“Conventional agriculture was still very sceptical about non-chemical-synthetic products, which at the time did not have many years of scientifically proven results. The first years were physically as well as mentally hard, besides the family work, also to build up our company, which in the first years was often in the red,” she said.
Understanding the difficulty in building up competitive beneficial insect breeding in Switzerland and changing direction towards partially automated insect virus production was a key moment in unlocking growth at Andermatt – and profitability followed.
34 years later, and with a footprint on every continent across the globe, Isabel chose to retire from operational duties to take up a position as a member of the Board of Directors of Andermatt Group AG – where she is able to follow the growth of Andermatt subsidiaries worldwide, and provide expertise and guidance gained with her considerable experience.
Isabel is optimistic about the potential for women to play a major role in changing the way that food is grown, but acknowledges that in order to add to the discussion globally, education is key.
Isabel believes that women around the globe will play a key role in deciding how the conversation around food will develop:
“Mothers in particular are interested in ensuring that their children are fed healthily. They therefore influence which foods end up in their shopping baskets and increasingly pay attention to plant production that does not use synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilisers, provided they can accept the additional price.”
In terms of her own experience in life, and the woman that she looked up to growing up, Isabel points to her paternal grandmother as a key figure:
“As a child, my paternal grandmother was a role model for me in terms of modesty and gratitude. Over time, I had to realise that you can’t achieve a great career with modesty – but gratitude helps you in every situation in life,” she said.
In sharing these key learnings with us, we are grateful to Isabel. We look forward to realising her vision of
Healthy Food and Healthy Environment, for all
Dr. Isabel Andermatt
Co-founder and Board Member