NEW YORK — Leaving the doors open hasn’t been the typical strategy for crop input companies, big or small. However, crop genetics and protection company Corteva Agriscience has a plan to change that as it charts its own path as a standalone, public company.
The combination of keeping proprietary business information tightly held in a highly competitive industry and the traditionally protective desire around scientific businesses that tend to keep the public at arm’s length wherever possible was a successful protocol for decades, but it has failed severely in the past dozen years.
Bryce Eger, president of the Canadian division of the company, said the merger of Dow and DuPont has created opportunities to change how the business runs, but “just as importantly how we communicate what we do every day — to consumers, to farmers and governments. It needed to change,” he said at the New York Stock Exchange launch of the company’s agriculture-only repositioning, trading as CTVA.
Rajan Gajaria, who heads up business segments at Corteva globally, said Corteva will be speaking directly to consumers about agriculture.
“There will be a lot more talking from us, more than any company in the (sector).”
Added Tim Glenn, who heads commercial operations: “There are no secrets in our world anymore. We need to think about what our customers (farmers) really want from us. We need to communicate how we are approaching not just the technology, but how it fits into the global picture (of food production).”
Eger said one of the observable ways that company outsiders will see the change will be in the communication of sustainability goals that are being built into every product and service the company provides, including the Granular digital farm management software.
Jim Collins, who leads the company, said all the negative voices in the agriculture industry frustrate farmers.
“We are also going to be working more closely with (government) regulators,” he said, adding that how the importance of the rules and science-based legislation has been communicated with the public has been under-served in the past.
Atlanta-based Dana Bolden, who is in charge of external affairs and sustainability, was emphatic about the path forward for the company.
“We are changing the way this is done,” he said.
“We are going show people what we do and why we do it.”