By STEVE BINDER
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Having posted a $1.6 billion profit last year on seed and pesticide sales exceeding $12 billion, Switzerland-based Syngenta remains one of the world’s largest agriculture companies.
It also remains one of the biggest corporate backers of the FFA. “Syngenta has been a huge supporter of the FFA going back 50 years, because we believe it is an important investment with young people,” said Shelley Olds, head of community engagement for Syngenta.
“The things that FFA provides to our future leaders are so valuable, and as far as we are concerned, contributing to FFA is one of the most important things we do here at Syngenta.”
Formed in 2000 with the merger of Novartis Agribusiness and Zeneca Agrochemicals, the company’s roots go back more than two centuries, when Geigy was founded in Switzerland.
Today it employs more than 26,000 employees in 90 countries, with 4,400 based in 14 facilities and offices in the United States. Syngenta also has 3,400 employees in Switzerland, 1,600 employees in the United Kingdom and 1,500 in France. Based on its sales, Syngenta is the third-largest seller of grain seeds in the world.
In 2008, Syngenta began what it called its FFA Blue Jacket Program in honor of the youth leadership group’s signature piece of clothing. As part of the program, the company has matched every $2,500 pledged by retailers that support FFA.
In four years, Syngenta has contributed more than $2.6 million to FFA through the jacket program.
“We’re very proud of our Blue Jacket Program, and of our association with FFA,” said Ann Bryan, senior manager of communications for Syngenta.
The company is a major sponsor of the 85th National FFA Convention and Expo on Oct. 24-27 in Indianapolis.
Syngenta divides its business operations into four main areas, Bryan said. They are: crop protection, which assists growers with controlling weeds, insects and diseases; seeds, helping growers reach a consistent, sustainable yield with a variety of hybrids; lawn and garden, offering a broad range of flower genetics, plants and plant protection products; and biotechnology.
Biotech researchers spent about $1.13 billion last year alone. Employees conducting research for Syngenta total approximately 5,000 people.
Syngenta has six major research facilities around the world, in the United States, Europe and Asia.
The company most recently made headlines when it finished acquiring a line of DuPont insecticides last month. Syngenta now owns the insecticide brands Altriset, Advion, Arilon, Acelepryn, Calteryx and Provaunt.
“These key assets will provide the lawn and garden, turf and landscape business with new offerings and capabilities to scale our business so that we can meet the needs of our growing customer base,” said Tim Kroenke, head of Syngenta’s Lawn and Garden Division in North America.
For more information about the company, call 800-334-9481 or go to www.syngenta-us.com