As it looks toward the future, Bayer CropScience anticipates plenty of changes taking place in the world of agriculture. And company plans to embrace all of them and adjust its business model accordingly. “Our entire organization is relentlessly focused on meeting the rapidly changing needs of a planet hungry for agricultural resources,” said Sandra Peterson, CEO at the annual meeting in Monheim, Germany. “We will continue to meet these needs only through our increased focus, improved efficiencies and accelerated innovation. Already, our efforts on these fronts are driving positive business results and momentum.”
This is reflected in the company’s sales figures. For 2011, said Peterson, Bayer CropScience’s total sales should come in just below $5.4 billion, an increase of 11% from the previous year. Crop protection product sales still represent the bulk of this number, with $4.1 billion in revenue, with bioscience and environmental science products a distant second and third, respectively.
Re-Igniting The Core
For its crop protection business going forward, Bayer CropScience is restructuring the business somewhat, says Peterson. First up, the company is continuing to build upon its new products such as Xpro fungicide by expanding their presence into emerging markets. In conjunction with this, the company is accelerating the phase-out of all remaining World Health Organization Class I insecticides. These will be replaced by modern, targeted and more environmentally-friendly substances.
“By the end of 2012, Bayer CropScience will no longer have products with this classification anywhere in its portfolio,” she said. “This action, and others which we take on a daily basis, demonstrate our continuing commitment to sustainable agriculture.”
Next, the company plans to place an increased focus on its bioscience business unit and new growth areas in crop protection research. To better fuel future growth from innovation, Bayer CropScience intends to double the annual investment for research and development at this unit by approximately 20% by 2015.
Finally, the company hopes to expand the bioscience footprint in focused crops. “Over the past 10 years, we have demonstrated that we can establish global bioscience leadership positions in those markets in which we choose to compete,” said Peterson.
For example, in soybeans, Bayer CropScience will establish a broad germplasm base, develop best-in-class breeding operations and a soy trait pipeline, Peterson said. In rice, the company plans to continue to drive hybrid rice adoption in Asia.
And then there’s wheat. “When our global customers turned to us to find new ways to raise productivity of wheat cropping, we listened to them and built a world-class research platform for wheat genetics,” Peterson said, referring to a series of alliances and cooperations the company has agreed upon. “The first new wheat varieties resulting from this initiative are expected to reach the market by 2015.”