OpenAg is an initiative from UPL that is serving as a unique approach to making holistic improvements to the food system in a variety of ways. The initiative prioritizes creative solutions that incorporate farmers, processors, retailers, and consumers. In the development of an international network of partners, the mission is to enhance the sustainability of the global food system. UPL Technical Service Lead for Specialty Crops Joe Vassios said the effort focuses on collaboration in developing innovative solutions.
“There are a couple of really good examples. The first of these is with an external partner, the company 6th Grain. UPL developed a Crop S.A.F.E. system which is a smoke and fire monitoring tool really targeted to help California growers when you get wildfire smoke and fires near your area as well,” said Vassios. “Then another example of this, really looking at the whole food chain, is with another UPL group company which is Decco, which handles our postharvest business. It’s really tying our in-service offerings that UPL has for crop protection in with Decco to really preserve food as it goes into storage in the best condition that it can to prolong its life and really help get it to market to supply food for the U.S. and the rest of the world.”
At the center of the OpenAg approach, is the cultivation of networks and connectivity. A core principle of the initiative is open access, to allow for and foster better communication and collaboration throughout the entire food supply chain. “It’s looking internally at all the resources we have and then really looking for partners that are doing things outside of the box as well externally to try to bring new technologies and really try to do something differently as we know everything is evolving rapidly in this world,” said Vassios.
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