Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Better European Opportunities For Seed Markets

Speaking at the Credit Suisse 2008 Global Agrochemicals Conference in London yesterday, DuPont Vice President and General Manager and Pioneer Hi-Bred President Paul Schickler  said Pioneer is well positioned to serve the vast agricultural opportunity in Eastern Europe.

“We expect rapid expansion in the high growth Eastern Europe agriculture markets,” Paul said.  “Eastern Europe accounts for close to 60 percent of the corn acres in Europe and our seed corn products are performing very well against competitive products.  Our new sunflower and canola (oilseed rape) products also are well adapted for the area and sales are growing rapidly.”

Pioneer has grown its seed corn market share for all of Europe by more than four points over the last five years, Paul said. The Pioneer volume of seed corn has grown by 39 percent during that time while total hectares planted to corn have remained relatively stable.

Paul said Pioneer, which had USD 3.3 billion in revenue in 2007 and is a key growth engine for DuPont, is extending its leadership in all international seed markets with particularly strong gains in Brazil and Argentina, where biotech crops are being widely adopted.

In North America, he said, the business is on track to hold corn market share and grow soybean seed market share in 2008. 

“We are seeing strong demand for our high-yielding products in North America,” Paul said.  “Our strong line-up of new products bodes well for this year’s growing season and the years that follow.”

Paul’s presentation is available in the DuPont Investor Center at http://www2.dupont.com/Investor_Center/en_US/.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

All EU farm aid recipients to be published by April 2009

All recipients of European Union agricultural and rural development payments will be published in detail under new rules adopted today by the European Commission. By 30 April, 2009, the full name, municipality and, where available, postal code of every recipient will be published in a clear, harmonised manner on nationally-managed websites with a search tool which enables the public to see how much money each person or company received. Amounts will be broken down in direct payments to farmers and other support measures. For rural development policy, which is co-financed between the EU and the national government, the information will cover both EU and national money. This information will be available by 30 April every year for the previous financial year and must remain on the website for two years from the date of its original publication. In addition, the European Commission will manage its own website which will have links to each national site.

"This is taxpayers' money, so it is very important that people know where it is being spent," said Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. "Transparency should also improve the management of these funds, by reinforcing public control of how the money is used. Only in this way can we guarantee an informed debate about the future of the Common Agricultural Policy. This level of transparency is something both we and the European Parliament have been pushing for and we're glad we now have agreement on how the system will work."

The new Financial Regulation, adopted in 2006, sets out the principle that Member States have to ensure the publication of a list of all recipients of all forms of EU agricultural and rural development funds for each financial year. The Commission Regulation adopted today, which has received the support of the Member States, sets out the details of how this publication will be done, after the Council had agreed on the main elements last November.

It provides that each Member State shall publish the information on a website which allows people to search for the beneficiaries by name, municipality, amounts received (and the currency concerned) or a combination of these three criteria and to extract the information as a single set of data. It requires Member States to inform the beneficiaries that their data will be made public and that they enjoy the rights accorded to them by EU data protection rules, thus ensuring that the system complies with the requirements of data protection.

This information will be available from 30 April of the year after the money was paid and remain on the website for two years after the initial date of publication. The publication of data on rural development funds will begin slightly earlier than data for direct farm payments. For all rural development funds spent between 1 January and 15 October 2007, the information will be published by 30 September 2008.

Given the different organisational structures across the EU, the Member States themselves will decide who will be in charge of setting up and maintaining their single website. They can also decide to publish more detailed information if they so choose. The Commission will run its own website, providing a link to the individual national sites.

A number of Member States already publish the recipients of EU agricultural funds. The Commission already provides a link to allow members of the public to find these national websites.


Today's decision is the latest stage in the Commission's long-running Transparency Initiative, an idea which aims to increase openness and accessibility of EU institutions, raise awareness of the use of the EU budget and make the Union's institutions more accountable to the public.

For more information:


tag: , , ,