Competence areas

Coatings

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Global, Brazil

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Date

May 2015

BAYER SEEDGROWTH UPDATE

ONE TEAM ACROSS THE GLOBE

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With Bayer SeedGrowth, Bayer CropScience is the first and only company to offer a complete solution for almost every area of seed treatment, helping growers produce the highest-quality and highest-yielding crops possible. Let’s take a look at the last two years.
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Family get-together: Meeting of the international SeedGrowth team at the SeedGrowth Conference in Kaarst in 2014

The launch at ISF in Athens, 100 years of innovation in seed-applied technologies celebrated last year in Beijing, and the continuous development of new products and innovative technologies are just some of the highlight stories Bayer SeedGrowth has to tell. This still-young competence brand can look back on two exciting years. “The repositioning of our seed treatment business in Bayer SeedGrowth reflects all the competences we have,” explains Martin Gruss, Global Head SeedGrowth. “The degree of acceptance we have achieved – not only in the market but also within the Bayer Group – makes us more than proud and shows we made the right decision.” After the launch of the global concept in Athens in 2013, Bayer SeedGrowth was represented at the International Seed Federation Congress in Beijing in mid- 2014. “We can really say we stood out from the crowd at that trade fair,” Martin Gruss adds. “It was living proof that the linking up of the four competences in products, coatings, equipment, and services has worked out. The feedback we received from customers was consistently positive.” Bayer SeedGrowth customers can rely on competent partnership and long-term experience in products, equipment, and coatings. The portfolio covers everything from farm-level treaters to top industrialsized equipment for thousands of tons of seeds. Moreover, the coating know-how is based on a century of experience, as the site in Méréville celebrates its 100 years of coating innovations in 2015.
“The customers are now aware of our four competence areas and appreciate the cross-country competences working together,” Martin Gruss explains. One example of this integration of relevant skills and a holistic approach is the implementation of a treatment program for soybeans in Brazil. “With this project we enabled soybean multipliers to treat seeds in a highly professional way,” Martin Gruss says. “That was a new step forwards, especially in the way we did it. Bayer SeedGrowth helped to design and plan the infrastructure, provided the best treatment equipment, and helped from the idea to the implemented system while working as a cross-country team.” The united appearance of Bayer SeedGrowth is not only visible through the color scheme and logo, but is also spread across the globe. “This is apparent throughout the company, e.g., people wearing shirts with the logo, talking about Bayer SeedGrowth, and having stickers on their laptop. This sense of identification within the global team – not only externally in projects but also internally – shows us once again that the holistic approach of combining the four strategic competence is not only appreciated by our customers but also by our employees,” Martin Gruss says. As a brand and concept, Bayer SeedGrowth drove this team spirit and thus pushed the exchange and transfer of knowledge to a higher level – to the benefit of Bayer customers.
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Martin Gruss: “The customers are now aware of our four competence areas and appreciate the cross-country competences working together.”

New products to come

The ongoing development of the Bayer SeedGrowth brand journey is also apparent in new products. Take Sonido® for corn for example that has received more registrations in European countries. “Sonido is used against wireworms in corn and is one of the few products that can be used to control them due to the current restrictions on NNi’s use in the EU,” Martin Gruss explains. “Bayer CropScience was the only company offering a seed-applied solution for wireworm control in Europe for the 2014 planting season.”

Effects of restrictions on NNi use

Since the restrictions on NNi use were imposed by the European Commission, growers have been highly exposed to the flea beetle and turnip root fly. They have no alternative but to spray, while at the same time resistance problems are occurring. “It’s a real pity since longterm practices have shown that the use of these products is safe when used according to the instructions on the label. We are continuously working on providing new data and hope that the European Commission will reconsider the usage restrictions to give growers the possibility to rely on these important tools again.” Currently, there is no seed treatment product available to control the flea beetle in oilseed rape. And the effects are certainly being felt: 5 % of farming land in the UK is heavily affected, acres have had to be resown, and farmers are missing a crop in their crop rotation.

A deep dive in eight minutes


How Bayer SeedGrowth raises awareness – not only within Bayer CropScience but also within the global Bayer Group – is demonstrated by a local Bayer SeedGrowth event in Brazil at the end of 2014.
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Dedicated to the fourfold competence: The Bayer SeedGrowth team in Brazil(from left to right: Luis Henrique Feijo, Siegfrid Baumann, Roberson Lima, Lorenzo Paradiso, Ricardo Otranto)

The headquarters in Sao Paulo was decorated in the four colors of the competence brand, with stickers on the windows and in the elevators, and banners in front of the entrances. Employees encountered the brand everywhere: the Bayer SeedGrowth logo, a circle split into the four competence areas, was adapted for a booth next to the canteen in the Bayer Eco Building, and there was even machinery on-site. The internal Bayer SeedGrowth event was announced days beforehand via the local intranet and e-mail. “Everything starts internally,” says Roberson Lima, Head of SeedGrowth Brazil. “If you want to be strong in the market and communicate widely, you need all your resources on board – from the top management to the front line.” That’s why the Brazilian SeedGrowth Team decided to dedicate an entire day to bring all Bayer employees on board – not only from Bayer CropScience but also within the Bayer Group – and show them what the competence brand stands for and what it offers.

Tangible insights into the four competences

The anchor of the event was the celebration of 100 years of innovation in seed treatment in 2014. The Lima team set up the event in the cafeteria of the Brazilian headquarters at the end of October 2014. The booth reflected the brand image with its four pillars: coatings, products, equipment, and services. All Bayer employees and external guests visiting that day had the chance to get a quick overview of the brand itself and what it is about – in just eight minutes – with small groups a maximum of 15 persons guided through the four competence areas. Experts from each Bayer SeedGrowth area presented their strategic pillar and explained what the brand actually offers. This became even more tangible thanks to actual products and equipment on-site, while the SeedGrowth team used iPads to show some brand films, pictures, and figures. “With a demo machine from our lab, we were even able to show colleagues how to actually treat a seed with color coatings. Moreover, we had sample coatings, insects, and parts of plants and leaves to show the products and benefits from Bayer SeedGrowth, being able to offer customers everything from a single source. Our colorful brand was an eye-catcher, and even more so thanks to the little cupcakes shaped like the Bayer SeedGrowth logo which we had baked to celebrate the 100 years of innovation in seed treatment,” explains Siegfrid Baumann, SeedGrowth Products Manager in Brazil.

More than 1,900 people took this opportunity to celebrate the anniversary and gain insights into the products, coatings, equipment, and services that make Bayer SeedGrowth unique. “The survey conducted among all employees after the event exceeded our expectations – we received consistently positive feedback.” Says Roberson Lima. “This showed us how important it is to give concrete, tangible insights into a brand. It’s not about becoming a Bayer SeedGrowth specialist, but knowing what the concept is about.”
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Time to share the success stories

Interview with Matthias Pelm-Lindecke, Global Marketing Communications Manager, Bayer CropScience

Sustainable agriculture is key for Bayer – and the basis for Bayer’s license to operate. Supporting seed treaters and farmers in handling the products correctly, as well as developing technologies for the safe use of seed applied technologies are most important. Matthias Pelm-Lindecke, Global Marketing Communications Manager, Bayer CropScience, on product stewardship and why his competence brand focuses even more on this topic in 2015.

In 2014, we had “100 years of seed-applied technologies” as the overall metatheme. What about this year’s theme of stewardship?

“The responsible and ethical management of a product throughout its life cycle is our goal. We don’t just supply products and leave farmers to it; we support them in all their product concerns. Although we’ve been working on stewardship for quite some time, we want to support this important topic even more through our communication activities in order to reduce the risk of unwanted potential impacts.”

Is that why you chose this topic?

“We chose this topic as we really think it’s time to speak up for this technology and explain as well as educate on what it is and why we do our very utmost to make it as safe as possible. Before we talk about how we do this, not in isolation but in partnership with the whole industry, we have to explain what the technology is in more detail and clarify what benefits it brings to everyone. We feel that just a very limited group of insiders knows enough about it. And we therefore think it is our responsibility to work closely together within the industry – as well as enabling people outside the industry to form an educated opinion on seed-applied technologies.”

What is it like to put such an unsmiling topic in the limelight?

“Bayer SeedGrowth stewardship is actually just the opposite of ‘unsmiling.’ It is a great feeling to know that you’re doing your very best to help people use a sustainable tool in the safest possible way. In all our training measures, we get great feedback from our customers. And that makes it easy to talk about this topic. Actually, it’s like in the car industry: you need a driving license, you have to wear a seatbelt, and there are signs on the street to guide you. But cars themselves have also been modified to be optimized for your safety and the safety of other road users. This is a topic that is very much appreciated by a wider public as it supports our general welfare as a society without compromising our mobility.”

And how will the stewardship topic be implemented in this year’s communication activities?

“We want to keep the general public andmour customers informed about ongoing developments in this area – be it through new stories on our global website, interviews in leading magazines, brochures, videos, or ad campaigns. People have to be aware of what to pay special attention to while using our products. That is why our specialists developed a stewardship guideline, for example, which is now available to train customers on standard operating procedures. And there will also be a condensed version to give an overview of our Bayer SeedGrowth stewardship approach. And by the way, stewardship is also the leading article in this magazine.”

“A survey among all employees was conducted after the event and it exceeded our expectations, we received consistently positive feedback.”

Roberson Lima


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