European Seed (ES): Nilceli, your company is building a new centre for seed applied technologies (CSAT). Why in Europe?
Nilceli Fernandes (NF): This will be the third of such centres of Corteva, and the first in Europe. We chose for this continent because the EMEA seed treatment market represents ~USD 1,000mi annual sales and facing difficulties with seed treatment restrictions is really important to have an expertise centre to find new solutions for our customers as well support them in the improvement process for application testing and training for the seeds production team, commercial teams and customers. The types of customers that we plan to serve, are internal customers, but also all other seed companies. We plan to have the centre ready around the third quarter of 2021.
ES: And what kind of services are you planning to provide?
NF: Each centre has the main objective to provide specific seed treatments in local crops. We have a menu of several services that can deliver exactly what our customers need, such as recipe development, training for technical and commercial teams, marketing and sales support material, etc. We will also be developing new seed enhancements at the site. One of the main tasks in our CSAT will be to provide studies for seed enhancement, using a combination of products, application sequence and methods for improving seed performance.
ES: Your company has developed the so-called PASSER tests. Can you explain the concept behind these tests?
NF: The PASSER test is an internal process of the company which is a series of testing done to assure the quality of the seed: Plantability, Application, Seed Safety, Stewardship, Efficacy, Regulatory. Each letter represents a seed applied test or a mandatory step to ensure that customer satisfaction is met by following strict quality standards. The process ensures that all the necessary steps are taken for proper decision making for commercialization of a treatment combination. Our company follows strict testing and all approval protocols have traceability in all steps with proper documentation.
ES: With the numerous benefits of seed treatment, how can the centre help in raising awareness? NF: We have a strong commitment towards farmers and consumers, and this is the reason why we keep our heart in everything we do. However, mindset cannot change from one day to another, it needs scientific proof from studies and consistent results. So one of our missions is to provide training and workshops for different types of public (farmers, industry, suppliers, officials, community etc.), showing the whole process from the discovery of a new product until the moment it is ready to enter the launching phase, product support & life cycle management.