Page 1: Introduction
In 2011 the world's population reached 7 billion, compared to just 3.5 billion in 1969. Current estimates suggest that it will reach 9 billion by 2050. To feed these extra people and to meet the demand of increasingly affluent and urban populations, world food production will need to approximately double over the coming 25 years. Meanwhile there are up to two billion people lacking food security.
To make matters worse the effects of global warming, more frequent floods and droughts and changes in temperature could have a negative impact on food production. Whether used for feeding humans or animals, it is plants growing in fields which provide the majority of our food supply.
Syngenta is a company focused on researching and developing crops. In particular, it adds value though the application of plant science to seeds and crop protection. Operating globally in 90 countries, with over 26,000 employees, it has major facilities in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, the USA and India.
The company was formed in 2000 by combining the agri-business divisions of Zeneca and Novartis. Its UK origins date back to the 1920s when ICI started agricultural research and the production of farm chemicals.
In 2011 the company’s sales were a record-breaking $13,264 million (approx. £8,550 million). This provided rewards for shareholders and funds continued world-class research for the future. The company's research and development (R&D) spending is $1,000 million (approx. £650 million) each year. This has led to a stream of innovative products with which growers can improve their crop yields. Syngenta, through the expertise of its research and development team, is a world leader in producing seeds. Its work is unique in meeting the global challenge of feeding the ever-increasing population from limited resources.