Farm & Food 4.0
International Congress Berlin
Farm & Food 4.0
Credits: Promo/BASF

01. March 2020

Think outside the Box

Interview with Julia Harnal (BASF)

We need to strengthen the dialogue across different opninions, says BASF’s Vice President Global Sustainability & Governmental Affairs Julia Harnal. In order to rech our SDG goals we ought to leave traditional ways of thinking and use new technology and support new ideas. 

By Sarah Liebigt

Farm & Food: Julia Harnal, your keynote at Farm & Food 2020 said that a modern and sustainable agriculture can only be achieved together. Can you please sum up the main bullet points of your presentation?

Julia Harnal: What I wanted to convey is that an important dialogue has started across different opinions, across different technologies and across the political sphere. But we need to strengthen it, we need to accelerate it and we need to go faster than we did in the last five years to achieve our SDG targets 2030.

What are your major take aways from the discussion you took part in?

There were huge inspirations on stage. I think we need to break out of boxes. We had great examples of how innovative thinking, new science but also new technology can be the bridge that provides us the solution for the future we don’t have today.

What are your strategies at BASF to reach your SDG goals?

We have a very strong research DNA; every year we invest a lot money in research for new technologies, be it in the area of crop health, seeds & traits or digital. But our main strength are our people, who bring great expertise and enthusiasm to the table, as well as our relationships with our customers and stakeholders.

How do you judge the relevance of the Farm & Food conference?

I am a newcomer to this event. I haven’t been working in Germany for many years. I think it’s a great event. I am networking with people I met 20 years ago and I am meeting new people and I see new ideas coming up. That is the value of this event, to get these new ideas emerging, then share and connect them for the future.

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