Miguel Suarez Cervieri (1962) is an agronomist with a degree in marketing from various universities in Uruguay. Country manager of the division of Crop Protection of Spanish BASF and president of the Business Association for the Protection of Plants (AEPLA), is convinced of the need for innovation in agriculture to ensure its future and continue producing healthy, healthy foods at affordable prices. But this aspect is so important to him as the political authorities enact laws that favor environmentally sustainable production and competitive markets.
eComercio: BASF is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. His story begins in 1865 developed dyes to pass and get produce ammonia fertilizer manufacture. What is your assessment of this unusual jubilee can bring us?
Miguel Suarez Cervieri: BASF got here by having clear objective: innovation. It has been for a century and a half a company of innovation and will remain so. But the human aspect has also been very important. It has invested heavily in their training and in their welfare. Just remember that BASF was the first company in Germany to provide health services for their employees and took care to live in decent places by a housing program.
This concern for health led him to the subject of food and sought its staff to a healthy diet and so were coming to understand the challenge of agriculture.
ECA: How does BASF farming through chemistry?
M.S.C.: Well, by creating a process that capture nitrogen from the high pressure air and transform it into an element that can be used in granules and become a fully synthetic fertilizer. This discovery was a revolution in its time for agricultural production, since before the only way to fertilize with nitrogen was getting it from natural sources or droppings of the Pacific coast.
Let me tell you remember before the celebrations for the 150th anniversary designated in Spain that BASF was the first company that had an agricultural experiment station in 1914.
In Barcelona, where we have the headquarters of the Spanish subsidiary, it was held from 26 to 30 October the Creator SpaceTM tour event. There have gathered more than 500 experts from different fields, customers, suppliers, employees, scientists, creatives, students, administration representatives, NGOs and various citizen groups. Barcelona has been a multidisciplinary exchange platform for designing innovative proposals, from the point of view of business and social.
ECA: Precisely during this event was clear that humanity must respond to three challenges.
M.S.C.: Yes, of course. One challenge is urban planning. In the coming years, 70% of the population will live in cities. The other challenge is health and nutrition. We must find solutions to help citizens to adopt a healthy and sustainable diet, with more quality and quantity of food. BASF believes that is where more innovation is needed in the production of pesticides.
The third challenge is the energy through research projects in alternative sources. It is collaborating on the development of new batteries, especially for electric jumps.
ECA: Currently many voices affect more than ever on how the responsible food consumption may contribute to the development of sustainable lifestyles. How it works in BASF crop protection for fruit arriving in the best quality and safety to our table?
M.S.C.: We have the highest standards of active control. To develop an active ingredient are reversed the order of 300 million euros. One key element is how these assets behave in the environment, for the safety of the applicator and especially in plants that are treated.
In relation with responsible consumption is essential aware of that when you acquire a fruit or a vegetable, the rationally buy, buy good quality and consume them within a range of space and time that could exploit all its vitamins and minerals.
In developed countries, we know that a third of the fruits and vegetables just in the trash at home. You have to work on solutions to reduce food waste and optimizing waste management.
In this regard, BASF is collaborating on the development of a product line in addition to the inherent consequences, especially against fungi, have physiological effects increase the level of life of fruits and vegetables in the supermarket display or in homes. We are also working hard to achieve products with an environmental impact shrinking and forming part of integrated control.
In modern agriculture, we need to integrate technical tasks to handle a growing, but we will also need chemistry as an essential part of life, and we have to use it more intelligently with the technological development of molecules. BASF will be one of the leading companies in this field.
ECA: BASF participated again in the last edition of Fruit Attraction in Madrid (Spain). What is the analysis of the state of the fair?
M.S.C.: We see it established as a fair, where Spain as a brand and one of the European and world leaders in production of fruits and vegetables, has offered the rest of Europe incredible quality and will become round site business, where will close the sale of future campaigns fruits and vegetables.
I have heard many voices of shoppers full fair have said that Fruit Attraction greatly facilitates negotiations to design the winter campaign for northern Europe, because in a week during the event one is able to contact with the main suppliers, see qualities and market trends.
For us as suppliers of agricultural inputs, it gives us the opportunity to talk with our customers about specific topics. Congratulations again, this time to the organization of the fair.
ECA: In the framework of Fruit Attraction, a report on the process for the authorization of plant protection products in Spain, where the suitability of the creation of a single agency evaluation values are presented. What about the enforcement of registration of these products in this country.
M.S.C.: We are a company based on scientific research and of course we have our point of view on the European legislation, the result of political decisions under a policy framework. Locally, we believe that Spain is a key element, as is the garden of Europe.
We can not conceive of a Spanish agriculture without the use of agrochemicals products. To achieve this, there must be an excellence in the system of records. On the one hand, we recognize that the authorities have made a strong effort, with more investment and resources in recent years, and therefore the system has improved, but we would not live up to representing the sector.
Because not only the area of manufacturers of plant protection around AEPLA but the technical level, we are clearly seeing that Spain should take a form of a single entity that will manage the registration system. There are similar examples with great results as the agency of Austria (AGES), which created four years ago. But we are convinced that the authorities will make the decision of a single body for this purpose. It will be a big step forward to strengthen the competitiveness of the Spanish agriculture and continue on the path of growth in exports