BASF Ag Solutions to move Canadian head office west

The Canadian arm of BASF Agricultural Solutions plans to relocate its head office to Calgary from Mississauga effective Oct. 1.

The crop protection arm of the German chemical company said Wednesday it wants to move the Canadian head office “closer to customers” after closing its deals last year to buy a “range of businesses and assets” in the sector from Bayer CropScience.

The move is to include “reorganization of several roles” within the head office, the company said.

“The strategic decision to move our headquarters west will amplify our ability to walk alongside Canadian farmers as they look to deliver sustainable agricultural solutions both today and, in the future,” Jonathan Sweat, BASF Ag Solutions’ vice-president for business management in Canada, said in a release.

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That said, the company will “maintain its presence” in both Western and Eastern Canada.

BASF’s canola, cereals and pulse business will operate out of the new headquarters in Calgary, while its corn, soy, horticulture, and specialty products portfolio “will continue to be run from the east.”

BASF Ag Solutions’ leadership team will also “continue to span the country” with “key roles” in Calgary and Mississauga as well as in Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

In the wake of its takeover last year of U.S. seed and ag chem firm Monsanto, Bayer sold off several major assets to BASF including its traits and breeding for soybeans, cotton and canola.

Significantly for the Canadian market, that included the Liberty (glufosinate ammonium) herbicide business and LibertyLink and InVigor traits, a seed processing facility in Lethbridge, chemical formulation and distribution facilities in Regina and a seed breeding centre in Saskatoon. Those deals alone saw about 300 Bayer employees working in commercial R+D, breeding and production in Canada transfer to BASF.

BASF also bought Bayer’s Poncho, ILeVO, VOTiVO and COPeO seed treatments, its Nunhems global vegetable seeds business, its research and development platform for hybrid wheat, its canola-quality juncea research and its Xarvio digital farming platform.

BASF also reached a deal earlier this year to sell its Clearfield herbicide-tolerant canola system and imazamox/imazapyr herbicides to DowDuPont’s Corteva Agriscience.

Canada’s Competition Bureau had ordered BASF to find a buyer for the Clearfield business, as a condition of its approval for BASF to pick up the LibertyLink system. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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