Our business FAQ

Our business

What is Syngenta's purpose?

Our purpose is Bringing plant potential to life and we’re a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities.

Read more about our purpose & contribution

What is Syngenta's ambition?

Our overarching ambition is simple – we want to help farmers and growers around the world grow more from less. We use our world-class science to transform the way crops are grown to improve yields in a sustainable way. In doing so, we will contribute to bringing greater food security and meeting the needs of a global population that is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, and help to overcome increasing pressure on limited resources such as land, water and energy.

We want to create a worldwide step-change in agricultural productivity. Each farm and farmer has a role to play – not just the 8 million large farmers managing over 100 hectares, but the 450 million smallholders. This means embracing innovation and exploring ways to engage new customers in emerging markets.

Read more about our strategy and The Good Growth Plan

What is "The Good Growth Plan"?

"The Good Growth Plan" reflects Syngenta's belief that agricultural productivity must increase in order to feed a global population which is currently increasing by 200,000 every day. At the same time, farmland is being depleted through urbanization and soil erosion while water resources are under increasing pressure. Rural communities – those responsible for growing food – are often trapped in poverty.

The Good Growth Plan includes specific commitments to address these critical challenges. By 2020, we commit to:

  • Make crops more efficient – Increase average productivity of the world's major crops by 20 percent without using more land, water or inputs
  • Rescue more farmland – Improve the fertility of 10 million hectares of farmland on the brink of degradation
  • Help biodiversity flourish – Enhance biodiversity on 5 million hectares of farmland
  • Empower smallholders – Reach 20 million smallholders and enable them to increase productivity by 50 percent
  • Help people stay safe – Train 20 million farm workers on labor safety, especially in developing countries
  • Look after every worker – Strive for fair labor conditions throughout our entire supply chain network

Our intention is to make a deep, lasting and positive impact on the farmers and rural communities who provide the world's food security and the long-term sustainability of our planet.

Read more about The Good Growth Plan

Is Syngenta contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

Syngenta, along with the industry, has been contributing to the sustainable intensification of agriculture around the world for many years. We welcome and support the call for intensified, cross-sectorial multi-stakeholder collaboration made through the SDGs in order to achieve progress. Private sector initiatives and partnerships play a crucial role in achieving many of the targets set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In a world where a growing population needs more food and where preserving natural resources is a basic requirement, agricultural technology can have a substantial and measurable impact.

In 2013, Syngenta launched The Good Growth Plan, an ambitious program that reflects many goals included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Syngenta has committed to help grow more food using fewer resources, while protecting nature and helping people in rural communities live better lives. Our company aims to make a deep, lasting and positive impact on the world’s food security and the planet’s long-term sustainability. Through the six commitments set out in The Good Growth Plan and the progress made so far, Syngenta demonstrates active support for many of the SDGs, especially in the field of how to sustainably grow crops, reduce hunger, alleviate poverty, conserve biodiversity and restore degraded land. 

Which issues are most material to Syngenta?

We undertake regular materiality assessments to help us define the priority issues for our business and our stakeholders. These assessments incorporate an analysis of stakeholder concerns and expectations and the issues that we believe present the greatest risks and opportunities for our business. We use the results to drive our strategy, determine allocation of resources and guide our communication.

We engage with and collect feedback from stakeholders in a variety of ways. We hear from the grower community through satisfaction surveys and farmers' direct contact with our sales teams on the ground. We also engage directly with our employees and locally with the communities close to our operations. Our interaction with industry associations (e.g. CropLife), non-governmental organizations, international organizations (e.g. WEF, WBCSD), governments and the investor community enables us to gather feedback on our activities and monitor issues important to stakeholders. We also consider environmental and social aspects in our Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) assessments.

In 2013, we commissioned a global research study involving over 7,500 people in 13 countries to assess their perceptions on the topic of food security and the challenges of agriculture. The Agricultural Disconnect study concluded that producing more food for a growing population in an environmentally sustainable way will be one of the next decade's most important global challenges. However, there are conflicting opinions about how best to address this challenge, and about the likely impact of increased production on the environment and on the people who grow the food and work on the farms.

Our materiality matrix, developed in 2015 and revised in 2016, sets out the most important issues for Syngenta and our stakeholders. The most important issue to our stakeholders is our contribution to food security. In particular, they want to know how our technologies and products will enable growers to deliver sustainably the quality and quantity of food needed by a growing population. We contribute to addressing these issues through our Good Growth Plan.

Read more about these topics in The Good Growth Plan and Our Annual Review (p. 53)

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