Sustainable activities in the agriculture segment
Through innovative products and services, BayWa helps its customers to meet global challenges, such as climate change and the growing global population. To this end, BayWa is driving the development of forward-looking, digital technologies for the agricultural sector.
BayWa continues to develop concepts for climate-resilient agriculture
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, BayWa is also increasingly concerned with the physical risks of climate change and the impact on its own business activities. A long-term shift in climatic conditions and extreme weather events could fundamentally change global agricultural production and the flow of goods. Agricultural trade and logistics are thus directly affected. To better understand the impacts in the agricultural sector and increase resilience in the agricultural value chain, BayWa has been using scenario analyses and cross-divisional workshops since 2019 to identify and assess risks and opportunities and develop strategic guidance.
Smart farming: Agriculture 4.0
The agricultural sector is undergoing a digital transformation. Data on soil conditions, water requirements and plant growth obtained from agricultural machinery or satellites has long since helped to calculate the optimum amount of fertiliser needed and to increase yields per hectare. BayWa subsidiary FarmFacts has now developed an interoperable system for this purpose: NEXT Farming helps farmers collect the right data, use it intelligently and thus optimize processes on the farm as well as in the field. The system has a modular design and can be adjusted according to farm size and cultivation method. In 2020, BayWa also launched sales of its Dino agricultural weeding robot, which is controlled via satellite navigation, being particularly gentle on the soil and low in pesticides by combating weeds mechanically.
Increasing heat waves and drought pose major challenges for farmers, as they lead to global yield losses and require more artificial irrigation. With the help of "VariableRain", an application from BayWa, farmers can keep an eye on the individual water requirements of their crops and control the efficient use of water in a targeted manner. This is made possible by the use of satellite data to create irrigation maps. The smart service saves water, energy and time and gives the plant exactly the amount of water it needs.
CRS - Certified Responsible Soya
Global demand for soy has increased significantly in recent years and continues to do so. To make global soy supply chains more sustainable, subsidiary Cefetra developed the Certified Responsible Soya (CRS) Standard in 2008. Farmers seeking certification under the CRS standard must meet a wide range of sustainability requirements that include environmental and social aspects as well as good agricultural practices. To prevent the global clearing of forest land for soybean cultivation and ensure deforestation-free production, the CRS standard also includes a "Zero Deforestation" criterion. Large, medium and small farms around the world can be certified with CRS.
Climate change-resistant fruit production
The subsidiary T&G Global Limited joined the international and cross-sector breeding program "Hot Climate Programme" as a commercial partner in 2019. The aim of the program is to develop apple and pear varieties that are adapted to growing regions with high temperatures. As a result of climate change, it is becoming increasingly important for fruit growers to cultivate plants that can continue to produce high yields and quality despite dry and hot climates. In addition, plant varieties require less fertilizer and water. In 2020, T&G launched the marketing of the first climate change-resistant apple, named "HOT84A1".
Organic production methods, regionality and fair production conditions are an important component for future-oriented agriculture. BayWa Agrar meets the growing demand for organically produced products with a fully comprehensive range of products for organic farming, from suitable seeds and organic fertilizers to the right technology. In addition to the stationary trade, organic farmers also have access to the BayWa Portal with around 500 selected products from the areas of animal husbandry, soil fertility or seeds. Organic products are recorded at five locations and organic farmers are supported in marketing their products. In addition, BayWa has five Key Account Managers Öko, who advise farmers on crop cultivation on organic farms as well as on conventional farms that are about to embark on new paths.
Feedstuffs based on wood
agromed Austria GmbH, a subsidiary of RWA, uses wood to make healthy, natural and sustainable animal feed. Specifically, the company uses the natural ingredient lignocellulose, which animals need for a number of reasons, including a healthy digestive and immune system. The natural fibres for the products are harvested from untreated, freshly cut wood from sustainably managed forests in Europe – primarily Germany – that has been certified in line with the GMP+ and PEFC standards.