Chief Sustainability Officer at Netafim, a global leader and pioneer of drip irrigation, Naty Barak shows the power a community has to overcome barriers.

I wanted to be a Diplomat, so I studied Political Sciences and International Relations. Right after that, I took an executive course in a business school and realized I didn’t like what I was doing. I have always been an idealist, since an early age. I grew up in Haifa, a very good city, between the mountains and the beach, but some friends and I decided to move to the desert, to Kibbutz Hatzerim, and do something with my own hands, work with agriculture. We arrived at the kibbutz in 1964 and one year later we met Simcha, who invented drip irrigation and we found that was a great idea. That concept solved the problem of water shortage in the desert, of our dry unnurtured and high saline soil, and finally, of a difficult agriculture. That’s when we started Netafim. Netafim is going well as long as it is doing well for the world. Business go well as long as we do well for the planet. I am happy and proud of being part of this.

At 74, Naty is married to Liorah, a Child Psychologist; he has three grown-ups and eight grandchildren. He says the reason for being so concerned about the planet sustainability is his grandchildren: “I want to make the world a good place just as I received it and, who knows, I can make it even better.” Netafim’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Naty is in the company since the beginning, and has already been the Marketing Director, Executive Vice President for the USA, President of Netafim South Africa, Treasurer and much more. With 29 branches and 17 plants worldwide, Netafim is a world leader in drip irrigation, a solution that is proven to save water, reduce resource and crop contamination, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As expected, Naty is an active member of Kibbutz Hatzerim, located in the Negev desert of southern Israel. He serves on the kibbutz board of directors, on kibbutz management and economic committees. Kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture, but today, it comprises other types of subsistence. In Kibbutz Hatzerim, where Naty lives, there are just over 4,000 people working in several areas. “We planted jojoba and manufactured oils for the cosmetics industry, and we have more than 3,000 dairy cows. In the old days, we went deeper in agriculture, but today most of our business involve drip irrigation, which still is connected to agriculture, but in a different way.”


Content published in March 20, 2018

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