We want to ensure that our renewable-based products are made from sustainably sourced raw materials. Given our position in the middle of the supply chain, we see an opportunity to link the two ends of the supply chain – upstream and downstream. We use palm products in multiple ways and have numerous splitting and blending steps at many production sites that result in complex palm derivative compositions.
By working with our customers and other stakeholders in the Northern Hemisphere and by actively supporting plantations and smallholders in the Southern Hemisphere, we want to contribute to making sustainable oil palm products the norm in the industry. It is our goal to actively support a more rapid transformation of the entire industry.
Since 2011, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, BASF and Cargill have worked together to promote sustainable coconut oil and improve the living conditions of coconut farmers in the Philippines. They have established the world’s first certified production of copra, the dried coconut flesh needed to process coconut oil. Over 1,000 farmers have been trained in good agricultural practices, such as the right use of fertilizers, intercropping and replanting. This education enables them to increase their yields in the long term.
Furthermore, this group received access to a newly-developed drying technology for high-quality coconut flesh and training on the standards of the Sustainable Agricultural Network (SAN). As a result, 300 small farmers from the region now produce the world's first Rainforest Alliance certified copra meeting the standards of the SAN.
We also offer widespread support to China's farmers beyond regular crop protection under the AgCelence brand to help increase plant heath and fitness. Benefits observed when AgCelence products are applied include increased stress tolerance and vitality, higher yields and improved marketable quality. In 2014 and 2015, BASF opened four AgCelence Centers in Guangdong, Yunnan, Shandong and Liaoning Province to help create a platform for communication and knowledge sharing among farmers, retailers, local experts and BASF specialists.
Fundação Espaço ECO (FEE) was established in 2005 by BASF in Brazil with the support from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
Qualified as a private nonprofit organization, the Foundation operates in two main areas to generate value for its clients and partners:
Since 2006, BASF has partnered with Targanine – a network of six oil processing cooperatives from the region of Agadir in the south of the country. Originally, the Argan Program was designed to study the argan tree and to valorize the oil and its by-products, while diversifying the revenue of the cooperatives and fostering preservation of the argan forest by the local population. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of cooperative members involved in argan oil production has increased sixfold and group turnover has risen by 875 percent. Today, 1,000 women from rural areas are working in the cooperatives. They now market 16 different products in total, including by-products, botanical and essential oils, and bee products. The oil and its by-products are supplied to BASF under fair-trade conditions.
The decline of the pollinator population has a direct impact on agriculture and consequently on BASF customers: the farmers. We have joined the French Bee Biodiversity Network.
The French Bee Biodiversity Network numbers over 300 partners, including scientists, beekeepers, farmers and private companies. Its goal is to enhance honey bee and pollinator populations in France through improvement of bee nutrition, which is not always sufficiently available in the agricultural landscape. The Bee Biodiversity Network therefore provides special "bee pastures" on more than 2500 hectares every year. The data show that this is an effective measure to improve bee health.
In the United Kingdom, BASF has actively participated since 2002 in a partnership involving the farming community and the government. At Rawcliffe Bridge, best practice agronomy and best practice biodiversity combine to a detailed working example of sustainable agriculture. The goal is to use research, training, communication and stewardship to minimize the impact of crop protection products but to optimize crop yield, promote biodiversity and protect water quality on a commercial farm.
The Rawcliffe Bridge partnership and biodiversity insights have been so valuable, we have extended this approach to a second family farm at the Grange, near Kettering. The Rawcliffe Bridge program has formed the basis of the Farm Network as the first farm. Since then, the program has evolved and expanded all over Europe. Today, the Farm Network has over 15 farms and a rich network of more than 30 partner organizations in seven countries.
Since 2011, BASF has opened its Environmental Education Classroom and Wildlife Habitat at the site of the company's former manufacturing facility in Rensselaer, New York. The project is certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council and will give students the opportunity to learn about local ecology. It will also provide foraging and nesting areas for a wide variety of animals and serve as a way-station for migratory birds.