Following the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on Friday, April 12, it was announced that Louise O. Fresco will join the Board of Directors as an Independent Non-Executive Director, effective the same day.
Fresco is currently President of Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands. She combines a long academic career as a professor at both Wageningen and Amsterdam universities with extensive involvement in policy and development in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“We are delighted to have Louise join the Syngenta Board,” Frank Ning, Syngenta Chairman said in a news release. “Her experience and expertise in sustainable healthy food production together with her ability to engage people in the benefits of science and agriculture will be greatly valued.”
This appointment comes just days after Syngenta announced it will accelerate its innovation to address the increasing challenges faced by farmers around the world including climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss, as well as changing consumer expectations and views on agricultural technology. Syngenta has made this commitment in response to listening sessions held at the end of 2018, during which there was a clear call for innovation and more action to address these challenges.
“Joining the Board will give me a chance to work towards more sustainable food production and reducing the environmental impact based on the latest scientific insights,” said Fresco. “I am particularly interested in how the best science can help smallholders increase yields sustainably.”
Fresco spent 10 years of her career as Assistant Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. She is a member of eight scientific academies, and has served on the boards of Rabobank and Unilever. Her book “Hamburgers in Paradise, the stories behind the food we eat,” has been translated into 13 languages. She has published multiple books and writes a bi-weekly column in NRC, the leading evening newspaper of The Netherlands. She has also presented a 6-part documentary on food and development for Dutch public television, and in 2009 she was a speaker at the TED Conference in Palm Springs, California.