In the 1960s Norman Borlaug developed a new variety of wheat that helped Mexico, Pakistan, and India become more food secure, writes Dan Jacobs at AgriBusiness Global. He’s credited with saving more than 1 billion lives and was declared “the father of the Green Revolution.”
More than half a century later, the industry is undergoing a new green revolution, this one driven by consumers demanding to know more about where their food comes from, technology, increased regulatory oversight, and yes, fear about traditional crop inputs and the effects they have on human health – most notably glyphosate.
However misguided and anti-science that fear might be, it has the potential to generate enormous disruption to the industry. There’s an old saying that perception is reality. The danger posed by glyphosate is real to those who ignore the science. And so far, their collective voice has been had the power to trump the data.
Even without that anti-science bias, consumers have become more savvy, and the internet has given them unprecedented insight into supply chains. They’re demanding to know not only where their food is coming from, but also how it’s being grown and what inputs are being used. Combine that with a push by regulatory bodies to outright ban or at the very least make it more difficult to register products and it’s easy to see that traditional crop inputs are going to continue to be hit hard.