Organisatie - 15 april 2019

Louise Fresco’s secondary activity at Syngenta

Albert Sikkema

As of 12 April, Louise Fresco has been appointed as independent non-executive board member on the board of breeding company Syngenta. She will be advising the company for four hours a week regarding ways to increase the sustainability of food production.

©Jeroen Hofman

Members of the WUR executive board can, with the supervisory board’s permission, take on a number of secondary activities. Fresco, chair of the board of WUR, has been a paid advisor for food producer Unilever, but that appointment ended last year.

‘We are delighted that Louise has been appointed as a member of the Syngenta board’, says Frank Ning, chair of Syngenta, in the Syngenta press release. ‘Her experience and expertise in sustainable, healthy food production and her ability to engage people in the benefits of science and agriculture are greatly appreciated.’

Innovation policy
A few days before Fresco’s appointment, Syngenta announced a new innovation policy in which the breeding company aims to find solutions for climate change, soil erosion and loss of biodiversity and to respond to ‘changing consumer expectations and views on agricultural technology.’

Small-scale farmers
Fresco will advise on that new innovation policy. ‘Taking place on the board offers an opportunity to work on making food production more sustainable and reducing the impact on the environment based on the latest scientific insights’, Fresco says. ‘I am mainly interested in how science can help small-scale farmers to sustainably increase their yields.’

Syngenta is one of the world’s largest breeding companies. It sells seeds and chemical crop protection products. The company of Swiss origin, which was established in 2000 through a merger of a breeding company and a chemical company, was taken over by the Chinese state-owned company ChemChina a few years ago. Syngenta has five establishments in the Netherlands.

Re:acties 2

  • Greta

    Onze Louise is lekker op dreef, eerst die walgelijke column in de NRC over klimaatspijbelaars (Ik wacht nog steeds op excuses) en nu aan de slag bij een bedrijf dat direct ingaat tegen een groot deel van de Wageningse wetenschap: We kunnen ons niet de klimaat-crisis uit techno-fixen, het belang van biodiversiteit, het gevaar van landbouwgif op insecten, de noodzaak van kleinschaligheid voor het behoud van ecosystemen en de onmogelijkheid van economische groei op een eindige planeet.

    Ik zie deze carriërestap dan ook als een middelvinger naar het deel van de WUR dat niet blindelings gelooft in het techno-utopisme van het ecomoderne sprookje.

  • Maricke

    Well, it just confirms what most foreigners think about WUR: money money money.
    There is a huge problem with the lobbies, and having a WUR leader paid by a private company is just incredible. There is for sure suspicion regarding the decision she makes. This is a shame for WUR.