Press Release •  11/3/2020

Leading Ag CEO Reveals COVID-19 Driven Need for Intensified Focus on Sustainable Agriculture

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Corteva Agriscience’s CEO stresses agriculture’s positive climate impacts during FT summit

Geneva, November 3, 2020 – Economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic requires the commitment of more nations to focus more intently on sustainable agriculture, stated Jim Collins, Corteva Agriscience CEO in the Climate-Positive Agriculture in a Post-COVID World session at the virtual Financial Times Global Food Systems Summit.  “For those of in agriculture, the days of thinking about sustainability as just part of our business are over. Sustainability is our business. We can better serve those who benefit from the global food chain by re-evaluating every aspect of our business through the prism of sustainability.”

Collins shared the path Corteva Agriscience has set forth to meet its own sustainability goals, defined in the company’s 2030 Sustainability Strategy. The company’s 14 goals, to be achieved over the next 10 years, are built around four key pillars: Goals to benefit farmers; Goals to benefit the land; Goals to benefit communities and Goals for the company's operations.

Such examples are:

  • The marketing of the N-Lock nitrogen-stabilizer to farmers in Europe, meeting demand for improved water quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fertilization by 40%.
  • Investments in in-demand natural-origin crop protection solutions, or biologicals.
  • The UK partnership with the LEAF environmental agriculture group provides three years of training, technical support and mentoring for farmers striving to become industry leaders in sustainable agriculture.

Corteva Agriscience will also be announcing a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their operations in June 2021.

Collins also shared with the gathering the pandemic underscored the pressing need for greater efficiency in the global food supply system. He noted the dilemma of food waste being created at a time when more people than ever are going hungry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and committed Corteva would work with partners to advocate for science-based policies, enabling farmers to produce enough nutritious food for a growing population.

“In crisis, there is always opportunity. Over the last 10 months, we’ve had very frank discussions on many urgent, sustainable development issues,” said Collins. “Global food security. Extreme weather events. Social unrest. Economic equity. And, of course, the pandemic itself have created platforms for agriculture to address long neglected gaps in the global food chain. The work we do today will allow us to make changes that have long-term, positive impacts to the food chain.”

Collins added, “We all need to collaborate in the design of holistic and sustainable food systems that feed all … while satisfying the changing needs and demands of today’s consumers.”

The World Bank indicates the pandemic's economic impact could push approximately 100 million people into extreme poverty, adding: “Since COVID struck, more than 1 million people have died from the pandemic. At the same time, more than 7 million people have died from hunger.1

“Corteva’s more than 20,000 employees around the world are committed to reducing the world’s accumulated 1.3 billion metric tons of food waste. “Our teams, customers and partners are committed to ensuring to redirecting that supply to provide more than enough sustenance for 2 billion people.”

About Corteva Agriscience
Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry - including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019, and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at

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Media contact

József Máté, Head of Communications, Europe
Tel: +41 22 775 36 70, Mob: +41 79 597 2709

1 According to figures from the UN World Food Program