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Gowan: Focusing on specialty crop market, enhancing biocontrol product developmentqrcode

May. 27, 2020

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May. 27, 2020

Compared with conventional chemical pesticides, biopesticides have attracted more and more attention due to their low toxicity, minimal side effects, high levels of safety and environmental compatibility. According to data from Mordor Intelligence, the global biopesticide market was valued at some US$3.147 billion in 2018, with its composite annual growth rate expected to reach 14.1% in 2019-2024. Due to stricter regulations on conventional pesticides and the increased occurrence of the issue of resistance, biopesticides are expected to have a promising future. Many agrochemical companies from both home and abroad, such as Bayer, Syngenta and BASF, have adopted their businesses to seize this opportunity to lead the pesticide industry by developing their own biopesticides. 


Gowan is no exception. Founded in 1962 and based in Yuma, Arizona, in the United States (US), the company specializes in marketing, developing and producing agricultural inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers and crop protection products. Over 10 years ago, Gowan launched its first biopesticide, Aza-Direct ®, which is an azadirachtin insecticide, followed by several biological crop protection products, such as M-Pede ®. Most recently, a new business unit dedicated to bioproduct development was established in 2019. 

1. Focusing on specialty crops, extending sales channels


Gowan has established branches or offices in 11 countries, including Chile, Belgium, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and Mexico, with its products being sold in more than 70 countries around the world. The company's business model is based on understanding local cultures, customs and market demands, and partnerships are created with local companies, considering that Gowan excels at consultancy on regulatory and legislative issues. By utilizing its advantageous legislative expertise, Gowan manages its daily business effectively while placing itself at the forefront of agrochemical technology, to provide growers with key plant disease and insect pest solutions.


Gowan is always committed to providing technical support to agriculture and horticulture, with reliable and effective solutions for both conventional agriculture and organic farming. Cindy Smith (Director of Agricultural Relations at Gowan) said that the major objective of Gowan is to capture the niche market and provide products fit for specialty crops in local markets.


Gowan has, over the past decade, entered more markets and expanded its product portfolio through acquisitions and cooperation agreements, to increase its business capacity. Gowan's acquisition of Chilean pesticide supplier Agro Technology, Brazilian dealer Cross Link, and several businesses from Corteva Agriscience and Bayer, as well as the signing of distribution agreements with Isagro and Nissan Chemical, have all contributed to the company's global business growth.


Business Dynamics of Gowan in Recent Three Years
April   2020
Gowan   signed an exclusive agreement withNissan Chemical to   distribute pyridaben, quizalofop-p-ethyl, halosulfuron-methyl and amisulbrommin   in Italy.
Dec   2019
Gowan acquired   Bayer's fenamidone and pencycuron businesses, with the former being   successful in Japan, Brazil, India and Russia, while the latter is widely   sold in the US, Mexico, India and Russia.
Dec   2019
Gowan authorized the   exclusive sale of Nissan Chemical's quinoxyfen in the US, Mexico and Chile.
May   2019
Gowan   acquired Cross Link, Brazil.
Jan   2019
Gowan   launched its biological product development business unit.
Oct   2018
Gowan   launched its botanical biopesticide, EcoSwing.
July   2017
Gowan   acquired Chilean pesticide supplier Agrotechnology S.A.

Gowan has conducted two major acquisitions, one is the acquisition of Agrotechnology S.A, a Chilean company, to access the country's fresh fruit and grape market. The other is the acquisition of Cross Link, a downstream distributor in Brazil, with the aim of accessing the country's fruit and vegetable market. During the last 25 years, Cross Link has been Gowan's exclusive distributor in Brazil. Olivier Deneufbourg (General Manager of Gowan's International Business Operations) said that Gowan expects Brazil to be one of the main sources of growth of the company, as well as a key platform for improving its business performance in Latin America.
At the start of its business development, most of Gowan's business activities took place in the North America Free-Trade Area, but the company began to get into European and Asian markets just a few years ago. These two acquisitions in the past three years not only reflect the company's business positioning on specialty crop, but also its strategic goal of growing its market in Latin America, as well as further strengthening its leading market status in the field of specialty crop protection solutions. 
Back in 2016, Gowan established a partnership with Nissan Chemical, authorizing it as an exclusive distributor of Nissan's three insecticides in the UK market. Moreover, Gowan recently built closer relations with Nissan Chemical. In December 2019, Nissan Chemical acquired Corteva Agriscience's quinoxyfen business, and it made Gowan an exclusive distributor. The product is included in Gowan's business operations in the US, Mexico and Chile, to enhance Nissan Chemical's presence in the global market. In less than five months, Nissan Chemical signed another strategic agreement with Gowan's subsidiary. On 1st April, 2020, Gowan Italy was exclusively authorized to distribute, in Italy, all pesticide products based on Nissan Chemical's active ingredients, such as pyridaben, quizalofop-p-ethyl, halosulfuron-methyl and amisulbrom, utilizing Gowan's business, technology and marketing resources. Nissan Chemical said it will continue to invest in and support the future research and development of agrochemical products.
Gowan's extensive sales channels and Nissan Chemical's rich product portfolio and strong product development capacity are highly complementary, creating mutual support and mutual benefits. Gowan's cooperation with Nissan Chemical may become another new source of growth for Gowan's global businesses.
2. Establishing a new business unit dedicated to biological product development
As far back as 10 years ago, Gowan began its biopesticide business operations and developed the biological product, Captiva ® Prime, in cooperation with an acquired company, EcoFlora®; Agro SAS. However, in January 2019, Gowan announced the establishment of a new business unit dedicated to the development and innovation of biological products, which was a key milestone in Gowan’s commitment to biological product development. As part of its plan, Gowan acquired the balance of equity share in EcoFlora®; Agro SAS, Colombia, via its UK subsidiary. Thereafter, the biological development capacity of the acquired company was wholly taken over by Gowan. At present, the biofungicide, EcoSwing, developed by EcoFlora will surely become Gowan's star product. EcoSwing is the first of a series of innovative products that Gowan launch to the market. In 2019, EcoSwing won a global biopesticide award.
Gowan currently possesses six biological control products, Aza-Direct®;, Badge®; X2, Captiva®; Prime, M-Pede®, Previsto®and EcoSwing®.
Aza Direct ®: A broad-spectrum bioinsecticide containing azadirachtin, which is used to control greenhouse crop insect pests and outdoor food grain insect pests. It can be used for both traditional agriculture and organic farming, and has been granted NOP and OMRI certifications.
Badge®X2: Launched by Isagro in 2009, it is a patented biofungicide containing copper hydroxide and copper oxychloride, which can prevent and control a variety of fungal diseases. Badge® X2 has a dual-action mode, involving copper hydroxide, which is fast-acting in protecting crops, while copper oxychloride has long-lasting residual control and rain fastness. Gowan obtained the exclusive right to distribute the product in 2013. 
Captiva ® Prime: The active ingredients of this insecticide/repellent include capsicum oleoresin extract, garlic oil and soybean oil, which stimulate and compel thrips and mites in ornamental plants and lawn to leave their hiding places. When used alone, Captive has repellent, anti-feedant and oviposition-inhibiting properties. When mixed with other insecticides or tank-mix acaricides, Captive can help improve the activity of conventional insecticides and acaricides to extend their insecticidal spectrum. Captive Prime was developed by Gowan in collaboration with EcoFlora Agro, a leading plant extract research company. The insecticide has been granted registrations in the US, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Taiwan and Morocco.
- M-Pede®: In 2010, Gowan acquired the product from the formerly Dow AgroSciences. M-Pede is a natural source-based insecticide, acaricide and fungicide. It is used on many crops, such as fruit trees, vegetables, grapes, cotton and ornamental plants, to control soft-body insect pests, mites and powdery mildew for the whole life cycle of crops.  
- Previsto®: A fungicide containing copper hydroxide, which has better rain fastness and higher levels of safety compared to other copper-containing fungicides.
- EcoSwing®: Launched in 2018, it is a liquid botanical fungicide based on the extract of the swinglea glutinosa. It has a reliable fungal control effect against powdery mildew, gray mold and brown rot that affect many varieties of crops, including stone fruit, grape, strawberry and beer. It has a unique action mode, zero-day safety interval and is MRL free. In April 2020, EcoSwing was included by FRAV in the BM01.


Source: AgroNews

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