Nov. 6, 2018
BIOGARD® was born by merging of CBC (Europe) and Intrachem Bio Italy, two of the largest companies dealing with biological control for more than 30 years. And BIOGARD® is collecting the inheritance of these two leading companies in their respective fields of competence: pheromones and sexual confusion developed by SHIN-ETSU, a wide range of microbiological pesticides of natural origin and a qualified range of special fertilizers and growth promoters. Now BIOGARD® has became one of the leading bioprotectants companies in the world. Recently,AgroPages made an interview with Vittorio Veronelli, CEO of CBC (Europe) S.r.l. Mr. Veronelli shared with us some useful market and regulation information about biopesticide.
Q1: Could you please introduce your company briefly?
Vittorio : BIOGARD® - Division of CBC (Europe) Srl, was created in June 2012 by merging CBC (Europe) and Intrachem Bio Italia, two “pioneer” companies in the development and marketing of biological controls since the ‘80s.
Nowadays BIOGARD® represents a benchmark in the field of biological controls in agriculture not only in the Italian market but also internationally through two subsidiaries of the CBC Group: CBC IBERIA S.A.U. (Spain) and CBC BIOGARD s.a.s. (France) plus an extensive network of partnerships with leading distributors.
BIOGARD® portfolio covers a full range of products from pheromones for Mating Distruption, manufactured by the Japanese company Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., a world class leader in the field of semiochemicals, to a number of microbiological and natural origin bioprotectants, specialty fertilizers and plant growth promoters.
Technical support for the technology transfer and marketing of the product are managed by a highly qualified technical and marketing team with many years of field experience in developing and supporting biocontrol products. BIOGARD® main priority is the constant technical updating of its staff for helping growers to produce their crops safely for themselves, the environment and the consumers.
Q2: How do you view the European biopesticide market? Compared with other markets in the world, what do you think are the opportunities and challenges of biopesticides in Europe？
Vittorio : Because of the ban of several pesticides including neonicotinoids and the growing request by consumers of organic food, European bioprotectants (as our industry names now the biopesticide) market is expected to growth significantly in the next years. Currently, it is the second-largest market for Bioprotectants (biopesticides) worldwide. As of year 2017, the European Bioprotectants market was valued around € 700 million, and it is expected to record a 16% yearly increase during the next five years. Constrains to the development of Biosprotectants in Europe are the current authorization legislation and the “grey products” frequently offered to and used by growers without adequate control by the local Authority. Other important matters would be to enhance the global federation of regional biocontrol associations, for harmonization in regulations and easier access to the global market, spreading solutions and knowledge of farmers and technicians to work effectively with all stakeholders, from farmers to consumers.
Q3: How do you view the biopesticide registration regulations in Europe?
Vittorio : In the EU, microbial, biochemical and semiochemical bioprotectants are regulated under the same regulatory framework as chemical pesticides requiring inappropriate testing regimes without considering their “unique modes of action” and lingering perceptions of cost and efficacy. Although some small steps have been moved in the right direction, the legislation provides for measures that favour the registration of products defined as ‘low risk’ (most of the bioprotectants) but the process is still complicated and in practice not easy to manage and too slow.
The EU regulatory process remains complex and too expensive in terms of resources, registration timeline can be at least twice as long and double costing than registration elsewhere. This situation is discouraging Companies to develop products and applying for their registration in Europe.
Q4: Could you please share with us your experience in biopesticide R&D and promotion?
Vittorio : Our company is recognised as pioneer in this market with a long history and good experience on bioprotectants R&D and promotion. For this reason we are considered a reference for the EU Bioprotectants market. During the last twenty years we developed and registered successfully on the EU market several, bioinsecticides, biofungicides and bionematicides. Our catalogue include proprietary products such as Naturalis (Beauveria bassiana ATCC74040), AQ 10 (Ampelomyces quisqualis I10) and Lepinox Plus/Rapax AS (B.t. kurstaki EG2348) for which we have an Annex I authorization and products registration in several EU countries activities that are carried out by our R&D and Regulatory teams.
Q5: What do you think a company needs to pay attention to if it wants to enter the European market?
Vittorio : The limiting factors for entering the European market are mainly related to products registration. Very limited modification have been made to the authorization system designed for chemical crop protection products. Long and unpredictable time and high cost, limited product introduction, especially for products having an indirect mode of action and just one or limited number of targets and/or crops which is often the case with Bioprotectants. Last but not least, the presence on the EU market of “Grey product” without sufficient control and guarantee, could compromise effort and investment made by company that wish comply with rules and regulations such as CBC Biogard.