Sustainable Agriculture: Moving Forward Together
While we take our beautiful countryside for granted, protecting the land takes a lot of hard work. It is the product of farmers working in harmony with the natural world.
Of course, farmers have an economic self-interest in protecting the land – it safeguards their livelihood and way of life as well as being an important asset to pass onto the next generation.
Farmers are already under pressure to produce more food with the same amount of land. With the world’s rising population, this challenge looks set to increase. That is why we consider farming to be the biggest job on earth.
We pledge to enable farmers to grow more quality food, more efficiently. Sustainable agriculture is the only viable path forward – the only solution that acknowledges the world’s limited resources and addresses the challenge of feeding an ever-expanding population.
We will continue to help shape and lead the debate in sustainable agriculture. In everything we do, we promise to do all we can to support farmers and leave a positive legacy for future generations. We will move forward together.
BASF manages its crop protection, fertilizer and plant biotechnology products in a responsible and ethical way. This holds true for the entire life cycle, from discovery, through manufacturing, use and disposal. We always take into account the specific properties of the products and their possible impact on the environment and human health.
BASF trains farmers on how to handle products responsibly.
BASF is committed to offering a comprehensive product portfolio, including classic products such as fertilizers and chemical crop protection products as well as pheromones and advanced biotechnology solutions, like fungus-resistant potatoes and drought-resistant maize.
BASF strives to achieve the right balance in meeting economic, ecological and societal needs. This value determines our approach right from the very start, when the product is first designed.
Listed for many years in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, BASF has developed the AgBalance™ tool, which measures sustainable agriculture. BASF also contributes actively to a large variety of scientific and public organizations and initiatives that are relevant to sustainable agriculture.
In short, we are helping to build and lead a movement for sustainable agriculture. Together, we can and will empower farmers to tackle the challenges they face.
Sustainable Agriculture is an integral part of society.
Prosperous agriculture is part of a stable and reliable social environment. Farming successes and failures greatly influence life, and the general well-being of people in the broader community. Sustainable agriculture has to be an integral part of political and economic debate. This is important if we are to sustain farmer income and affordable consumer food prices.
Sustainable Agriculture depends on farmers.
As stewards of the land, farmers are ultimately responsible for putting sustainable agriculture into practice on a daily basis. Despite tough challenges, they deliver on that commitment by respecting nature and caring passionately about their land.
BASF is committed to partnering with farmers to enable them to continue growing food in an efficient and sustainable way. We listen carefully to understand farmers’ experiences and concerns, and respond by designing the farming tools of the future. By providing access to expertise and know-how as well as innovative services and technologies, we are supporting farmers to make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities.
Sustainable Agriculture saves resources and protects the environment by:
Making efficient use of the land, water and other natural resources Contributing to biodiversity in the agricultural landscape. Helping to mitigate against and adapt to climate change.
Farming activities, like cropping or mechanical soil treatments, impact the environment. BASF believes that fact-based scientific principles should be used to assess any potential side-effects. Given the urgent need to increase agricultural production over the coming decades, BASF believes that improved farming efficiency is necessary if we are to make the most efficient use of natural resources.
Sustainable Agriculture is dynamic.
Farming techniques, socio-economic factors and the ecological environment can change, often over relatively short time periods. BASF believes that farming concepts, which have the sole purpose of maintaining the status quo or re-establishing historical farming practices, should not be implemented on a large scale basis, when better solutions are available.
Sustainable Agriculture requires diverse solutions.
The availability of farming resources – like water, land and energy – varies from region to region. Farming or cropping systems are climate dependent. Farmers need a range of tools to do their job efficiently such as crop protection products, fertilizers, non-GM and GM seeds, and machinery.
There are many types of farms and different methods of farming, including conventional farming, integrated crop and pest management, and precision farming. BASF supplies products, technologies and services for all types of sustainable farming methods, and supports the co-existence of all these systems at the farm level.
Sustainable Agriculture needs collaboration and partnership.
Farmers, suppliers, agronomists and other experts need to collaborate to develop the farming methods of the future that will ensure that farmers around the world can continue to make an adequate income, protect the land, and provide the world with abundant, healthy, and affordable food. This complex balance can only be achieved through more public and industry investment in agricultural research, joint partnerships, dialogue, and the responsible, thoughtful behavior of all involved. In short, sustainable agriculture has to return to the global agenda.
Sustainable Agriculture looks to the future.
We believe that issues - like the decline of farmland availability or the need to increase productivity on existing land - can be predicted and proactively addressed in advance. As an industry, we need to make a significant investment in research and new technologies. This requires partnership, fresh thinking and a relenting focus on innovation
Sustainable Agriculture needs research and innovation.
While new technologies need to be carefully assessed, BASF believes that the exclusive or disproportionate evaluation of risk only, isolated from any real consideration of benefits, is not the right way to successfully implement the principles of sustainable agriculture. Innovation is critical to help farmers increase their productivity, protect their harvests, and the land they farm, as well as providing
Sustainable Agriculture needs to be quantified and managed.
BASF believes that sustainability programs require clear measurement. AgBalance™ – a tool to measure agricultural sustainability – is part of BASF’s commitment to share expertise and know-how with farmers. The tool includes farming profitability metrics, product stewardship measurement, and biodiversity enhancements.
Sustainable Agriculture needs dialogue.
Farmers are the experts on the ground. We value their feedback and use it to constantly improve our products, services, programs and initiatives.