What does Marcus Meadows-Smith see in Crop Enhancement?
Sep. 28, 2018
As veterans of the biopesticide industry go, Marcus Meadows-Smith is a heavy hitter. His résumé is packed with transformative business performance at several major companies (Bayer, AgraQuest, Chemtura, among others). Currently the CEO of BioConsortia Inc., Meadows-Smith has just taken a role on the board of directors of Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products for enhancing crop yields, where he will help guide the management team on value-creation strategies for the company. It’s a great fit not only because of his deep experience and track record in the agrochemical industry, but also because the company is serving the needs of growers and the multinational food manufacturers that source their produce.
“I understand the grower mentality,” says Meadows-Smith, “and right now, growers are aiming to increase their yield to sustainably produce food for the world. A part of that sustainable approach is improved profitability and lower environmental impact, which is where Crop Enhancement has breakthrough technology.”
The need to produce more food for a growing population—on ever-diminishing land and in a regulatory climate that emphasizes sustainability and safe working conditions for growers—is the main focus of Crop Enhancement’s work.
Meadows-Smith is well positioned to help guide Crop Enhancement closer to its goal of enabling transformational change for growers by improving their yield and profits through farmer-friendly and sustainable pest-management approaches. He led AgraQuest through a turnaround by devising and executing a value-creation strategy that resulted in a nearly half-billion-dollar acquisition by Bayer. In his current position at BioConsortia, he enjoys the excitement of growing that company and building value in the midst of a global trend of food-production transparency and sustainability.
“We’re seeing an increased consumer-driven awareness of how pesticides and other agrochemicals affect the food chain. The growth of the organic food industry is indicative of this strong trend. More than 82 percent of US households buy organic—more than $50 billion annually,” Meadows-Smith says. “More important is the desire of mainstream agriculture to adopt more sustainable approaches—products giving higher yields, high profits, and lower environmental impact. Cargill’s recent endorsement of Crop Enhancement is indicative of the effectiveness of the CropCoat® technology and the excitement this company is generating.”
Scrutiny from health-conscious consumers is changing the market. Recent bans on neonicotinoids and a few other synthetic agrochemicals have taken effect recently, and allowable thresholds on residues and toxicants have been lowered.
Meadows-Smith was drawn to Crop Enhancement by its unique approach to solving what is truly a global sustainability problem. “I was intrigued by its initial focus on Indonesia and cacao—a rather unusual geographic and crop focus. Hardly anyone is devoting attention to this high-value crop. Crop Enhancement is expanding the scope of its technology to other fruit and vegetable crops in the US and Latin America — these are crucial crops for which growers need another tool in their integrated pest management (IPM) toolbox.”
It wasn’t just the problem and solution pairing that drew Meadows-Smith to accept a seat. “They’re such a high-potential team. I’m ready to help Kevin Chen [CEO] and his team get others excited about the value that Crop Enhancement offers. To grow rapidly in this space, we want to ensure that Crop Enhancement has the optimum strategy, including identifying the best marketing distribution and food value chain partners. The CropCoat product has proven to be highly effective in grower field trials, so Crop Enhancement is already on the right track.”
To learn more about Crop Enhancement, contact Marcus Meadows-Smith or CEO Kevin Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org.