By Leonardo Gottems, Reporter for AgroPages
s exclusively interviewed Marcio Santos, Commercial Director of Bayer in Brazil, during the Expodireto Fair that was held this month in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Santos talked about integrating its teams and portfolios with Monsanto, as well as the anticipated approval of Intacta 2 Xtend in China and the company's plans in Brazil.
The fair is the company’s first event after the merger of its team and portfolio with Monsanto. How is it working and what are the first results of this merger?
The merger is running very smoothly. We must understand the nature of the merger between Bayer and Monsanto, which are two complementary companies. There is no overlap, and this merger was approved with the goal of creating more solutions and innovation. We are making slow progress between our commercial teams, which are being kept independent for the time being. We are integrating in a way that will give our producers time, and we also have time to understand the best way to do it. Therefore, this transition, in our opinion, has been smooth.
This integration is global, but Brazil has its peculiarities. How is it working here in Brazil? Are you perceiving any differences?
I do not think so. The peculiarity of Brazil concerns the market, but the two companies are succeeding in the Brazilian market, working with businesses that are succeeding. The producers must have already chosen to do business with us, this is our definition of success. This will continue, through a combined company with the ability to invest more. This will benefit the Brazilian producer, because the company can deal with challenges that most of the world’s producers cannot deal with, which is a tropical climate where you have twenty one pest cycles per year, thirty cycles of a disease per year, and re-infestation. This does not happen in the cold regions, such as in Europe and the United States, so we aim to help producers become more efficient.
Regarding Intacta 2 Xtend, how is the process of its approval in China going? And how are you monitoring this from a distance?
It is going well. China's regulatory system has proved to be functional, and that is good. Why is it functional? Because there are rules and they are being followed. We believe that there must be rules, must be a transparent process, and both must work and be legal. One of our competitor’s technologies was recently approved, which is good for the sector, because it shows that the system is working and innovation can occur. The entire system that allows innovation is beneficial to the whole chain.
Regarding alternative pesticides, you are launching CTS 500 here. Will Bayer also gamble on this niche of organic products?
We are already gambling, and not only on CTS 500, but also on Serenade. We have a series of products that we believe in, and this is an important part of our market. CTS 500 is a good example, a seed treatment that is also a biological solution, combination and transformation, in the same way that digital agriculture, biotechnology, genetic seed, defensive and biological are parts of our market. Such solutions will enable us to deliver a better experience for the producer.
What are the company's plans for Brazil? What are you waiting for in terms of growth, now with this merger, speaking in economic terms?
Maybe it is premature for us to talk about it, it is not clear. We are at an early stage of the merger. We expect to provide a positive experience to producers. Do we want to grow our business? Yes! How much? As much as producers are willing to create partnerships with us. We have solutions for seed genetics and chemicals. Our challenge is how we can stay close to and focus on the producer, so we can continue to help producers to improve the efficiency of their farms. From there, they can make the decision to partner with us. That moment is what we are concentrating on.