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Climate & Consumption Trends Driving Sustainability in Ag Value Chains

Main Stage



  • Philip Morris International and Bayer have both made bold commitments to drive sustainability and mitigate the climate crisis. Laurence Ruffieux revealed that Philip Morris is moving to become carbon neutral by 2030 and is developing products that will help deliver a smoke-free future. Bayer has also committed to carbon neutrality by 2030; according to Matthias Berninger, the company has set specific, measurable, and transparent targets for decarbonization and has shifted to placing sustainability at the center of its strategy.

“We cannot talk about sustainability without talking about complete transformation of the agricultural industry,” Laurence Ruffieux

  • Winrock seeks to systemically integrate smallholder farmer input into the agtech development process. The organization has joined forces with universities across the globe to bring promising innovations to farmers, rigorously test these technologies, collect input from farmers, and aggregate data that is then brought back to the innovator’s workspace. William Sparks explained that involving farmers in the agtech development process was previously a rare practice. Agtech innovators often lack access to smallholder farmers; when they are able to speak to smallholder farmers, they frequently do not have the capacity to collect farmer input as thoroughly, systematically, and accurately as universities do. Moreover, innovators sometimes bypass farmer input owing to pressure to bring innovations to market as fast as possible. 
  • When it comes to agriculture, said Ruffieux, women are the change agents. Philip Morris International is providing microfinance to women farmers to help them start their own business. The company is also providing these women with training on agricultural best practices and mentoring on social sustainability and respect for human rights.

“Climate change is a reality that is negatively impacting businesses; that’s why we [Bayer] are committed to being carbon neutral,” Matthias Berninger

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Bayer is pioneering innovations that will reduce dependency on artificial fertilizers, whose development process is currently highly energy-intensive and produces significant nitrous oxide emissions. 
  • The business community has a responsibility to equip smallholder farmers with tools that allow them to reduce their impact on climate change. 
  • There is a need for innovations that reduce the per-capita consumption of red meat.


Session Speakers