Nutrition at Crop Science
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At Bayer, we develop innovations that enable farmers to produce nutritious foods for people and animals while sustaining the planet. We support people’s efforts to nourish themselves and their families with foods that are rich in nutrients and efficient in their use of natural resources. Though we are just one part of a complex food chain, our solutions help the world’s farmers bring a range of healthy, affordable and safe foods from the field to the plate.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every country in the world is affected by one or more forms of malnutrition. Combating malnutrition in all forms is one of the greatest global health challenges. At Bayer, we are working on solutions from the ground up, to help everyone from farmers to our employees be part of the solution.
Numbers data from Fact sheets - Malnutrition
- 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese, while 462 million are underweight.
- Globally in 2020, 149 million children under 5 were estimated to be too short for their age, 45 million were estimated to be too thin for their height, and 38.9 million were overweight or obese.
- Around 45% of deaths among children under 5 years of age are linked to undernutrition. These mostly occur in low- and middle-income countries. At the same time, in these same countries, rates of childhood overweight and obesity are rising.
- The developmental, economic, social and medical impacts of the global malnutrition crisis are serious and lasting, for individuals and their families, for communities and for countries.
As an innovative seed company who’s also a world leader in human health, nutrition and sustainable agriculture, we are driven to deliver health for all and hunger for none. Offering seeds for more than 25 different crops and tailored solutions that enable farmers worldwide to plant, grow and protect their harvests, we aim to improve farmers' ability to produce higher yields with the same or less inputs, which helps ensure a consistent, nutritious and stable food supply for the world. Click through to learn more about Vegetables by Bayer and our Seeds & Traits offerings and other Tailored Solutions.
Nutrient Gap Initiative
Bayer is uniquely positioned to help all people have access to proper nutrition and improve their livelihoods. Guided by our vision of “Health for all, Hunger for None,” Bayer launched The Nutrient Gap Initiative with a goal to impact 50 million people annually by 2030 by expanding access to diverse nutritious food (such as vegetables, fruits, grains) and nutritional supplements. This is a key step in improving access to nutrition and ensuring food security.
Zero Hunger Pledge
Bayer is dedicated to advancing sustainable farming for the benefit of growers, consumers, and the planet, that is why Bayer is, joining like-minded companies from across the private sector, committing 160 million U.S. dollars to help end global hunger by 2030. This includes helping smallholder farmers access seeds which contain the latest technology, educating communities on sustainable agricultural practices, providing growers with farming solutions, and introducing smallholder farmers to new income-generating opportunities. The pledge includes a large commitment of vegetable and rice seeds which form part of Bayer’s broader sustainability commitments. Bayer is working towards increasing the sustainable productivity of 100 million smallholder farmers through empowerment and access to agricultural products and expertise by 2030.
More than half of Bayer’s investment for Zero Hunger Pledge to be in vegetable seeds and R&D to support smallholder farmers. Smallholder growers play a crucial role in eradicating hunger and high-quality seeds are essential to their ability to produce safe and nutritious food for their communities. Through its pledge, Bayer will invest over 100 million U.S. dollars of its overall commitment into research and development to get quality vegetable seeds into the hands of smallholder farmers. Through Bayer’s Vegetable Seeds business, these farmers will receive improved varieties of quality seeds critical to local diets like okra and bitter gourd. They will also gain access to innovative farming solutions, designed to reduce field and post-harvest losses, such as in the Ansal tomato. This variety provides longer shelf life and fruit firmness which is already helping to decrease losses in India from about 30 percent to less than 10 percent. Donating vegetable seeds to nonprofit organizations is also part of the commitment, to help combat hunger and promote the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
More on our commitments to combating malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies can be found in our 2022 Sustainability Report.
As communities continue to fight poverty, hunger, and malnutrition, it’s our responsibility to expand the reach and impact of Bayer’s global breeding resources. We work to improve the availability of high-performing seeds for farmers globally through partnerships aimed at knowledge-sharing as well as germplasm and data contributions. Supporting the advancement of agricultural science for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and the planet, through partnerships and contributions, is at the core of who we are as an innovation company.
Read more information on some of the partnerships here:
Modern Breeding Project is one example of the importance of partnerships to advance global impact. Modern Breeding Project is part of a crop improvement project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Bayer partnership brings private sector perspective and approaches to the project to help create efficiency-driven programs in CGIAR. It will also leverage $1.2 M of in-kind support from Bayer, mostly in the form of time of skills-based volunteers to enable IITA to rapidly incorporate the tools and approaches from the CGIAR Excellence in Breeding (EiB) platform.
The project’s beneficiaries are the over 100 million smallholder farmers who grow IITA’s mandate crops on about 60 million hectares in the humid to semiarid zones of sub-Saharan Africa. These cover countries such as Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
The content is written either by nutritional experts, leaders, or employees themselves. Some variation and engagement may exist country to country. Here is a video example about the ways vitamins, proteins, and trace elements and minerals can help support your immune system.
As a responsible employer, we know that our vision ‘Health for all, Hunger for None’ must start with our own employees. We understand that when our employees are happy, healthy and being their authentic selves, they thrive and perform at their best, helping them to take better care of themselves, their loved ones and their communities.
One of the key components of our employee health strategy is nutrition education which can be accessed from an internal facing website called House of Health. We want to empower our workforce to understand the importance of eating a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet and the benefits this brings.
We provide this nutrition education through Our House of Health (HoH) community - which includes:
- A global employee health platform - Reaching employees throughout company via the Bayer intranet, the HoH website is split into three rooms - Physical Health, Mental Health and Healthy Living. In each room, employees can find regularly updated content, endorsed by experts, on a range of health topics. Nutrition education incorporated into all three rooms in the form of expert health tips, articles and personal stories. Our associated Yammer social media community encourages employees to join the conversation and share recipes, diet tips and personal stories and experiences.
- Health Champions community – Bayer has a global community of 500 employees who are advocates of good health and wellbeing. They use their passion and experience to drive nutritional messaging a to promote wider health initiatives across their local Bayer communities.
- Mental health resources – Bayer provides a range of mental health resources that provide both leaders and employees with the expertise and tools to look after their own health and support the people around them. Nutrition is a component of these resources, including in one of our most popular courses - our Energy Workshop – which asks participants to assess their own current physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and provides training to help participants maintain or boost their energy levels.
- Global health challenges – Bayer’s global health challenges encourage employees across the globe to get active. In our latest #GoMove virtual team challenge, employees can take part through a physical activity of their choice. The aim of the challenge is to complete 80,000 km (= 50,000 miles) through various activities in 80 days. That is enough to circumnavigate the globe, promoting good health and wellbeing, and having fun along the way. Nutrition and dietary tips are provided by experts to help employees prepare for the challenge.
Supporting healthy options at work
While offerings may vary from country to country, at Bayer we support nutrition education for the employee both at home and at work through comprehensive programs. We value the importance of healthy food offerings in our canteens like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and other low calorie diet servings and recommendations.
At our Bayer campus in Germany, as an example, we place emphasis on food waste and sustainability which links our campaign for healthy nutrition to taking care of our environment. In addition, the canteens implement “Kantina vital”. Kantina vital offers you the opportunity of a consciously and well-balanced diet, helping you to maintain your “vitality” in today’s fast moving working environment. Alongside our very varied and attractive offers we also present different dishes on a daily basis. These dishes are created based on the DGE’s recommendations (German Nutrition Society) for a well-balanced diet at catering establishments.
In the US, our Food Service vendor’s Wellness Programs are implemented throughout all Bayer Cafes. All Items marked as FIT (with the B Well logo) meet criteria that was developed to be consistent with current dietary recommendations and use recipes which are reviewed by Registered Dietitians. 50% of all Soups Served meet B Well Criteria. At least one B Well option is offered Daily at each Café station. Nutritional information is available for all B Well items, any menu item which is served for more than 60 calendar days/year, and all retail food and beverage items including in-house produced Grab and Go Options. All FLIK nutritional PIDs include barcodes which link directly to the MyFitness Pal app – which helps to track daily nutritional intake. In addition, a complete library of Wellness related content is available both printed and via each Café Dining Website, and each linked through Bayer’s internal employee webpage BayerNet.