European Seed: Paolo, you have recently been elected as regional
director, DuPont Pioneer Europe. Please, let us know more about you.
Paolo Barbier: Since July 1, 2015 I’ve been the regional director at DuPont Pioneer Europe. In my role, I’m responsible for leading Pioneer business operations across Europe and the European Pioneer Leadership Team, including all functional areas of the business. Prior to this, I was business director for DuPont Pioneer Central and Eastern Europe countries.
My career in DuPont started in 1990. I’ve served in a number of different roles and countries, including regional and global business director roles in Imaging Technologies in Germany and Chemicals in the USA. I have also worked in corporate roles as director of Corporate Sales and Marketing Europe based in Geneva, Switzerland and director of Corporate Strategy based in Wilmington, U.S.
Nevertheless, the role I’m most proud of is to be the father of six children.
ES: Let’s talk about Pioneer business in Europe. What do you expect for the new season?
PB: Our mission in European region is always the same: to provide farmers with the highest value through our innovative products, services and solutions, which result in increased farmer productivity and profitability.
For instance, in the case of corn, drought is expected to continue to be one of the biggest challenges in Europe, affecting corn productivity more than any other type of stress. As one of the world’s leading developers and suppliers of advanced plant genetics, Pioneer is offering our customers the best solution to achieve yield advantage not only in optimal conditions, but also in a water-limited environment. Our solution to drought is called Optimum AQUAmax hybrids, developed through traditional breeding methods that select improved hybrids in chronic drought environments.
Talking about another key crop for Pioneer Europe, namely sunflower, the global innovation capabilities and local testing and service of Pioneer, allowed us to bring to the market our Pioneer brand sunflower hybrids with the sunflower Pioneer Protector traits. This trait provides reliable protection against all major sunflower pests and offers outstanding safety to the sunflower plant and following crop.
ES: How do you envision the future of the agricultural industry in Europe?
PB: I would like to see the European agricultural industry stay at the front line of innovation, exploiting cutting-edge technologies that allow European growers to effectively respond to the world’s most challenging and pressing issues. To have this, European farmers need freedom of choice and access to the latest, safe, and beneficial technologies that are already increasing productivity and profitability of many farmers in other countries of the world.
Pioneer is and will always be committed to innovation. As a demonstration, we recently invested in a state-of-the-art sunflower technology centre in Seville, Spain. Thanks to the advanced technological capabilities of the centre, we will be able to double the rate of sunflower yield gain and further expand the Pioneer Protector defensive trait lineup. Combined with our unique local testing and technical sales specialist network in Europe, this positions our company to provide growers with the hybrids and technologies most adapted to their local needs.
ES: How does this link to intellectual property rights?
PB: Pioneer believes that intellectual property rights are key drivers of investment in R&D, innovation, and knowledge dissemination in the public and private sectors. Intellectual property rights are imperative for research and product development systems that foster competition, societal benefit and sustainable food production. In order to be able to continue investing in this industry, Pioneer needs a strong intellectual property protection, which promotes meaningful improvements in agricultural productivity and fosters genetic diversity. I strongly believe this is the interest of the European seed sector as well.