Female #FoodHeroes

Gabriela Burian

Gabriela is the Sustainable Food Systems Lead for Bayer in the U.S.

What do you do?

My work is to enable safe and nutritious food for all current and future generations, which requires taking care of the environment. In order to make this happen, I work with a wide range of people:

  • Bayer’s global team of experts, including nutritionists, dietitians, environmentalists and agronomists
  • Farmers
  • Partner organizations – usually non-profits
  • Companies and coalitions that work to adapt sustainable food systems to different regions.

With innovation and collaboration across the food supply chain we can find specific solutions to help reduce food loss and waste, while using less input to produce better food for everyone!  

Why do you love your job?

I love my job because it gives me the opportunity to find real solutions for global challenges such as hunger, food loss, climate change, soil health and more. My job is in fact a great opportunity to be part of the solution delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals)!

How did you get here?

I am an agricultural engineer from Brazil with a master’s degree in sustainability. In Brazil I was responsible for the creation of the first regional area related to sustainability. After some years of working with an awesome team and partners, I was invited to move to Bayer’s headquarters to reinforce global engagement. Caring and being fully committed has been crucial for what I consider a successful journey.

What is your advice for young women wanting to contribute to sustainable food and farming?

  1. Follow your dream
  2. Find partners who can support each other
  3. Be bold and don’t be afraid
  4. Define your own path

How does agriculture need to change to be fit for the future?

One of the most important challenges that agriculture is facing is how to earn consumer trust. Consumers are far from agriculture, and they don’t know how their food is produced, but they want to know. Agriculture needs to be able to better communicate with the consumer and be more transparent – from farm to market. This is an awesome opportunity for breakthrough innovation and disruptive collaboration; when a large group of people works together to come up with new ideas that can change the way we work.

What’s one challenge you face as a woman in agriculture and what do you think needs to be done to overcome this?

Women need to be better represented in agriculture. New solutions require diverse perspectives – different genders and different regional outlooks. However, women are still too often considered “unusual” in agriculture, and unfortunately the challenge remains that some people are afraid of the unusual.

Working with agriculture or food systems is an awesome opportunity for those interested in being part of the solution to deliver the global goals – from plant breeding to data science and innovations! We need more diversity, we need more women.

Gabriela is just one of many inspirational women working in agriculture. Visit our Female #FoodHeroes page to hear from other women working to improve plant science and nutrition.