- By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media
Germany’s Farming Group Increases GM-Free Soybean Acreage
Due to high demand for GMO-free crops, Germany’s publicly listed farming group, KTG Agrar AG, has expanded its soybean acreage in Europe for 2015.
KTG has significantly increased its GMO-free soybean acreage across Romania, Germany, and Lithuania from 7,000 hectares last year to11,000 hectares this season.
"Large retail chains in Germany are compelling their meat suppliers to guarantee they are using GMO-free material in their own supply chain and I think this will be a long-term trend," says Siegfried Hofreiter, chief executive of KTG. "I see a massive potential for GMO-free soybeans."
Although the EU uses approximately 13 million tons of soybeans per year, the region produces only 1.8 million tons of soybeans annually, opting instead to produce rapeseed and sunflowers. By raising domestic production, European producers could gain market share away from India – the EU’s traditional source of imported GMO-free soybeans.
KTG has a total of 45,000 hectares of grains, rapeseed, sugar beets and other crops under cultivation, but began its first trials of soybean planting on 50 hectares in 2010. In May the group posted a 42% increase in full-year sales to €234.1 million, and a 55% increase in pretax earnings to €37.1 million.