German company Helm, which produces chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides, intends to double its market share and revenue in the Brazilian market to achieve sales of R$1 billion by 2020, up from R$450 million last year, the company’s executive said.
 
In Brazil, the company has agricultural investments mostly in the market of soybeans and corn, which correspond with 70 percent of its business and has projected revenue of R$550 million in 2017. “Brazil has a huge potential… the next jump in global agricultural production will be from Brazil,” said the global head of Helm, Stephan Schnabel, who also owns 40 percent of the company.
 
He further said Brazil is a key country for the future of the company and global agriculture, due to its huge potential for agricultural production in comparison with the rest of the world. The company intends to invest R$8 million on research and development in the country this year, with 250 tests needed for registration before the beginning of the production of new products.
 
According to the president of Helm in Brazil, Thomas Britze, nearly half of the revenue forecast for 2020 will come from new products to be launched in the coming years. The most recent launch is the fungicide Previnil (chlorothalonil), which took six years to enter the market due to the time taken to meet the requirements of the Ministry of Environment, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and the Brazilian Institute of Natural Environment and Renewable Resources (Ibama).
 
“It is complex to register product in Brazil, but Minister Blairo Maggi (Agriculture) is committed to speed this up,” Britze said.
 
Meanwhile, Schnabel said Helm, a family company since the 1970s, is cautiously observing the consolidation of the global industry of pesticides through the recent fusion of Bayer with Monsanto and the Syngenta purchased by ChemChina. But he pointed out that Helm is not “for sale” and will be committed to a sustainable growth strategy.
 
“One of the reasons for these fusions is that you are in a situation where the market is not growing. Globally, it is shrinking. So the pressure for performance and new profits from the shareholders is increasing,” comments Schnabel.