Bridging science and sustainable agriculture
Bacterial strains are one of our ground stones, providing the basis for many of Chr. Hansen’s groundbreaking products and sustainable solutions. “We use our great bacterial strains, also referred to as good bacteria, to fight nematodes, increase the yield of plants and improve soil quality. Generally, we work to deliver more and more technical information about how the bacteria work and interact with plants and products,” Tiago explains.
John adds: “We strive to provide the best Discovery and R&D platform for our advanced microbial selection techniques. Strain matters and if we are to deliver sustainable solutions to farmers, we must pick the right strains to solve their problems. It has an immense impact on a farm, as the improvement of soil and plant health improves profitability. One can certainly make the argument that farms that are better prepared to meet production challenges with proven innovation have a better chance of passing the farm on to the younger generation – this, to me, goes to the heart of sustainability.”
Providing farmers with the right products
Farmers across the world increasingly experience extreme weather conditions, making plant health an important field of research, as healthy crops are crucial for people and animals. Through close collaboration with colleagues around the organization as well as vendors and farmers, John, Tiago and their colleagues in Plant Health strive to create the best and most sustainable solutions to farmers. John explains:
“My work is not just about selling bacteria to farmers, but about thoroughly screening their needs, in order to provide the right sustainable solutions. Here in the US, farmers in different states have different needs as they experience different extreme weather conditions. I find it highly motivating to support them in any way I can, and the Chr. Hansen product portfolio really provides great opportunities to do so.”
Tiago continues: “We are not the only ones working with bacteria in Chr. Hansen, however, the fact that we find the very best solution and look at customer needs as holistically and detailed as we do, makes us stand out and place us in the forefront using the latest technology. We work with a broad and exciting product portfolio – soy, coffee and sugar, and therefore meet customers with varying needs.”
Passion for making an impact
To John, the long history and global reach of Chr. Hansen are highly inspirational and motivates him in his work: “Our founder made a huge impact on the food supplies for many, many people. We continue his work to this day, and I appreciate the continuous investments that are put into development of technology, moving us ever-forward on our quest to solve problems facing humanity, allowing us to continue making an impact. My small role in this quest is highly rewarding, and I am inspired by my colleagues around the organization, who are constantly engaging themselves to bring our story and technology to those that can benefit from it. I am humbled to be a part of this team.”
For Tiago, the motivation and engagement in making an impact through his work lie in the inspiration he can pass on to customers, to improve their farming: “Working with natural solutions that make a difference to customers and people in general makes it clear that my work is highly impactful. I find it very satisfying to be able to inspire customers to new, sustainable technological solutions that not only benefit their crop management, but also the environment. Our products are great, and knowing they will make a difference makes it very rewarding to work with.”
Professional and engaged leadership
The Plant Health employees are working from different countries, but are joined by leaders who succeed in bringing the business unit together and create great results. To John, a high level of trust and collaboration is part of that success: “I feel fortunate to work with and be guided by such visionary people, as I am here in Chr. Hansen. They are true leaders because they are not just calling from upon high, but are actually in the ‘trenches’ leading the way and trust me to do my job. I like to use an analogy of building a house, in which they are always there, helping to ensure the blueprint is correct and that it makes sense to build the house. If so, they make sure we are provided with the best tools possible to build the house. And they are not afraid to jump in and help actually build it. I respect them very much for everything they do.”
“I'm also met with a lot of trust from my leaders. Generally, they invest in us and make sure we receive the training we need and are encouraged to develop through our roles. As we deal with highly technical solutions, we need on-going training and lots of information to pass on to customers. We are also encouraged to do things differently and creatively, which makes us able to improve our processes and collaborations as we move along in Plant Health,” Tiago concludes.