Position statements represent Corteva’s informed views and opinions on industry-related issues. They cover a range of topics that reinforce our commitment to sustainable growth and are important to stakeholders.
Of the many challenge’s agriculture faces today, the impact of a changing climate – from extreme weather events and wildfires, to melting glaciers and ice packs, to compromised plant, animal, and marine habitats – may be one of the greatest that we face in this lifetime. Increasingly, farmers around the world are contending with shifting weather patterns, unpredictable water supplies, and threats from diseases, weeds and insects.
While producing a healthy food supply for the world, global agriculture does contribute to those climate change challenges. But farmers have a long history of overcoming challenges which is why we are optimistic about the future. We know there is a way forward for sustainable climate change mitigation that enables farmers to meet the demands of a growing population and secures the economic future for the vast majority of the world’s population who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.
We are an industry with the ability to understand and react to global market demands and to harness science, technology, and innovation to reduce emissions and optimize sustainable agriculture.
To that end, we are a convener, working with farmers and food producers, and those outside our industry to listen, learn, and partner on the best solutions.
We are integrating consumers into the food system as informed and responsible partners. Enlightened and engaged consumers can help drive collective action across the food chain to ensure abundant, affordable and nutritious food for all in the face of the challenges of climate change.
We believe we can do more. We are making long-term commitments to accelerate progress, and that means supporting our entire food system with more economically and environmentally sustainable ways to produce and consume food.
We are joining forces with partners to increase resilience to climate change. These partnerships will improve the economic livelihoods and nutrition of smallholder farmers, as well as to improve rural communities through increasing access to education, empowering women, increasing food security, and improving rural infrastructure and connectivity.
Nurture the essentials of growth – soil health and water. Healthy soils produce more food, promote biodiversity, hold moisture better, and are less prone to erosion and nutrient loss. We promote land stewardship and innovate to support the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. We help farmers apply the right amount of fertilizers at the right time and with the right methods to improve plant health and protect the environment. We also partner with farmers to optimize on-farm water use, promoting water stewardship and greater resource efficiency.
We know we can‘t do this alone. We engage with multiple stakeholders and partners around the globe who have innovative and actionable ideas to help safeguard the health and well-being of our planet and its people.
Climate change impacts every one of us today as well as future generations. We believe that our industry can continue to improve, and we work with farmers and other key stakeholders to lead that change. We are committed to working together towards a solution. By doing more to address climate change today, we are fortifying our ability to grow food, grow progress and build a sustainable industry that will help humanity thrive for generations to come.
Ending global hunger is one of the greatest challenges, and opportunities, of our lifetime. We live in the most abundant period in history, yet one in nine people do not have enough food to nourish their lives. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there are more than 820 million people who suffer from hunger around the world.
To advance food security, our global food system must navigate a myriad of hurdles, including: a future marked by climate change and declining natural resources; the need to access both adequate nutrition and adequate amounts of calories; under investment in agriculture; gaps in technology; regulations limiting producers’ ability to trade freely, consumers’ ability to access more affordable and nutritious food, and society’s ability to supply food to the places it is needed most. And, while we have improved the production of crops and livestock over the years, trillions of pounds of food go to waste each year.
The world’s population is expected to grow from 7 billion today to 9 billion by 2050. To keep up with our growing population, global agriculture production must increase by more than 60 percent. At the same time, consumer expectations for safe, abundant and nutritious food are echoing all the way though the food system, putting unique demands on farmers.
As a global pure-play agriculture company, Corteva Agriscience is committed to farmers and to meeting the demand for healthier food and sustainable agriculture. Corteva Agriscience is leading and influencing the entire food value chain and policies through action. Specifically, we are advancing food security and contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) in the following ways:
Food security measurement. Corteva sponsors the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Food Security Index (GFSI) (https://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/). This index measures food security in 113 nations, based on food availability and access, quality and safety, and natural resources risk and resilience. The GFSI has become an influential tool across all sectors — serving as a policy benchmark for governments and a country diagnostic tool for investment for both the private and public sectors.
Farming communities are facing many barriers to building and attracting future talent. The agricultural workforce of the future will need to develop solutions that overcome climate change, declining rural youth populations, inequality for women and minority farmers, and aging infrastructure. Corteva Agriscience is helping growers produce an abundance of nutritious food by leveraging the knowledge and experiences of people from a wide range of professional fields, such as biotechnology, finance, nutrition, ecology, information technology, genetics and manufacturing, just to name a few.
Today’s agricultural workforce is poised to improve the economic livelihoods of farming communities. Our people are working to increase access to education, infrastructure and technology. This will require a work force with curiosity, passion, and a drive to enrich the lives of future generations. Stakeholders throughout the food value chain must have a deep commitment to preparing future generations of farmers, agricultural workers, business leaders and consumers by:
Corteva Agriscience is committed to the communities we live in, work in, and partner with. These are the communities that house the students, parents and community members who will shape modern agricultural technology. These are the communities that are growing humanity’s future, and we are excited to be a part of it.
Quality nutritious food is the foundation for healthy lives and thriving communities. However, the quest to produce more food sometimes overshadows the need to produce better food. Corteva wants to help lead the transition from a food economy focused on delivering quantity, to one that delivers sustainable quality as well.
While there has been progress on the global food security front, the world continues to face chronic nutritional challenges. In the span of one generation, over-nutrition has come to eclipse under nutrition. Two billion people are overweight or obese, many in developing nations, while 900 million people struggle with the challenges of malnutrition. And billions of people are not getting all the vitamins and minerals necessary for their growth and healthy development.
By 2050, we will need to produce more than 60 percent more food for our dinner tables than we do today. That means we need increased yields of major crops at more than twice the rate of these yield increases over the prior half century. And, it means that we must cultivate more of the nutritious and healthy food that we all want and need – while using fewer natural resources and facing changing climates. Ramping up food production in a sustainable way and ensuring quality of our lands and soils for the long-term makes the challenge that much greater.
Corteva Agriscience collaborates across the food system to help ensure safe, nutritious and plentiful food. We believe nutritional security can be advanced in the following ways:
Today’s farmers are being asked to produce higher yields with fewer resources, all while facing changing climate conditions. These stressors, combined with global trends such as rapid population growth and increased demand for nutritious foods, mean farmers need innovative agricultural tools to respond. Corteva Agriscience is committed to innovating solutions that will create value for society and ensure sustainability.
The United Nations estimates that by 2050, farmers will need to produce more than 60 percent more food, feed and biofuel production than they did in 2012. This is provided for a population that is expected to grow to nine billion in the next 30 years. Agricultural technology is poised to fill this gap by making food more nutritious and farmland use more efficient. Advances in this space have already allowed farmers to increase their crop productivity through higher yields and pest- and disease-resistance -- all in a more sustainable way.
Corteva is collaborating with leaders around the world to develop and deploy innovative technologies through our Open Innovation platform. Our objective is to find new ways to collaborate with all the bright minds who work outside of the company. We are building solutions for tomorrow’s problems today by partnering with farmers, consumers, and even innovators outside our industry in our three core product areas.
We recognize the importance of societal considerations as we bring innovation and technology to the marketplace. Corteva Agriscience believes that open, candid discussions with consumers about new technologies are vital to building shared value for innovations in agriculture. We are proud to support farmers with tools that combine targeted breeding, right-sized crop protection, and precision agriculture that help them meet consumer demands. We are committed to innovation that maximizes yield and crop quality, while ensuring sustainability throughout food systems.
Farmers have always had to fight crop damage as a result of disease, weeds, insects and other pests. As the world faces the side effects of a warming climate, farmers are faced with new pests and diseases, while under pressure to produce more food, and more nutritious food, using fewer resources. Farmers have always needed tools to protect their harvest. Today that need is more critical than ever.
Corteva Agriscience provides farmers with innovative agricultural solutions, while ensuring the sustainability of our planet. Crop protection products are one solution for helping reduce the use of resources and increase the viability of crops. Crop protection products (i.e. insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides) have become a tool that farmers can right-size, using the right product in the right amount, at the right time. Crop protection solutions enable farmers to deliver safe, nutritious and abundant food to consumers, in a way that minimizes resource waste and limits the impact of farming on our climate.
The crop protection product development and approval process is one of the most stringent in the world. Approximately 150 studies per product must be done to assess environmental and human health impacts, and those studies must be done in compliance with international standards on Good Laboratory Practice. Government regulators conduct their own risk assessments to assess safety, exposure levels, residual exposure and adverse effects. Only products that meet the most stringent guidelines are authorized. And this 11-year process is only the beginning. Post-authorization, pesticide products must be monitored, and additional safety and periodic review data must be provided to authorities. Our international laws and regulations ensure the safe utilization of these products and minimize their impact on environmental and human health. Companies like Corteva rely on predictable and science-based regulation as we develop innovations to bring to market.
Corteva Agriscience is committed to:
Farmers have long been viewed as conservators of our land and rural resources. Today, farmers are being asked to grow more nutritious foods while working against drought, flooding, pests and disease. To do so, the agricultural community must ensure farmers have the land and resources to grow more food while conserving natural resources.
Corteva Agriscience™ believes that the tools used in modern agriculture help farmers overcome these barriers and conserve soil, water, and biodiversity. We believe that conservation is not at odds with agriculture; it is the logical and natural partner to agriculture.
The agricultural industry, policy stakeholders, and farming communities will need to work together to bring the innovations, actions, and results needed to provide our planet’s growing population with sustainable, affordable, available and delicious food. Corteva supports efforts to:
The inclusion, diversity, and equity (ID&E) strategy of Corteva Agriscience is rooted in our culture and values. We believe a cornerstone of our success is a workplace that respects and embraces differences. ID&E contributes to making Corteva a great place to work by enhancing our innovation and customer experiences, strengthening our understanding of the communities we serve and driving our sustainable growth.
Having a workforce that is inclusive of team members from different backgrounds, races, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origins, veteran backgrounds, ages, physical limitations, and religions is the only way we see ourselves being able to do business the right way in a world that is dynamic, multi-faceted and rapidly evolving. But, even more importantly, we believe in the seamless integration of all types of people and cultures into our workplace. It’s the right thing to do for our people and for our business.
A truly inclusive culture helps us hire the best talent for the job, better understand our new and emerging markets, and better serve our customers around the world. Our diverse teams also help drive a culture of innovation and inspire us to refine our business practices. We take a proactive approach, engaging in activities such as:
Our commitment to ID&E stretches well beyond our company walls and is reflected in the way we engage with our customers, our partners, the public, and the people within our communities. Some of our efforts include developing a more diverse supplier base, supporting public policy initiatives, and building the skilled workforce of tomorrow that will meet our customers’ needs. By committing to ID&E across our operations and beyond our borders, we believe that we make both our company and our industry stronger, while also contributing to the social and economic health of the people in the communities in which we live and work.
Our most important responsibility as a company is to ensure that our products and practices are safe for humans, animals and the environment. Laboratory studies play a critical role in enabling us to fulfill this responsibility. At Corteva Agriscience, it is our policy to conduct animal studies only when necessary to satisfy safety requirements – those imposed by regulators or by our own rigorous standards – and only after all other viable alternatives have been considered and determined to be inadequate. We are committed to leading our industry in implementing the established principles of the 3Rs: “Reduce the numbers of animals used in animal studies; Refine the methods used in animal studies and Replace an animal study with an alternative non-animal method wherever possible.” Our CEO and Board of Directors review our progress annually.
Corteva’s most important responsibility as a company is ensuring the safety of our products and practices – for humans, animals and the environment. Our products support the global supply of nutritious and affordable food by improving crop performance and combating the harmful effects of pests, weeds, and disease.
Our own stringent safety standards and those of regulatory bodies around the world help assure the crops farmers grow and the food we eat are safe. Meeting these standards requires us to evaluate data from a variety of sources including computer modeling, cell-based tests and animal studies.
Our actions with respect to the use of animals in studies are governed by three important principles known as the “3Rs”. These “3Rs” reflect our commitment to:
The animals required for safety testing are specified by the existing regulatory requirements of countries where farmers use our products.
We strive to be a leader in the 3Rs because it is the right thing to do, it is consistent with our values, and it is important to us, and to our employees, customers, and partners.
Reducing the numbers of animals used in our studies
We continually assess and implement alternative, non-animal methods wherever possible. When government regulations require testing that we believe is scientifically unjustified, we collaborate with local regulatory bodies, NGOs, and others to seek to eliminate or reduce animal testing requirements. Our efforts in this regard have contributed to the reduction or elimination of animal-testing requirements for certain studies in the United States, the European Union, Brazil, Japan and Korea, among others.
Refining the methods used in animal studies
In situations where there are no alternatives to animal studies for assessing safety, we ensure that the animals involved are treated ethically and compassionately.
All of our study facilities are designed to ensure that animals receive humane care by highly competent staff who participate in ongoing training, and our facilities and staff are regularly assessed to ensure adherence to our high standards of ethical care.
In addition to strict compliance with applicable laws and regulations regarding animal studies, including the US Animal Welfare Act and Regulations (AWAR), we seek to exceed these requirements whenever possible.
Replacing animal studies with an alternative non-animal method wherever possible
Before proceeding with any study involving animals, we first ensure it is scientifically justified and/or a necessary regulatory requirement. This includes conducting a comprehensive search for available information that might reduce or eliminate the need for animal studies.
We continually assess and implement alternative, non-animal methods wherever possible, such as computer modeling or cell-based assays. As part of this process, our team collaborates with external academic and industry experts to help ensure that we conduct animal studies only in the absence of other viable alternatives.
Americans for Medical Progress (https://www.amprogress.org/animal-research/)
US Animal Welfare Act (https://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/animal-welfare-act)