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Creator Space Project in Brazil is still going strong

September 18, 2017

The program Creator Space™ was launched during BASF’s 150th anniversary year in 2015. In around 50 initiatives around the globe, BASF employees discussed solutions to challenges with a focus on the three anniversary themes of food, smart energy and urban living with more than 6,000 partners from industry, academia, government and society.

The celebrations of 150 years of BASF left its legacy in South America, for example in Brazil, where around 30% of the food produced along the value chain is wasted according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In addition to the knowledge gained from various discussions on the topics, innovations were created through co-creation activities. One example is the Brazilian project “Origem”.

The weather station provides climate information to the farmers, giving advice if it’s necessary to spray or to crop the field.

The idea behind “Origem” is to promote sustainable farming by optimizing the usage of resources and, at the same time, delivering higher quality and yields of potatoes. The business model combines BASF technology for growing potatoes, value-added services and an innovative approach to the market, taking into account the specific needs of the food value chain.

Farmers receive products from BASF’s AgCelence® portfolio that improves the efficiency of crop production, boosting plant health and vitality, along with services such as the precision farming tool AgroDetecta and training on application techniques through the Smart Spray Solution program. AgroDetecta is a weather station placed on a potato field that measures wind, temperature and precipitation. This information is used to determine the most suitable moment to apply crop protection products. It also alerts farmers about weather shifts or pests on fields nearby. This results in higher yields, better quality, bigger size and less potato waste.

The progress of the Origem project:

Environmental and social footprint of the farms

In cooperation with the Espaço Eco Foundation, the farmers receive an analysis of their Ecological and Social Footprint. This footprint is presented on a traceability platform, allowing farmers to see their position in comparison to other farmers. The platform gives potato buyers direct access to the farmers’ offerings, including details about the quality of the potatoes as well as social and ecological indicators such as water consumption, labor conditions and the storage of chemicals, among other things.

“The most interesting thing about the new business model is that we are selling a subscription, which includes access to the traceability platform, as well as all of our other services and products. It offers products, services, traceability platform and network bundled into one program. The team’s aim has been to reduce food waste by improving quality and yield for growers, granting them access to buyers of all grades of potatoes and giving buyers information about the social and ecological profiles of producers,” says Laís Stroesser Figueirôa, leader of the Origem project. Within the pilot phase, the project is being applied to more than 250 hectares on five different farms. The final launch in the market is expected in 2018.  

The Creator Space™ program launched during BASF’s 150th anniversary year is now part of BASF’s innovation process to foster co-creation and open innovation within the company.