GERMANY — Bayer Corp., has increased its stake to a 65 percent majority holding of sustainable lower carbon oilseed producer CoverCress, Inc. (CCI), the remaining 35% of which will continue under Bunge and Chevron ownership.
Bayer said this investment delivers on the company’s commitments to sustainability and can help decarbonize agriculture and reduce reliance on nitrogen fertilizer with combined expertise of existing investors, Bunge and Chevron.
Founded in 2013, St. Louis, Missouri, US-based CCI is converting field pennycress, a common winter annual, using plant breeding to improve yield and maturity combined with advanced gene editing tools to improve fiber and oil composition.
CoverCress is a rotational cash crop that combines grain production with the environmental benefits of a cover crop without displacing other harvests such as corn and soybeans.
“As a global leader in crop science, we are committed to decarbonizing agriculture and helping farmers around the world become more sustainable through game-changing products and solutions that can impact climate change,” said Rodrigo Santos, member of the board of management of Bayer AG and president of the Crop Science Division.
Aligning the combined expertise of Bayer, Bunge, and Chevron with the potential held by CoverCress will position CCI to further develop and commercialize its namesake winter oilseed into a rotational cash cover crop with potential sustainability and carbon sequestration benefits and bring a new lower carbon fuel feedstock to the renewable diesel industry.
“Our long-standing strategic partnership with Bayer and our more recent strategic partnerships with Bunge, and Chevron have provided us with access to expertise and capital that positions CCI very well for future success.” said Mike DeCamp, chief executive officer and president of CCI.
Bayer said that advancing ownership in CCI underscores the value of nurturing and supporting breakthrough innovations. CCI will continue to operate as an independent entity.
Under a commercial partnership between CCI and Bunge announced in April, CCI will supply CoverCress grain produced under contract with farmers to Bunge for processing. The strategic partnership among Chevron, Bunge and CCI will create a dedicated farm-to-fuel supply chain for the low-carbon intensity oil feedstock produced from CoverCress grain.
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