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CROs: Offer services, but more than services – Exclusive interview with NSFqrcode

Aug. 14, 2020

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Aug. 14, 2020
Erwin Xue

Erwin Xue

Manager, Marketing Department


Latin America is the most attractive market for both crop protection companies and CRO companies that provide development & regulatory services to crop protection companies. Crop protection sales in Latin America rose significantly for a second year in 2019, rising more than 10% in 2018 and over 7% in 2019. Globally, Latin America was the second largest agrochemical market by region, with Brazil remaining the leading market, ahead of the US and China. 

The strong situation of the crop protection market has further stimulated CRO companies to increase their investments in Latin America in the past years. AgroPages invited five leading CRO companies: Eurofins Agroscience Services, SynTech, Vigna Brasil, NSF and Manexa, to discuss how they support the increasing crop protection market in their own ways and what they are thinking of diversifying their services in this growing region.

Here below is the interview with Alvino Rodrigues Junior, MSc., NSF Technical Laboratory Manager – Brazil. We will put the other interviews online successively.


Alvino Rodrigues Junior, MSc., 

NSF Technical Laboratory Manager – Brazil

Please brief us on your company’s business in Latin America. What services does the company mainly provide to customers?

NSF International (nsf.org) is an independent, global organization that facilitates standards development, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. With operations in more than 180 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.

The NSF International laboratory in Brazil is in Rio Grande do Sul state, and has more than 20 years of experience in the Latin American agricultural market. Offering a wide range of services, the lab covers several areas of expertise and attends all required steps for a product registry in Brazil for technical and formulated products. Examples of our services include physical properties and 5-Batch protocol studies, ecotoxicology, genotoxicity, cell cultures, toxicology, pathogenicity, in silico evaluations, and field and laboratory tests with agricultural commodities and bees, for pesticide residues studies.

What are the advantages driving your company's Latin American business? 

NSF Brazil is a “one stop shop”, since we’re able to conduct studies from the early stages of new formulation development, such as Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) and toxicity tests to the last phases of regulatory product submissions. Our services include monitoring residues after field applications, developing methodologies and validating them using Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) guidelines.

What are the characteristics of the Latin American market that attract investment from CRO companies?

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Latin America has 38 % of its area used for agricultural purposes, being a major global exporter of soybeans, pork, maize, poultry, animal feed, sugar, coffee, and fruits and vegetables, allowing the possibility for agrochemical companies of several types of product use. The market’s resilience is another key factor; since even with the COVID-19 pandemic, the agricultural sector continues to deliver consistent numbers of production and revenues in Brazil, which is the largest market player in the region.

What are the significant changes in agricultural or crop protection policies and regulations related to your business in major regions of Latin America in recent years?

The product registration process has become faster and more agile in Brazil, which reflects the record of approved products during 2019, although there has been no reduction in study requirements and technical data. The GLP data acceptance in Argentina is another milestone that contributed in a positive way for the market and product manufacturers, allowing specific studies (e.g. physical-chemistry properties) on acceptance from other countries.

The Latin American market, especially Brazil and Argentina, has witnessed the rapid development of biological solutions and digital agriculture in recent years. What impact will these have on your company's development strategy?

NSF Brazil is ready to attend to the demands from these new fields. For biological products, the laboratory has expertise for analysis demand, with qualified technical and personal resources to develop analytical methods and analyze bacteria and fungus-based products, offering tailor-made solutions to attend client needs and regulatory requirements.

What is your company's development plan in Latin America or key countries in the next few years? Do you have any suggestions for your potential partners who would like to invest more in Latin countries? 

NSF International has a mission to protect human health, and this mission is performed by audit, certification and laboratory services for a variety of markets, like water treatment, food, and pharmaceuticals. In agricultural markets, our strategy is focused on consolidating NSF brands in Latin America, expanding the services coverage range in other regions, and increasing our analysis portfolio, with our GLP studies scope being available for technical and formulated products evaluations.

This article was initially published in AgroPages '2020 Latin America Focus' magazine. Download it to read more articles.


Source: AgroNews


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