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“We are developing from agricultural traders to service providers”

Agricultural retail faces a transition caused by digitisation. This will be discussed at Farm&Food 4.0 conference in Berlin. Andreas Rickmers, AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG weighs in on the subjectview. 

With a revenue of 6.2 billion Euro and around 6,200 employees, the AGRAVIS corporation is one of the leading European agricultural trade and service provision companies. Digitalization is of course also strongly influencing agricultural trade and will be the focus topic of their podium discussion with its title “Trade in Change” at Farm&Food 4.0.

We spoke with one of the discussion participants, Andreas Rickmers, President of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, prior to the event and discussed his assessment of what is changing the most – and what isn’t.

Mr Rickmers, how much is digitalization changing the purchasing behavior of farmers? Which of your business sectors are particularly affected?

Andreas Rickmers: “You first need to consider what isn’t changing with digitalization. Farmers will still have to make decisions that have added value for them and is still interested in low or fair-market prices. Farmers are still interested in having fast transactions and comfortable interaction. This will remain important, with or without digitalization.

These days, every business and functional sector is affected by digitalization. Interactions are changing, processes are becoming standardized and digitalized.”

How can you as an agricultural trader stay abreast of the changes? Which strategic course are you setting now?

“The main thing today is to network information and data given to us by farmers, to the benefit of the farmers and thereby generate added value for them. This means for us that we need to further develop ourselves from being agricultural traders to service providers.”

Why is the Farm & Food 4.0 conference so important to you and what do you expect to get out of your participation?

“The conference brings farming and the nutrition industry together to discuss the important topics surrounding digitalization. This is currently the hot topic everyone is talking about, it is developing strongly and a lot is going on. The conference is a possibility for both startups as well as practitioners to meet and discuss what is currently going on in this exciting sphere.”

What is the biggest challenge that companies have to confront considering the increase in digitalization?

“The digital world has no boundaries!”

All program info about the Farm&Food 4.0 congress can be found here.