Strategic planning

A look into the
year 2031

Tradition, willingness to change, foresight and courage: Those are the forces that will secure KWS' future. Strategic Planning has identified eight trends that will shape the upcoming years.

Telse Sieg

For the success of KWS as a family-run plant breeding company with a 165-year history, strategic and future-oriented thinking is of central importance. Establishing long-term and clearly formulated goals is the only way to carefully design planning processes and ensure the company's future viability.

In doing so, KWS operates in the field of friction, with long-standing tradition and reliable consistency, but on the other hand with courageous willingness to innovate and change. "KWS is always reinventing itself," says agricultural engineer, Telse Sieg from Strategic Planning. "I appreciate that foresight, that forward-looking approach, that little bit of well-calculated and thought-out risk-taking," emphasizes the 42-year-old, who has been with KWS for 16 years.

An important starting point for the current strategic planning is an internal survey with KWS experts on the relevant future topics in agriculture. Eight key trends were identified and subsequently analyzed. These are regularly reviewed by the Strategic Planning Team to find out whether KWS is on the right course or whether adjustments need to be made and new emphases set.

◼Eight trends in agriculture

Ecology: Agriculture takes over responsibility

More sustainability, more animal welfare, more responsibility for future generations: These goals unite farmers and consumers - and policymakers are taking up these wishes and demands: In the future, the European Union wants to provide greater support for farming practices that protect the soil, preserve biodiversity, and reduce CO2 emissions. In the long term, the trend is expected to spread globally beyond the borders of the EU. |

Plants instead of meat: The diet is changing

More and more people are reducing their meat consumption or going completely vegetarian or vegan. Western consumers are increasingly sensitive to issues such as animal rights and greenhouse gas emissions of animal origin (methane gas). But also, in developing and emerging countries, vegetarianism is a trend among the young, urban population with middle and high incomes. |

Nutrition and lifestyle: Health is in trend

Awareness of balanced nutrition and healthy living has increased. More and more people are critically examining their food and demanding ecologically produced products that improve their well-being. In this context, healthy nutrition is not just a lifestyle motif, but also a socially relevant issue due to the increasing proportion of overweight people. |

Precision in the acre: Digital agriculture is on the rise

Smart farming: The complexity of agricultural production is increasing. Digital tools take the burden off the farmer and offer reliability and production security. Farmers can increasingly delegate field work to autonomous machines such as drones and field robots. Seeds are optimized accordingly and equipped with digital services. |

Direct and convenient: Digital sales channels are popular

Online and direct sales models - we have all come to appreciate them in our private daily lives. This global trend is not stopping at agriculture either. In the future, farmers will increasingly make their operational purchases and sales directly and online. In this context, farmers, like all customers, expect individualized contact and a convenient, intuitive buying experience. |

Agricultural commodity production: Cost pressure remains high

The world market defines the prices of agricultural commodities such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. Supply and demand determine the fluctuating market price, regardless of where the natural resources were produced. Farmers are therefore under severe cost pressure, which will continue. Political and regional measures will have an even greater impact on the competitiveness of certain regions in the future. |

Climate change: Implications for crop portfolios and production systems

Due to climate change, extreme weathers are increasing worldwide. Highly variable temperatures and water availability (droughts or floods) are changing the growing conditions of crops in the field. Regional crop populations will change. There will be plants that will no longer be cultivated, and others, yet unknown, will be added. |

Plastic? No, thanks! Bioeconomy instead of petroleum economy

The desire of people worldwide for alternatives to petroleum-based plastics, for example plastic packaging, is increasing significantly. The agricultural industry can contribute to environmentally friendly solutions by supplying innovative natural resources as environmentally friendly substitutes for conventional materials - for example, starch for packaging materials. |

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