Responding to strong demand for its high-performance agricultural seeds globally, Monsanto Co. this week is inaugurating additions to its hybrid corn and rapeseed production plants at several sites in Europe.
The increase in Monsanto’s seed processing capabilities in Romania, Hungary and Turkey is part of a decade-long, 500-million-euro investment in Europe that will include further investments in France, Ukraine and Russia, more than double the company’s seed production and reinforce strategic partnerships with subcontractors throughout Europe. Events this week mark the arrival at the half-way point in the current expansion.
“Our investment in Europe significantly increases our ability to meet demand from local farmers for our high-quality, conventional hybrid corn and rapeseed varieties,” said José Manuel Madero, Monsanto’s Row Crops Lead for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Monsanto’s seed plants make substantial contributions to local economies, including employment and exports. “Our seed plant in Peyrehorade, France, exports corn and oilseed rape to 30 countries,” said Madero. “By expanding our own seed production capacity, we help countries increase their own exports, which in turn brings significant value to local economies.”
The ongoing capacity expansion will create around 150 new full-time jobs and several hundred seasonal and contract jobs across the region. Monsanto employs more than 3,000 people in 70 locations throughout Europe, plus around 1,000 seasonal workers.
The seed plant expansions also underline Monsanto’s commitment to conserving natural resources. Investments at several sites include planting and irrigation systems as well as equipment to produce energy by burning corn cobs, a by-product of seed production. The investment will help Monsanto cut its energy bills and carbon emissions from European seed production in half.