Syngenta’s “Good Growth Plan”: “Business as Usual” Packaged as “Sustainability”

One year ago, Syngenta launched The Good Growth Plan, its program for responsible growth, with great fanfare. The DB report “More Growth Than Good” now takes a sobering look at the plan, one year later. Through selectively chosen goals and indicators, key problems caused by Syngenta’s corporate policies are systematically disregarded. Moreover, the company ignores any due diligence for its own core products, which is absolutely unacceptable for credible Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The Good Growth Plan is a six-point plan for responsible growth from Syngenta, a Basel-based agrochemical corporation. Even if the plan meets all of its goals, it will produce no sustainable or “good” business practices for humans and the environment. This is due primarily to the inadequate goals and actions that simply ignore human rights due diligence. Key questions regarding the firm’s product range and corporate policies are systematically ignored. Fittingly, the World Agriculture Report, a document widely supported by politicians and civil society, and which calls for a paradigm shift in agriculture, is not mentioned in Syngenta’s pseudo-green CSR manifesto.

The DB’s 20-page analysis finds that the negative effects of Syngenta’s current company policy, long since established, are deliberately disregarded through the manipulative selection of key indicators. Whether highly toxic pesticides continue to be sold in developing countries to farmers who cannot properly protect themselves, or whether ground water is contaminated by pesticides: these issues apparently interest Syngenta’s PR and CSR experts just as little as whether its smallholder customers earn enough to lead decent lives. In any case, such trivialities are not mentioned in Syngenta’s selective and business-friendly definitions of responsibility and sustainability.

Further information here or from:

François Meienberg, DB Expert on Agrochemicals, Tel. +41 44 277 70 04,