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New Global Competitors Level the Playing Field The 2008 recession hit the developed world hardest, particularly the U.S. and Europe. But banking institutions in Asia, Latin America, and Africa were not affected as severely, so those economies have largely carried on with positive growth rates, says Lee Skold. “That, coupled with strong government support in the largest Asian and Latin American countries, has resulted in the emergence of new global competitors in many industries— most notably manufacturing, food, transportation, and financial,” he says. This increased competition at the time many U.S. and European companies were scaling back or regrouping has served to create a more level playing field. “In many cases, we see the beginning of what must become a permanent change,” Skold says. Skold says developed-world companies that enjoy more or less neutral government support may well be able to weather the storm during this transitional time. “In those countries where government influence is more restrictive, it will create a much more difficult environment for even industry leaders to compete,” he says. “This ebb and flow is not new. In fact, it has ever been thus.” Food Production Must Keep Pace With Soaring Global Demand Read an expanded version of this feature at carlsonschoolmagazine.com SPRING 14 CAR2L0SON SCHOOL OGFE MENMTA NA 19 Lee Skold, ’74 BSB, ’76 MBA Retired Corporate Vice President Cargill Chris Policinski President and CEO Land O’Lakes, Inc. Agribusiness and food production are among the greatest growth industries of our era, a phenomenon that is being driven by global megatrends of population growth and improving diets for an expanding middle class in many emerging markets worldwide, says Chris Policinski. Statistics capture the magnitude of this growth opportunity: • Global population is projected to grow from 7 billion to over 9.5 billion by 2050 • This unprecedented pace of population growth will require a 70 percent increase in food production during the next four decades • More food will need to be produced during the next 40 years than during the past 500 years “While this outlook offers a tremendous growth opportunity for Land O’Lakes and others in the food industry, there are also significant challenges in meeting this soaring demand, including a critical shortage of natural resources,” Policinski says. He points out that at most, only 12 percent more arable land is available globally and only five percent more land is projected to be cultivated by 2050. At the same time, demand for water will outstrip supply by 40 percent by 2030. “Land O’Lakes is addressing these opportunities and challenges through a focus on productivity and sustainability in agricultural production by helping farmers and ranchers improve their productivity—get more output (crops, dairy, or livestock production) per unit of input (land, water, energy, and the like),” he says. “Increasing agricultural productivity is the critical element of meeting the challenges of growing more food to meet the needs of a growing global population in an increasingly sustainable manner. “Our strategies include leveraging the latest technologies such as satellite imagery and ‘big data’ analysis to create new insights that drive innovation in how farmers manage their operations. The goal of increasing agricultural productivity is vital to success in delivering against the challenges of global food security and sustainability and in fact, political stability. The stakes are high; we have to get this right.”


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