. On a positive note, one can assume that this week’s approval by China of the biotech trait Extend was affected by the purchase of the biotech company. Certainly this can only help the pending Chinese approvals of Enlist soybeans and the two High Oleic traits Vistive Gold and Plenish.
While the companies we do business with are ever-changing, our objective to provide safe, affordable food will not. Companies have been coming to the United States to do business for hundreds of years because they know you are the best at what you do. This is one thing that will NOT change.
Tom Slunecka is CEO for Minnesota Soybean. Reach him at 507-388-1635 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.