The Growing Need for Corporate Collaboration
In recruitment, the more major your clients, the more you have to keep up with everything going on within a certain industry.
Such is the case with the agriculture industry. The main trend we notice for agri-tech is the growing need for companies, which have been competitors for decades, to collaborate.
Although this might not sound that interesting if you are currently working outside of this industry, it’s actually a trend that will massively impact the job market. But what do these “collaborative projects” look like? What issues are they tackling? And ultimately what does it matter to you? That’s what we’re discussing in today’s article.
Agricultural companies are very present in South America. The region is home to some of the most important raw goods in the world, such as corn, soybeans, wheat etc. This also means that in changing conditions and increasing demand, all companies processing and exporting goods from South America are facing the same issues. Be that combating pests and diseases, or fighting against drought, all agricultural companies are facing the same issues with their crops as times change, and they are more than aware of that.
This realisation results in them working together to tackle these issues. A great example of this is the “Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon”, made up of 12 major agricultural companies including Cargill and Marfrig Global Foods. The alliance directly works with farmers to introduce and develop sustainable agricultural practices in the region, but they also have joint research and development initiatives so they can use innovations to prevent deforestations but also increase crop productivity.
One of the major issues for agriculture in Europe is food waste. It is estimated by the European Commission that about 88 million tonnes of food is wasted in the EU every single year. This is unavoidably a problem in terms of people being left hungry, especially considering the fact that more than 20 million people in the EU don’t have safe access to food. It is however also a problem for the environment.
When thrown out food decomposes and releases methane, which is a greenhouse gas. Decomposing food can also pollute the soil it’s on, and then also the water which is moving underneath the soil. So what are agricultural companies doing about that? The collaborations to tackle food waste are actually not only between agricultural companies. Retail companies such as Tesco or Aldi are helping agricultural companies such as Danone.
Danone for example works directly with farmers to develop new crop varieties which are less likely to be wasted. They also work with retail companies to figure out the best ways in which food can be stored and transported, so as to prevent it from spoiling and being, once again, wasted.
A major problem in Asia is food insecurity. This means that agricultural companies need to produce more high-yielding crops which are also incredibly resistant to pests and diseases. The goal is generally to increase food production.
Companies such as DuPont, Bayer and others are working incredibly hard to achieve exactly that goal. A great example of a collaboration in Asia is the “Alliance for a Green Revolution in Asia” or “AGRA” for short. AGRA includes NGOs, research organisations and agricultural companies, all of which are working together to fight hunger and poverty in Asia. The research and development departments are working on new crop varieties, while other departments are helping farmers implement sustainable agricultural practices that waste less food. The collaboration also works from an economic perspective, helping smallholder farmers gain access to markets.
Why is this important for you?
Collaboration is unavoidable and extremely beneficial, especially for the agriculture and agri-tech industries. Not only is it the only reliable way to quickly mobilise resources and battle challenges such as global warming and increasing populations, but it generally helps elevate the industry to new heights in terms of innovation.
If you work in tech in the agri-industry, collaborations with other companies have the potential to solve a palette of existing problems. For example when it come to the traceability of food products, one of the problems is always working with data that you don’t have access to, while other companies might.
We believe that the collaboration trend can only continue. The number of projects which can come up in the following years that demand for companies to work together will increase, and everyone will need people who are able to adapt to that environment and comfortably work to solve truly global issues. The only thing we can do is help speed up the process of matching professionals with what could be their life’s work.