Global Agriculture: Driving Inclusion, Starting Here at Home

By Craig Reed Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer at Corteva Agriscience

Corteva Agriscience is a global agriculture company that provides farmers with the most complete portfolio in the industry – including seed and crop protection, enhanced by integrated digital solutions. Our purpose is to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. For a purpose that expansive, it’s essential we take inclusion, diversity, and equity seriously.

Corteva Agriscience joined Business Equity for Indy (BEI) because we believe in its mission to grow a more inclusive business climate and build greater equity and economic opportunity for Black residents, Black entrepreneurs, and all underserved communities. We support BEI’s strategy, which connects the public and private sectors to make thoughtful, research-based goals, to collaborate, and make progress toward those goals – holding one another accountable.

Here at Corteva, we are passionate about all of BEI’s priorities, including public policy efforts, addressing impediments to health, advancing learning and talent initiatives, and supporting procurement efforts. All of these priorities are essential for the foundational change we need in our community. Corteva’s work is global, but it starts at home here in the United States. We are particularly passionate about the greater Indianapolis community, which is now the home of our Global Headquarters.

Corteva’s Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (ID&E) goals fall into three pillars – “diverse representation,” “culture of belonging” and “external impact.” We are focused on ensuring our teams around the world represent the rich diversity of the communities we serve. In addition, we are focused on creating an environment where every team member can bring their whole, authentic selves to work, so we can maximize the benefits of that diversity and facilitate belonging. We also are committed to strengthening communities and populations that have faced discrimination – leveling the playing field for underrepresented farmers, suppliers, and consumers. You can see our ID&E goals on our website, here.

As Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer at Corteva, I have a special passion for BEI’s Procurement and Participation priority, which is addressing the dramatic underrepresentation of Black business enterprises (BBEs) in the greater Indianapolis market. Advancing racial equity where we live and work requires deliberate support of Black businesses. It is our collective responsibility, which is why I’m proud that Corteva was among the first companies to sign the BEI Procurement Roundtable Pledge. I’m proud to serve as Co-chair of this Procurement & Participation Task Force, alongside John Thompson of Thompson Distribution and Ilya Yuffa of Eli Lilly and Company. We are focused on the launch, growth, and success of Black business enterprises (BBE) through work including:

· Reducing BBEs’ barriers to certification, bidding, and contracting
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Helping corporations develop, strengthen, appropriately prioritize, and embed their Supplier Diversity strategies
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Connecting BBEs with helpful networks, support, and resources to help them grow and scale
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Connecting BBEs and corporations to create successful partnerships
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Encouraging corporations to commit to increasing spend with BBEs

This is fulfilling work. It’s work that I take personally because of the impact it’s having on local businesses, the local economy, and ultimately on local families. We know that when we support BBEs they hire diverse employees and spend money in diverse communities. That creates meaningful economic impact, reaching beyond the direct contract between a larger corporation and a BBE and benefiting the community. Together, we are building a better, stronger, more dynamic Indianapolis. Together, we are creating a sustainable local ecosystem for today and for generations to come.

To all local companies — I invite you to join us and be part of the solution. Join the Procurement Roundtable here.

About Corteva
Corteva, Inc. (NYSE: CTVA) is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that combines industry-leading innovation, high-touch customer engagement and operational execution to profitably deliver solutions for the world’s most pressing agriculture challenges. Corteva generates advantaged market preference through its unique distribution strategy, together with its balanced and globally diverse mix of seed, crop protection, and digital products and services. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and a technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to maximizing productivity for farmers, while working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. More information can be found at www.corteva.com.

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