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Interview Series 5: Spiess-Urania Chemicals committed to high-quality differentiated copper–based products for more than 200 yearsqrcode

Aug. 1, 2018

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Aug. 1, 2018
Editor's Note: Copper-based fungicides play a decisive role in controlling bacterial diseases, whether evaluated in efficacy or market shares. At the same time, copper-based fungicides show high efficacy against some fungal diseases such as downy mildew, Alternaria leaf spot and brown blotches in fruits and vegetable crops. Due to the advantages of eco-friendship, relative safety, rare resistance and usage in organic agriculture, copper-based fungicides have steadily retained the sixth position among all fungicides.

Accordingly, AgroPages recently came up with a special topic surrounding copper-based fungicides/bactericide product and invited some key players in this field to share their views over the global market landscape, product series, core strengths, application situation, as well as future development prospects. The fifth interviewee is
Frank Liebe, Global Marketing Director at Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH.

Q1: As we know, Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH is an internationally known producer and supplier of copper salts used as protective fungicides and bactericides. Could you briefly introduce its development history and global layout in the field of copper-based products?

For more than 200 years Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH has gained experience in offering a wide range of different high quality copper salts to customers all around the globe. The portfolio varies from highly advanced ready formulated products, based on copper hydroxides and copper oxychlorides for fungicidal and bactericidal use in agriculture, right through to copper oxides and copper carbonates for use in many specialized industrial markets.

Since the acquisition of the Kocide business in the USA by Mitsui Co., Ltd. in 2014, Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH is more recently taking the functional leadership of these two copper producing entities. This global copper strategy stems from Mitsui’s interest in sales and marketing of crop production products, but it is now vertically integrated with Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH and Kocide LLC jointly producing and selling products into agricultural markets in more than 60 countries, with products labeled for use in over 100 crops.

The joint copper portfolio of Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH and Kocide LLC with their own manufacturing facilities in Hamburg (Germany) and Houston (USA) is now the leading manufacturer and marketer of copper fungicide brands across the world, especially copper hydroxides based products. Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH will increasingly take the lead in the marketing and sales  of the joint portfolio for both companies, in order to ensure synergies and to further strengthen its position in the market.

Q2: Could you talk about your company’s product line of copper salts & special strengths? What are the company plannings to launch new products and extend new markets?

The portfolio of Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH and Kocide LLC is offering, especially its copper hydroxides in different active concentrations, a range of modern, efficient state of the art formulations (WP, WG and SC), also well-known through its famous brands FUNGURAN® and KOCIDE®.

This allows the ability to offer special solutions for different customer’s needs, considering also the increasing environmental requirement to reduce the amount of copper applied, through very efficient formulations. Specifically, the high efficacy of copper salts from Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH and Kocide LLC formulations, with their lower application rates can be seen as a major benefit to customers who use our modern copper fungicides.

Considering the unique characteristics of copper based fungicides, with their multi-site contact activity, copper salts are a very important and valuable tool in contemporary fungicide spray programs and they will continue to increasingly gain more importance in sustainable integrated pest management practices, as resistance will continue to develop to many synthetic chemical compounds.

Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH is constantly working on new products, based on different copper salts to fulfill market needs around the globe for efficient and sustainable agriculture.

Q3: What are your main challenges in the course of development and marketing of copper salts? How did you tackle them?

Especially in the EU the strong demand to reduce copper input to the environment is a major challenge not only for Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH, but also for all copper salt producers. However Spiess-Urania Chemicals GmbH and Kocide LLC are well positioned, as we have substantial experience in development and formulations that maximize the efficacy of copper ions in our products.

Additionally, a must is to also have a strong and experienced regulatory team, ready to meet the various requirements from different countries around the globe. Providing quality products and great customer service is our first priority and this has been recognized by our clients over many years.

Q4: Could you share with us the future development planning of your company in the field of copper salts?

We are continually working on ways to improve the quality of our formulations, while also looking for new and different possibilities to improve the efficacy of our products with reduced levels of applied copper; be that through new formulations, new mixtures or the use of new additives.

If you are also the player in the field of copper-based fungicides/bactericide products and would like to join the above topic discussion/promote your products, pls contact us via: grace@agropages.com

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