By Anita Sennett, AEM Senior Director of Agriculture Services

Global AgMy parents are German immigrants, and I never really realized how much that influenced my upbringing until I went off to college. Didn’t everyone have to speak a different language (in my case German) at the dinner table, at the risk of kneeling in the corner for every English word spoken? Didn’t all families make homemade wine, sausage and bread? And do most American kids really open Christmas presents Christmas morning instead of Christmas Eve?

Obviously, different cultures do things differently. And what’s going on in one part of the world isn’t necessarily happening in another – but it still has an influence. That’s never been truer than it is today.

As ag equipment manufacturers, you likely also have questions about how different cultures do different things. Questions like -- If I want to sell ag equipment in Russia or Turkey, what standards and regulations do I need to be aware of? How do government subsidies and policies affecting the ag equipment market compare from India to China? What does the global tractor sales market look like?  Are things settling down in Brazil?

If the answers to these types of questions are important to you, you might be interested in the Agrievolution Alliance. The Alliance is a unique coalition of ag equipment manufacturing organizations representing 15 world regions: Brazil, China, EU, France, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.  AEM acts as Secretariat, helping to drive the group’s initiatives.

The Alliance has at least one face-to-face meeting each year, and you can imagine the different perspectives with this many countries around the table. Many of us are certainly facing rocky political climates, and the group is able to share both insights and laughs at some of our common – or uncommon – situations. What’s really interesting, though, is that in spite of our many differences, we truly all have the same priorities and are facing many of the same issues.

What each Alliance member organization really wants is to better serve its member companies. The Alliance adds value from a global perspective by providing unique global data sets, global product specific market data, and by advocating for global mechanization in agriculture with the strength of one unified voice.

Global Data

Product specific market data is available to companies who participate in the Agrievolution Statistics Program. This global data exchange has been around for more than 40 years and currently covers global shipments of tractors, combines, forage harvesters and balers.

The Alliance also offers “softer” data, like: Government programs in India and Brazil are having a negative impact on farmers and ag equipment sales, while programs in China, Russia and Turkey are having a positive influence. The majority of ag manufacturing executives surveyed in the U.S., Western Europe, Turkey, Russia and China feel their sales are on the increase. Brazilian execs are split between an increase and decrease, while executives from India are split evenly between an increase and no change. Most Japanese execs see no change in sales. 

Data like this, measuring the gut instincts and insights of ag manufacturing executives around the globe, is analyzed in the bi-annual Agrievolution Business Barometer. Executives from all Alliance associations are invited to participate in the survey and receive the results. A pared down public version is available to those who don’t participate. 

This type of data is also shared at Agrievolution Summits. The Sixth World Summit for Agriculture Machinery recently hosted by CAMDA in Wu Han, China, was attended by about 600 stakeholders. They gained regional insights from local executives and academics as well as a global perspective from industry experts brought in by the Alliance members from around the world. It’s a great venue for making international connections and taking a deeper dive into the host region. Most Summits are held in conjunction with a trade show, and this Summit included a tour of a local farm.

Technical, Standards & Regulatory

Information critical to selling product in other world regions will be shared at the upcoming inaugural Global Annual Technical Meeting. At this meeting, standards, technical and safety staff from Alliance member companies will come together and share information on standards and regulations coming down the pike in their world regions. They’ll also make others in the room aware of upcoming or existing government programs that may boost – or hurt – ag equipment sales. Engineers can freely ask about restrictions that would prevent sales from happening and resources that would help, all while making invaluable connections with peers around the globe.

Advocating Globally

On a broader basis, the Alliance advocates for all of their collective 6,000-plus ag equipment manufacturers. Alliance members take every opportunity to spread the message of the importance of global mechanization to their government leaders and legislators. Through personal meetings, collaboration with organizations like World Bank and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and at global events including their own Agrievolution Summit, the group works to spread the message and connect government officials, NGOs and manufacturers.

It’s amazing the things you’ll learn by taking some time to talk and connect with colleagues across the pond and around the globe. In spite of cultural differences, varying levels of mechanization and increasingly tumultuous politics, we’ve found we can relate to one another and our situations and together, better support our members and the global agriculture equipment manufacturing industry.

For more information on the Agrievolution Alliance, check out www.agrievolution.com or contact Anita Sennett, AEM senior director of agriculture services and Secretariat for the Agrievolution Alliance (asennett@aem.org, tel: 414-298-4174).

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