BVT completes California approval review process for bee-delivering biofungicide, gaining access to biggest commercial market in US
Dec. 23, 2020
Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the “Company” or “BVT”) (CSE: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (CVE:BEE) announces that it has completed the regulatory approval review process with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) on its proprietary Vectorite with CR-7 (Clonostachys rosea CR-7) (CR-7) biological fungicide for use on commercial crops via delivery using bees.
The commercial license allowing sales will be issued by CDPR in January 2021 following the completion of paperwork formalities after the holiday period. Previously, BVT gained US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval in August 2019 which gave the Company access to US states excluding California. It also has the full Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) organic certification.
“This milestone is a key component of our strategy to accelerate revenue growth in 2021,” said Michael Collinson, Chairman of the BVT Board of Directors. “California is the single largest growing region and our most significant market opportunity in North America. With a variety of crops that span 10 months of the year, it represents the opportunity for significantly larger and more diversified annual revenue. BVT CR-7 dovetails into the California market perfectly, being a 100% organic product delivered 100% naturally, effectively controlling disease and increasing yield while being exempt from residue testing requirements.”
California is BVT’s largest and most crop-diverse market opportunity in the US, where there are 1.3 million acres of key crops for the Company to target and 1.1 million(1) of them are already using commercial honeybees for pollination. BVT’s CR-7 is the first registered active ingredient for the Company and the first active ingredient approved by the EPA and CDPR for application via bees, in which BVT is a global leader. All this, combined with the Company’s patented honeybee dispenser, means BVT is uniquely positioned to address California grower needs in the following crops:
California is the country’s largest berry market (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries) with an estimated 55,000(2) acres representing 30% of the US’s berry acreage. This is the initial crop focus for BVT and where the Company has already attracted customers in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Michigan and the Pacific Northwest.
Almonds are the single largest crop opportunity for BVT with California having 1.2 million(3) acres and a crop value greater than US $6 billion(4), the largest crop in the state. The pollination of almonds is the world largest pollination event on the planet and honeybees are used extensively in the pollination of this crop. BVT continues to work with the Almond Board of California, researchers at the University of California, and growers to penetrate this high value crop.
Almost 50% of the country’s 200,000 acres(5) of pollinated stone fruits (cherries, plums and prunes) are in California. This will be the next area of focus for the Company.
California has significant acreage in other crops representing additional opportunities for BVT. This includes cucurbits and other vegetables (including greenhouse production), oilseeds, avocados and pome fruit (apples, pears). These will be areas of focus for the Company in the future.
“California requires an additional level of regulatory approval beyond the process we went through to achieve our EPA registration in 2019,” said Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. “Because their review process is extremely stringent and unlike with the EPA includes a review of product efficacy, this approval speaks to the strength and credibility of CR-7. We have already started discussions with a number of California growers about commercial trials for the upcoming growing season. Now, with state regulatory approval achieved, we are ramping up sales and marketing efforts to accelerate 2021 revenue growth including hiring a salesperson for California in the new year.”
BVT’s natural, 100% organic, precision agriculture system is particularly useful in drought-prone California. Commercially grown bees deliver biological pesticide alternatives directly to crop flower, reducing the water and fossil fuels needed with chemical pesticide sprays, all while using a fraction of the product required with traditional spray applications.
(1)(2)(5) Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service
(3)(4) Source: Almond Board of California almond almanac
More from AgroNews
Subscribe to daily email alerts of AgroNews.