At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning on “Consolidation and Competition in the U.S. Seed and Agrochemical Industry,” executives of DuPont, Dow AgroSciences, Syngenta, Bayer and Monsanto defended the current spate of mergers and acquisitions as being important to continue to deliver on the innovation that farmers need to feed a growing global population.
Bayer CropScience President and CEO Jim Blome said that as a native Iowan and farmer, he is “highly optimistic” for the future. “This transaction brings together creative minds from two complementary segments of the industry to address the challenges farmers face today and in the future,” said Blome of Bayer’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto.
Dr. Robb Fraley of Monsanto, who received the 2013 World Food Prize for his achievements in the development of agricultural biotechnology, also drew on his family farming background. “As someone who grew up on a small family farm in Illinois, I understand that change can be unsettling to farmers,” said Fraley, who contends that competition will actually increase under the mergers proposed. “Innovation drives competition. Innovation strengthens the farming economy. And innovation lifts our society and improves the environment.”
Also speaking at the hearing were James Collins, DuPont Executive Vice President, Agriculture Division; Tim Hassinger, President & CEO Dow AgroSciences; and Mr. Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer, Syngenta International AG.
Listen to their opening comments here: Judiciary Committee Hearing Agribusiness Company Statements