Statement: KWS business activities in Eastern Europe

Einbeck, March 22, 2022

Solidarity and support for Ukraine

KWS is a company with a tradition of family ownership, and we operate in that spirit. Our decisions and actions are transparent, reliable and comprehensible. We have managed our business independently ever since our foundation in 1856, and we have proven to be a trusted partner to our farmers, employees, and partners throughout the entire value chain.

KWS has been active in Ukraine since we opened our first international location in Vinnytsia in 1900. Today, 169 employees work for KWS in four main locations and as sales representatives throughout the country. In our locations, we mainly breed, produce and distribute high quality corn, cereal and sugarbeet seeds.

The developments and news from Ukraine have left us with great consternation and concern. Our full solidarity and support is with the people of Ukraine. Our top priority is the safety of our colleagues and their families, and we do everything we can to support them. In addition to the delivery of supplies to one of our production sites in the west of the country, which is currently serving as temporary accommodation for many colleagues, there was an internal call for the provision of accommodation. The response rate is more than impressive. Requests and offers are now coordinated within the company via a central platform.

Closeness is a core value for KWS. And we commit not only to our colleagues and the people in Ukraine, but also to farmers and agriculture in the country. The engagement of our Ukrainian colleagues, who continue to work locally to breed, produce and deliver seed to farmers, is exceptional. Despite the tense security situation in many parts of the country and the company's clear instruction that the safety of employees is the top priority, seeds are still being delivered wherever possible.

KWS has already announced to support the agricultural industry in Ukraine and its rehabilitation. This will happen through additional investments (new production plants or breeding and trial locations) or other measures, which will be defined as soon as the situation allows for a clear judgment and planning.

Business activities in Russia

We strongly condemn the use of military force by the Russian government. Against this background, KWS has decided not to invest in expanding or launching new business activities in Russia until further notice.

At the same time, in line with EU and international sanction provisions, KWS will continue operations and seed supply for farmers and the civil population in Russia. Our long-term knowledge of agriculture and our reliability as a seed specialist enables us to be a trusted supplier for generations of farmers, regardless of which part of the world. This is our contribution to the growing global demand for food. Safeguarding food supply is a basic need of all societies. Seeds for agricultural crops are not subject to sanctions currently imposed on countries for humanitarian reasons, as they form the basis for food supply and human nutrition.

We fully understand the call for further measures to increase pressure on the Russian government. However, in view of an impending shortage of agricultural products, we see it as our duty as an initial part of the food supply chain to fulfill our responsibility to farmers and society and play our role in the global supply of food.

About KWS*
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. Around 6,000 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of around €1.3 billion in fiscal 2020/2021. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for 165 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, vegetables, rapeseed and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield for farmers and plants’ resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested more than €250 million last fiscal year in research and development.

* All figures excluding the shares of the equity-accounted companies AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC., AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and KENFENG – KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.

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Gina Wied
Gina Wied
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