Jan. 25, 2019
According to the latest report released by MarketsandMarkets (M&M), the global compound growth rate of the biostimulant market is expected to reach 10.43%, from 2 billion US dollars in 2017 to 3.29 billion US dollars in 2022.
Founded in 1972, Biolchim S.p.A is a global leader in biostimulants, distributing a wide range of biostimulant products to more than 50 countries around the world. Recently, Anna Fontana, PhD, Sales Support and Marketing of Biolchim
accepted an interview by AgroPages to discuss the development status of the global biostimulant market, Biolchim' advantages
and its development strategy in the Chinese market.
As a leading biostimulant company in the world, could you tell us what specific actions Biolchim has taken in product development, marketing and business development in 2018?
Anna Fontana: In 2018, a number of product prototypes from our R&D pipeline have arrived at the final field-testing stage after having passed all previous screenings and tests with brilliant results. Some of these products will be launched onto specific markets already in 2019. This is the result of important investments in R&D facilities (growth chambers, greenhouses), of a planned and controlled product development, and of the numerous collaborations within our Worldwide Innovation Network (WIN).
The Biolchim Group has strengthened its presence on the territory through the opening of new subsidiaries, entrance in new markets, and successful product registration in countries in key areas such as South America, Australia, North Africa and the Indian Subcontinent. This is in line with the Group’s strategy of being closer to customers and growers to provide constant support and create value for the farmers.
How do you view the current global market for biostimulants? What are the opportunities and challenges? Which products will be sold as key products of Biolchim in the future?
Anna Fontana: The market for biostimulants is growing around the world. Some markets are more mature, such as Europe, some are developing, and some others are still at the very beginning. We are present in all these situations. It takes a great deal of flexibility to capture the different market requirements, and of technical expertise to fine tune application guidelines to local practices or even introduce for the first time the technology of biostimulants.
All biostimulants will gain importance in the future, in particular those that improve plant production in conditions of environmental stress due to the impact of climate change and land degradation. We already have a wide array of targeted solutions for each agronomic need, and we are constantly working to introduce the latest technologies in our product portfolio.
The concept of "biostimulant" originated in Europe at the earliest. Therefore, the regulatory dynamics of biostimulant in Europe have affected the global biostimulant industry. Could you tell us about the changes or updates of the European biostimulant regulation in 2018?
Anna Fontana: Europe is close to approving the new fertilizing product regulation, which for the first time includes biostimulants. This regulation is expected to foster trading in Europe by providing common rules for placing biostimulants on the European market.
There was big uncertainty at some point last year on whether the regulation will go further or not until November, when it was clear that the approval process will continue.
2015 is called the first year of Chinese biostimulant. After several years of development, biostimulant has been widely recognized by all sectors of Chinese agriculture, and various types of biostimulant companies are emerging. How did Biolchim cope with the increasingly fierce Chinese market?What major moves will Biolchim make in the Chinese market in the next few years?
Anna Fontana: The Biolchim Group has been confident that the Chinese biostimulant market would develop and grow from the beginning. That is why we opened our Chinese subsidiary, BCF China, already in 2015. The subsidiary is able to supply biostimulants all over the country and technical support to growers through a dedicated team of agronomists.
At present, seaweed extract biostimulant filled the market, the quality of good and bad.How to choose the best seaweed extract products has become a problem for dealers and growers. What advice do you have for choosing the right products?
Anna Fontana: At Biolchim we are in full control of the supply and processing of all strategic raw materials which we use in our biostimulants. We produce seaweeds through West Coast Marine Bioprocessing, a Canadian company specialized in the production of seaweeds that is part of the Group. We harvest a particular species of brown seaweed, Macrocystis integrifolia, from uncontaminated waters of Vancouver Island, which provides an extract of the highest purity and free of pollutants. A highly concentrated seaweed extract is obtained through a fully mechanical process conducted on-site at our facilities without the use of chemicals or heat. Mechanical processing, unlike chemical extraction, preserves the natural characteristic bioactive compounds in the kelp extract.
The origin of the seaweed and the processing methods are critical to determine the quality of the final product.