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Winter School experience

The 2017 Winter School experience could be catalogued as unforgettable for the more than 200 employees belonging to the Supply Chain areas of Chile, Peru, Brazil and Argentina. It consisted of three days that allowed us to once again feel, understand, project and enjoy our work at Monsanto.

We know that it was worth it to take a break from day-to-day dynamics and put things back into perspective to learn from each other, understand where we are going, reflect on our transformation and integration, face change, think differently and innovate in our professional and daily lives, even arriving at new methodologies, such as design thinking.

As such, during these three days we were able to summarize a fundamental part of Monsanto’s path over these years in mini chapters. As Yuri Charme said, not only has the company experienced transformation, we all have. Today, we can see that we are better than before thanks to various factors but mainly because we have invested in people. We have transformed but we are still people that challenge ourselves every day and we are better prepared to successfully achieve goals in the future.

The good thing is that we observed it from experiences, like the case shown to us by Magdalena Baeza and Francisco Castillo, who referred to the impact of the IBP method that enables us to plan better for the long term. Moreover, Loreto Carranza and Rodrigo Riveros presented our improvements in the purchase area and the culture of quality, respectively, which enable faster responses to customers. Likewise, we learned of the experience in Peru from Isaías Segovia’s story about the Home Farms. We listened with interest to Tomás Vega and Pablo Cea, who demonstrated how technology facilitates quick adaptation to natural changes in the field, driving the implementation of new solutions, such as precision sowing, automated systems and the incorporation of satellite images.

Furthermore, our EHS Lead, Patricio Palomo, used exemplifying worlds to summarize the EHS spirit in the SAM Supply Chain. We have successfully taken Environment, Health and Safety from “taking care of ourselves” to “loving ourselves”, which shows the objective our work. We must strive to love what we do, what we have, and the team that gives us support, among others.

Regarding the future, Renán Rodríguez invited us to look ahead proudly. Bayer and Monsanto are in the process of integrating their values, finding common ground and building a new company together. Perhaps the greatest challenge will be to understand that we are transforming from a global company to an international company, which means adjustments to procedures and most of all, adaptation. What is clear is that we have the same purpose: to work with the customer and build the agriculture of the future. To do so, we must accelerate innovation, find integrated solutions and add product portfolios with quality, transparency and integrity.

We are undoubtedly a solid operation and we must demonstrate that we are tremendously capable. Moreover, we know how to enjoy ourselves and innovate. Perhaps that is why it was strange to see the stage in the middle of the room, surrounded by everyone present, but it was there to put the person at the center and give importance and transparency to the messages expressed.

Moreover, we invited people external to our company, who had contributed their expert perspectives on how to keep advancing in our effort to promote diversity and the innovation of our teams, to participate in this initiative.

In another chapter, Mario Sepúlveda, Super Mario, demonstrated that 33 was much more than a number of compatriots trapped in a collapsed mine in Atacama; there were 33 families connected to a country that decided there were no impossible challenges.

Finally, we made the time to go to the field to work with our neighbors on social activities. Organized into groups, we collaborated with Alemania School and the Don Orione Home, which we provide with ongoing support in Paine and Alto Jahuel (Buin). Within the framework of the regional program “SAM Local Development”, which seeks to reincorporate agricultural techniques into the entire school community, educating our neighbors about the importance of composting and building allotments to farm crops for vegetable production, as well as painting some walls to make the facilities more attractive.

A third group met at the Paine plant to put together 15 planters to be distributed to the neighbors of the Melipilla, Paine and Buin plants. The initiative was part of the regional program, “Huertas Familiares”, which enables some of the communities adjacent to the operations to harvest their own foods and become self-sustaining.

Thank you all for your dedication to each of the tasks and activities carried out. Let’s go for more!!!

go-winterWinter School experience

Work with the community: Learning and growing together

Impeccable from head to toe, proudly wearing traditional Chilean clothing and the most beautiful smiles many of us have ever seen, the children from the Don Orione Home, Alemania School and the Paine plant community received us during our field trip on the third day of Winter School.
At the various establishments, a series of dances, including Rapa Nui, Chilote, Chilean polka and several Cuecas, were enthusiastically presented, pleasantly surprising us.
The affection this group of students showed us represents the friendship we have generated with the people that belong to and work for these organizations, the fruit of an ongoing commitment and collaborative work that was initiated over a year ago as part of the regional programs “SAM Local Development” and “Huertas Familiares”, which Monsanto carries out in collaboration with the communities.
The former aims to create educational spaces where students, professors and parents can acquire new formative tools to recover farming practices in their areas. Therefore, during that working day at Don Orione Home and Alemania School, we focused on building crop allotments, holding workshops on basic care of the earth and the environment as well as the pruning and planting of trees. We supplemented these activities with the recovery and beautification of the grounds and by cleaning up the rubble.
However, one of the nicest and most meaningful contributions occurred when the students themselves helped us draw a large tree on one of the walls, on which we covered our hands in paint together to make pretty flowers.
At the Paine plant, we built 15 planters as part of the program, “Huertas Familiares” to help some of our neighbors in Melipilla, Buin and Paine. The results of this initiative in Chile, which have enabled many families neighboring our operations to grow their own foods and become self-sustainable, make us truly proud.
The experience of sharing, working as a team, and performing our tasks wholeheartedly overcame any tiredness. Once again, we gave the best of ourselves but this time the result was more than just successful and gratifying, it was inspiring.
It was no more than four hours of work in each place but we learned and grew thanks to the children and the entire educational community. Thanks to everyone that participated and made this activity possible and we invite you all to continue collaborating with this initiative.

go-winterWork with the community: Learning and growing together

Modern, efficient and sustainable agriculture

Monsanto’s transformation process is not only taking place within our company but also outside, with our various stakeholders, and most importantly, with our growers. They have been the ones who have perceived these change processes the most since through joint work, we have been progressing toward modern agriculture and more efficient work in the field.

In just a few years, we have gone from harvests that lasted entire months to seed collections that could be done in practically a few days. We have evolved from total dependency on external factors, such as climactic conditions, to efficient control of pests and harsh weather; from having certain foods only during their natural collection period to having access to them during most of the year and maintaining them in optimal conditions for increasingly longer periods of time.

As Pablo Cea and Tomás Vega recounted at Winter School, the technological progress of agriculture provides us with high-tech irrigation systems, fertilizers, crop monitoring, precision systems and cutting-edge sowers, which have driven the competitiveness of the sector, yielded better results and posed significant challenges to continue making the most of the productive potential of farmland.

The introduction of technological projects in the sector has not been without difficulties, especially because of technical obstacles in the industry. As Pablo told us, support has been fundamental, especially because the growers are sometimes reluctant to implement new technologies. “We are working to ensure the survival of agriculture with the introduction of more and better technological tools that help us make up for the scarcity of labor in the fields”.

The road to modernization that Monsanto has travelled with the growers includes an ongoing process of training, performance evaluation of the productive systems and the adaptation and updating of irrigation technology, which is closely related to the careful use of water. Most importantly, it has required innovation and entrepreneurial capacity to dare to implement technologies that allow better resource use. As such, both irrigation and precision sowing have been the projects with the greatest impact and scope, fundamental pillars of this modernization process.

The amazing technological progress allows us to conceive of sustainable agriculture today as an essential and unquestionable model that allows us to satisfy the current nutritional needs of the population, guaranteeing productive efficiency with the highest quality and safety of the products.

go-winterModern, efficient and sustainable agriculture