Christian Flury: Agroscope - Aiming for Number One in Research for the Agriculture and Food Sector

Christian Flury has headed the ‘Corporate Strategy Agroscope’ Staff Unit since 2018. He is committed to ensuring that Agroscope exploits its full potential to find solutions for the challenges of the agriculture and food sector.

“Agroscope possesses enormous potential for finding solutions for the challenges of the agriculture and food sector. We must exploit this potential to the full” explains Christian Flury. The 51-year-old agronomist has headed the ‘Corporate Strategy Agroscope’ Staff Unit since 2018. His main remit is Agroscope’s overall strategy and the implementation of the Future Project.

Alpine pastures instead of kindergarten

Christian Flury grew up in Seewis in the Prättigau (canton of Graubünden). Between the ages of five and seven he was able to spend the spring and autumn up until Christmas on his grandfather’s alpine pastures, for which he was excused from attending kindergarten. He recounts with a smile that the teacher tasked his cousin of the same age to pray for things to go well for him, although “the teacher was aware that I had it better than her.”

Flury studied agricultural economics at the ETH Zurich. As the tutorial assistant of Peter Rieder, then Professor of Agricultural Economics and Policy, he was invited to write a dissertation on the future of mountain agriculture directly after completing his final year undergraduate project. His stint as a researcher was short-lived, however, since after completing his doctorate he became head of the interdisciplinary Greifensee Project. He also founded a private agricultural and regional economics consulting firm, in which he nowadays works only very part-time.

The Future Project is his present

Flury started off at Agroscope in 2007 as head of the AgriMontana research programme, which fit in well with his dissertation. Programme management with reference to strategy opened the doors of the ‘Corporate Research Agroscope’ Group to him in 2014. “It’s important that we collaborate even more extensively in future. The Future Project sets the course to that effect. And if we make use of the associated potential over the long term, I count it as a win” he explains. “A possible achievement would be Agroscope presenting a new, promising cropping system to agricultural practice in 2025, thanks to system research.”

The father of two school-age children, Christian Flury recharges after work at home and through various outdoor activities. “My children often ask me what we do, and above all why. That helps me to formulate good, easily communicated arguments” states Flury with a smile. As for his vision for Agroscope: “We have good people and cover the most important topics. Our ambition should therefore be to become number one in Switzerland for solutions for the agriculture and food sector.”