Sustainability and taste important for consumers
Transparency and honest competition good for the sector and environment
Consumer and retail biggest influencer of sustainability
During the trades show 'Seed meets Technology' (26-28 September), Incotec held a survey on sustainability. Visitors were asked to answer a number of questions on this subject. Respondents were from seed companies, suppliers of plant protection products, plant raisers and various other target groups.
Survey participants see the increasing use of biologicals as the most important trend. Automation and robotics are also mentioned, and plant raising without soil – vertical farming and hydroponics for example – are expected to take off. On the consumer level, organic produce is a noticeable trend, as well as the further development of flavour. Transparency and traceability are also seen as important conditions. The question of who ultimately has the most influence on sustainability got widely varying answers: the largest group said that consumers are responsible, followed by retailers.
What the sector needs most, according to the respondents, is even more innovation and sustainable solutions. While the results also indicate that honest competition, with the same regulations worldwide, is important.
According to the survey participants, it's regulatory pressure and public debate that lead to more research into sustainable products and production processes. The question on whether the public debate on, for example, the possible relationship between the use of plant protection products and the presence of bees, is positive or negative, got widely different answers. While one half think it's a 'blessing in disguise' and a catalyst for faster innovation, an equally large group see it as extremely damaging for the seed sector. The participants were almost unanimous on why the focus on sustainability is so important: the sector wants to contribute to a better and healthier world.