Before I share my thoughts about our performance for the reporting year let me takeyou through the journey that has made us what we are today. It all started in 1969 in asmall town called Vapi Gujarat in a very modest way. Many of you may be aware that wemade the first indigenous red phosphorus in India and were awarded the President's GoldSeal for this research and development. In 1975 we ventured into the export market; andover the decades we have crafted an exciting story of growth and evolution. In our storyeveryone wins. Today it embraces the entire world and over seven billion people who needat least 21 billion meals every day.
We have now prominent presence in global food systems which is both a challenge and anopportunity for us. The challenge is to find sustainable answers to feed the growingpopulation of the world with scarcer resources. The opportunity is that we have theexperience expertise technology and empowered global team to bring together all thedifferent players in the food system. We have access to 90% of the world's food basket andare focused on facilitating progress for the entire agricultural value chain includinggrowers distributors suppliers and innovation partners. We are building a network thatredefines the way a whole industry thinks and works. Opening it all up to refreshingideas innovative ways and new answers.
A CHERISHED MILESTONE
We celebrated our 50th anniversary in FY2020 and it is a rare occasion for all of us tointrospect about what we can achieve now and in the next half-a-century and beyond. Wehave grown many-fold since inception both organically and through acquisitions. The year1994 marked UPL's first international acquisition Over the last 25 years we have madeover 40 acquisitions and have been successful in accelerating growth in a profitable andsustainable manner. The Arysta LifeScience acquisition represented the largest of them inour existence and possibly the most important. Following the acquisition of ArystaLifeScience we became one of the top 5 agricultural solutions companies worldwide. As anew company we now offer an integrated portfolio of both patented and post-patentagricultural solutions for various arable and specialty crops including biological cropprotection seed treatment and post-harvest solutions spanning the entire crop valuechain.
PERFORMING AMID CHALLENGES
Frankly speaking the global operating environment for the entire stretch of FY2020remained challenging with sub-optimal growth rates heightened trade uncertaintiesliquidity challenges followed by the global pandemic which is still adversely impactinglives and livelihoods. At UPL we have been able to sail through the crisis and deliver onour commitments to all stakeholders.
During the year we also completed the successful integration of Arysta LifeSciencethe company we acquired in February 2019 in a record time of just over one year. We arenow fully integrated and recorded a strong set of numbers in the first year itself. Asalways we have constantly challenged ourselves to deliver more with less resources andset new benchmarks in the process.
As a global manufacturer and distributor of critical crop care solutions we have beenfortunate that our products have been classified as an essential commodity' to servethe world's food chain during the pandemic. All our factories around the world remained inoperation following relevant geography-specific safety guidelines. We also lived out ourcommitment of being Always Human' through our global community initiatives to helpcitizens fight the crisis and support human lives.
Moving on to the Indian landscape our teams and facilities continued to operate duringthe year with relevant safety guidelines issued by the government. I must also mention inthis context that we welcome the government's decision of allowing exports of 27 proposedproducts which were earlier proposed to be banned. We remain confident that thegovernment . will take a pragmatic approach and permit the sale of these products in thedomestic markets too as they provide cost-effective solutions to farmers therebyensuring stability of the food supply chain.
MORE SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTS
With our diversified manufacturing facilities empowered teams expert partnersstronger innovation bandwidth end-to-end solutions in crop protection and reach acrossglobal markets we are committed to creating a sustainable food supply chain for theworld. We have close to 3000 patents and pending patents. We believe that the intensityof our R&D will continue and increase in future. Also we believe that today with thegrowth in resources that we have and the increased budgets we have we can be moreinnovative; and we can resource our processes much further than we could before and drivebigger innovation. We are also open to collaborate with different partners andstakeholders to bring sunrise innovation to the market.
With one foot in emerging markets and another in the developed world we are now at thesweet spot between scale and agility. Although these are tough and uncertain times withyour encouragement and support we are confident of our ability to deliver industry-leadinggrowth in the coming years.
Chairman and Managing Director