Dec. 18, 2017
Guy Elitzur, STK’s CEO
STK (Stockton) is on the brink of entering the European market. The company, which develops and markets biological crop protection products, is about to launch Timorex Gold® in Spain and Portugal. “Timorex Gold is used successfully in 30 countries around the world, but it is exciting for us to take these first steps in Western Europe”, says Guy Elitzur, STK’s CEO.
Timorex Gold is a biological food protection fungicide that not only benefits the environment, but also increases productivity and efficiency of crops, while reducing chemical load residues on the produce. It is certified worldwide by organic associations, such as IMO, ECOCERT, and BCS. STK obtained registration from the Spanish Pest Management Regulatory Agency for this product in few fruits and vegetables crops.
Elitzur says the introduction of their product into Spain and Portugal provides them with a very good first step into entering the European market. “We are talking to the farmers, introducing Timorex Gold”, he says. “Some of these farmers work in other parts of Europe as well. I think that exposure will provide us with successful continuity after this initial launch.”
Timorex Gold for lettuce
“We are in the late stages of getting EU regulation approvals. I think this will happen in 18 to 24 months”, says Guy. “Then we will enter into other countries, such as Italy and France, in the southern part of Europe. That is definitely our next step. The targeted crop, the parameters and awareness of Europe mean this could be one of our top markets in the future.”
Over the past year, STK has expanded this product to various other regions of the world as well. This includes countries like Australia, New Zealand, China, and Brazil. In August, they signed a Commercialization and Distribution agreement with Syngenta Australia . The agreement grants Syngenta the exclusive right to distribute STK’s Timorex Gold for use in edible crops in Australia and New Zealand. Timorex Gold will be manufactured and supplied by STK, and marketed and distributed by Syngenta under STK’s brand.
Cell rupture in Black Sikatoga cell
When asked about this collaboration, Elitzur says, “Syngenta has a strong presence in Australia and New Zealand, so for us they are the perfect partner for this market. We have a very good connection and working relationship with them.” STK already works with this company in Chile, Mexico and other countries around the world. “We are in discussions with them regarding various future collaborations”, adds Elitzur.
STK has also made good headway with Timorex Gold in China. “China is a very interesting market”, admits Eliztur. “It has an enormous agricultural sector, but most farmers grow on a very small scale. They are making considerable advances with regards to environmental aspects and regulatory issues. There is also a traditional understanding of the benefits of biological solutions”, he continues. “So, biological solutions are more readily accepted by farmers. Although many hurdles that we see in other countries do not exist in China, we still have a lot of work to do there.”
Timorex Gold for tomatoes
STK is also about to launch another product called AvivTM to the US market in January. “It is our first offering from our collaboration with the Spanish company, Seipasa S.A”, explains Elitzur. “AvivTM is a microbial fungicide, a specific, patented strain of Bacillus subtilis, with a high level of efficacy against root diseases It is another tool that can be used to increase the use of biopesticides within specific fungicide spraying programmers.”
Elitzur says AvivTM and Timorex Gold can be used at different times during the pest control program. “These are different modes of action”, he says. “It means lower residue levels, better resistance management with, of course, all the other benefits of biopesticides in terms of their physiological effects on yields and quality. We are very excited about this as well.”
Timorex Gold for grapes
Another new product this crop protection company has introduced is REGEVTM. “This is STK’s first hybrid product”, says Elitzur. “It is a combination of plant-based biopesticide in a premix with a good synthetic chemical pesticide, making it much easier for growers to use.” Over this past year, REGEVTM was introduced in five countries in Latin America, including Guatemala. “We plan to launch it in more than ten new countries in 2018” added Elitzur.
“It is a new concept on the market and serves as a ‘bridge’ in the move from toxic pesticides to a less toxic product, especially for growers who want an easy-to-use ‘pre-mix’ which they can apply the same way as their current synthetic pesticide”, he explains. “It can be used on diverse crops, not just fruit and vegetables.” These crops include coffee, peanuts, and some broad acre crops. “This opens the door to us to reach other types of farmers with different types of crops”, says Elitzur. “We think this hybrid product will accelerate the transition to more sustainable agriculture.”