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CEO Interview: From Single Brand to Digital Ecosystem – Haifa's Green Transformation Journeyqrcode

Jun. 7, 2024

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Jun. 7, 2024

Haifa Group
Israel  Israel

As the global population continues to grow, achieving food security and sustainable agricultural development has become an urgent global issue. As an Israeli agricultural solutions provider with over 50 years of history, Haifa Group has consistently been a pioneer in promoting modern agriculture. Recently, Agropages had the honor of interviewing Mr. Motti Levin, CEO of Haifa Group, to discuss the company's innovation process and hear his unique insights on the current state and future development of the industry.

Join us as we delve into the experiences of this leader in the agricultural field, listening to their valuable expertise in innovation, localized operations, and sustainable development, and collaboratively explore the future of modern agriculture.


Mr. Motti Levin, CEO of Haifa Group

From Crisis to Rebirth: Cyclical Challenges in the Industry

In the past two years, the agricultural fertilizer industry has faced unprecedented challenges. The sharp rise in raw material prices has placed a heavy burden on farmers, particularly evident in 2022 when market demand was severely impacted by high costs. Entering 2023, although inventory prices remain high, the market is gradually showing signs of recovery.

Against this backdrop, Haifa Group has responded proactively to challenges through innovation and technological development. "Even during those difficult days, demand for our products did not decline significantly compared to the previous year, while other companies reported sales decreases of 15% to 20%," Mr. Levin proudly stated. "As we enter 2024, we see prices returning to a reasonable level, which has injected new momentum into the market, and we have observed that demand is recovering in most regions."

The Transformation from "Fighting Alone" to "All-Around King"

Haifa Group's development is a story of continuous self-innovation and expansion. From initially producing potassium nitrate for drip irrigation systems in the 1970s, Haifa has evolved into a supplier of comprehensive nutrition solutions. "Our product line now includes over 400 different fertilizer formulas," Mr. Levin emphasized. "From crop nutrition to foliar spraying to bio-stimulants, we provide farmers with a full range of solutions."

Now, Haifa Group is turning its attention to the emerging field of biological products, investing heavily in Biostimulants. "Biostimulants are like vitamins for crops, supporting uptake of plant nutrients also support plants' recovering from various stress " said Mr. Levin. "We aim to add value to traditional nutritional solutions with this new supplement."

Moreover, Haifa Group is gradually transforming into a digital agricultural solution provider. By investing in an Israeli technology startup, they jointly developed an app called "Croptune." "Using AI to analyze leaf photos took by smartphone camera, we can accurately determine the nutritional needs of crops," Mr. Levin explained. "In the future, this platform will integrate more modules such as irrigation and plant protection, and predict carbon emissions, becoming the control center of digital farms."

Knowledge Sharing and Localization: The Cornerstone of Brand and Channel Management

Haifa Group's steady growth during challenging times is largely due to its long-term focus on brands and distribution channels. The company has established a network of distributors in over 100 countries, fostering long-term cooperative relationships with thousands of partners. "Trust between the company and distributors has been built over many years," said Mr. Levin. "Even in the most difficult times, maintaining trust and loyalty ensures continued cooperation."

Knowledge sharing is key to Haifa Group's partnerships. "Our fundamental value is knowledge sharing," Mr. Levin noted. "Our website is available in 14 languages, providing extensive test data, research results, and product information for free." This openness, he believes, is crucial for staying ahead through continuous innovation.

In addition to global branding and knowledge sharing, Haifa Group emphasizes local operations. Collaborating with institutions like the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Haifa conducts local research and cultivates excellent local teams to tailor solutions for specific crops and environments.

Sustainable Development: From Commitment to Comprehensive Action

For an agricultural solutions provider, sustainable development must be reflected in all aspects of products and operations. As an industry leader, Haifa Group has made long-term efforts in this regard. "One and a half years ago, we developed a strategic sustainability plan covering all of Haifa's activities, setting targets to be achieved by 2030," Mr. Levin explained. These targets include meeting 50% of energy needs with renewable energy, using recycled materials for over 30% of packaging, employing people with disabilities and elders.

Haifa is also investing $700 million in its main production base in Israel to enhance sustainable development capabilities. "We're building a photovoltaic power plant to provide energy for a new ammonia factory," said Mr. Levin. "By using renewable energy, we'll produce "Blummonia"™  (Haifa's blue ammonia). In addition, we will also build a carbon dioxide capture facility to utilize captured emissions comprehensively, and supply unique nutrition needs for Algaculture growing sector."

Haifa's investment will create a vertically integrated production system, from "sun energy to food." "We'll use green electricity to produce ammonia, cultivate spirulina with captured carbon dioxide, and extract spirulina protein to enter the food industry," Mr. Levin elaborated. This new production chain reflects Haifa's commitment to sustainable development.


Looking at China: Opportunities and Strengths

Haifa is active in China since 1994. During the past 30 years, strong ties have been built with the local agriculture sector, and the company gained a deep understanding of its needs. China is a crucial market for Haifa Group, aligning with its strategy for digital agriculture. "China has always been at the forefront of technological innovation, which aligns with Haifa's transformation to digital agriculture," Mr. Levin noted. During his visit to China, Mr. Levin plans to expand Haifa's production capacity and channel layout to meet the growing demand in the Chinese market.

Expectations and Wishes: Haifa Opens a New Chapter in Agriculture

From launching the first water-soluble fertilizer to developing Biostimulants and digital solutions, Haifa Group has been a leader in agricultural innovation. Long-term partnerships with global distributors and vigorous localization strategies enable Haifa to provide professional services worldwide. Haifa Group's commitment to sustainable development, demonstrated through significant investments and innovative measures, highlights its dedication to promoting sustainable agricultural development.

Under the leadership of Haifa Group, we hope more companies will recognize the importance of sustainable development, take positive actions, and collaborate to advance the green transformation and high-quality development of modern agriculture.

Source: AgroNews


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