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Tradecorp, a step ahead in sustainable agriculture transformation due to its leadership on biostimulation and sustainable crop nutritionqrcode

Jul. 3, 2022

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Jul. 3, 2022

″We operate in over 60 countries and have five factories located in Spain; France, due to recent strategic acquisition such as SDP; Ireland with OGT; and Brazil with the acquisition of Microquimica. We have led to unprecedented growth in the company and further expansion of Tradecorp’s differentiated portfolio, by incorporating microbiological solutions, such as inoculants and bacterial extracts, as well as cutting-edge adjuvants,″said José Alfredo García, Chief Operating Officer, Bionutrition Unit at Rovensa and Executive Director at Tradecorp International in a recent interview with AgroPages.


He also shared his views on Tradecorp's milestones, global outreach and core competitiveness, plans to develop the Chinese market and new markets, product lines&special features,organic-certified products, production facilities and relevant capabilities,  business model and carbon farming practices etc..


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José Alfredo García, Chief Operating Officer, Bionutrition Unit at Rovensa and Executive Director at Tradecorp International


Could you give us some details about Tradecorp, its history, milestones, global outreach and core competitiveness?


Tradecorp was founded in Spain in 1985 as a global company committed to reaching new standards in agriculture, contributing to sustainability and to consolidating the bionutrition segment worldwide. Today, we specialise in biostimulation and sustainable crop nutrition, which includes solutions such as biostimulants, chelates and microbiological solutions. Our mission is to feed the planet through sustainable, healthy agriculture to help a world that is facing ever-increasing nutritional challenges, because of overpopulation, climate change and declining natural resources.


To summarise Tradecorp's milestones and main facts and figures, we operate in over 60 countries and have five factories located in Spain; France, due to recent strategic acquisition such as SDP; Ireland with OGT; and Brazil with the acquisition of Microquimica. We have led to unprecedented growth in the company and further expansion of Tradecorp’s differentiated portfolio, by incorporating microbiological solutions, such as inoculants and bacterial extracts, as well as cutting-edge adjuvants.

 
At Tradecorp, we are determined to be part of the solution for the world’s present and future challenges. As part of the Rovensa Group, global leader in biosolutions, the foundations for this campaign to equitably feed the growing population, protect people’s health and preserve the environment are shared priorities that must be addressed collectively and must create value for all stakeholders, while becoming the best partner for leading growers. Therefore, at Tradecorp we have launched The answers lie in our hands, an initiative aimed at tackling global challenges to transform food production through sustainable improvements in agriculture and working together to eradicate hunger, achieve food safety and security and improve nutrition worldwide. Product innovation, collaboration and digital transformation are central to Tradecorp’s strategy to create balanced, sustainable agriculture. This project is set to redefine the industry’s business model and promote sustainable agricultural production.


To achieve this ambitious objective, Tradecorp has developed a high-quality, efficient portfolio of biostimulants and biofertilisers that encourage plant growth and care, from improving the crop’s ability to use nutrients to improving tolerance to abiotic stress. The goal is to give growers tools to face the reduction of some plant protection products, minimise nutritional losses and antimicrobials, and promote organic farming practices. In short, offering sustainable, efficient solutions for biostimulation and sustainable crop nutrition in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the European Commission’s ″Farm to Fork″ strategy, so that agriculture can withstand the world’s present and future challenges.


Could you outline Tradecorp’s plans to develop the Chinese market?


The answer lies in our hands, we are passionate to be part of the solution globally and China is not an exception. This industry, employing more than 300 million farmers, so boosting Tradecorp's operations in this country is one of our strategic priorities.


The company's strategy in the Chinese market started over ten years ago with its specialised product portfolio and its importers and distributors.


Over the past few years, Tradecorp has extended its product coverage getting new registrations there. With its highly professional technical services, Chinese growers have become familiar with and have applied more of Tradecorp’s premium quality, differentiated micronutrients, humic acid, amino acid and seaweed products on crops such as citrus, fruit and vegetables. A revolutionary new generation of bionutrition products, leaded by Biimore, will soon be launched in China to contribute to green agriculture.


As part of the Rovensa Group, Tradecorp China will be joining forces with other Rovensa sister companies like Idai Nature, Agrotecnologia and Oro Agri to offer a wide range of sustainable bionutrition and biocontrol solutions to support current and future market and customer needs, with a marked focus on value-added crops.


Could you give us an overview of Tradecorp’s product lines, their special features, modes of action, application and how they bring innovation to crops? Please mention some of your innovative new biostimulants. What are your product development strategies and your plans to launch new products? How does Tradecorp combine products with service?


Tradecorp offers a huge solutions portfolio to boost and improve organic agriculture for all crops, covering phenological stages and considering adverse climate change factors, from a preventive perspective to a curative effect with the main objective of produce safe and healthy food for all, by maximizing a sustainable harvest performance.


Our broad portfolio includes specialities and new-generation solutions for biostimulation, biofertilizers, special nutrition and technical products as adjuvants & special correctors.


All projects we undertake share the company's vision to be a high-quality, professional benchmark in their respective local and global market segments, offering excellent service and adding value for our customers. In addition, we offer advice and support to our customers delivering solutions to a better crop approach. 


One of our latest launches is the innovative biostimulant Biimore, an ultra-efficient bacterial extract derived from an exclusive, sustainable plant fermentation process. Biimore was developed thanks to a unique, breakthrough formulation, which provides ultra-efficient performance at ultra-low doses. In fact, the standard dose recommended by Tradecorp is between 20 and 200 mL per hectare and application, depending on the crop, which is 10-40 times lower than the dose normally recommended for other biostimulants. This ground-breaking innovation places Tradecorp at the forefront of the industry because there is no other product like Biimore which is revolutionising the market.


Could you give us a rundown on Tradecorp’s R&D, technology and production facilities and relevant capabilities? 


At Tradecorp, we use the latest technology to achieve greater efficiency in our products with the aim of increasing farm yields, considering sustainable growth and with the lowest possible environmental impact, following the highest standards of quality and safety during the process.


We have two major manufacturing plants here in Spain. We produce our chelates in Avila, which is one of the few factories in the world that is capable of synthesising EDDHA, and we manufacture liquid solutions in Albacete. In Ireland, we have access to seaweeds that are processed with our ″gentle extraction″ method. In Brazil, the factory produces biofertilizers (inoculants) and microorganisms-based products. We also have a factory in France specialized to produce proprietary developed conventional and bio-adjuvants.


We have our own research team, which understands innovation as a broad concept that goes beyond technology. Agricultural innovation applies to products, but also to processes. Our R&D team works closely with clients to determine their requirements, and our products and solutions are custom-made to answer these specific needs. We invest over 5% of our annual turnover in R&D.


Part of our commitment to innovation is through partnerships. We believe that this is an excellent way to drive innovation in our industry. Along these lines, Tradecorp collaborates with over 20 research centres and universities around the world.


In March 2022, Tradecorp launched Biological Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture, a joint research unit developed in conjunction with the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CGBP), a joint venture between the Technical University of Madrid and the Spanish National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology. The alliance is acting as an accelerator for the transformation of agricultural production, developing biological solutions for sustainable agriculture and reducing the impact on the environment.


BIOTOOL is an innovative research project developed by Tradecorp International and the Italian research centre Landlab, supported by the Eurostars programme. The BIOTOOL platform is a tool designed to boost the effect of biostimulants on plants and improve crop yields through efficient water use, by measuring, calculating, and evaluating the status of plants in real-time and under experimental conditions of suboptimal water application.


What are the challenges of biostimulant formulation and how do you overcome them?  Could you share some of your innovation formulation technologies?


Although products have always been used to stimulate plant growth and increase yields, the use of the term biostimulant is more recent and starting in July 2022, the term will be accepted in the European Union.


What is most known about them is their effects on crops. What is less known is their modes of action on the plants. However, this is changing, thanks to the major research efforts made over the last decade in this field.


One of the main challenges when formulating biostimulants is that many of them are derived from natural raw materials. Thus to ensure consistency in all the batches of the formulation keeping high level of efficiency and contents is a challenge, we ensure that and the market remains acknowledge that.


During the last BioAg World Congress, we introduced an innovative Ultra-Efficient Biostimulant, using cutting-edge technology based on a unique, sustainable plant fermentation process. With more than 200 agronomic trials in more than 25 strategic crops and geographical areas, this breakthrough has demonstrated that the combination of more than 200 bioactive ingredients reaches high efficacy at ultra-low doses.


This event, which brought together farmers, policymakers, business executives, government officials and innovators from around the world, became the perfect scenario to present Tradecorp’s latest milestone and to put the company at the forefront of the circular economy, biostimulation and the microorganism industry.  

                                                                                                           
How does Tradecorp manage its value chain and operate its global business?


When talking about the value chain, the critical point for Tradecorop is to put people at the centre. When designing our strategy, our focus centres on our end users, distributors, and employees. We care about them, and strategic areas such as safety (caring for people), sustainability (caring for the environment, people, and governance) and innovation shape everything we do to cater for their demands.


To cover our main stakeholders’ needs we have created a 100% downstream value chain. In Tradecorp we always listen carefully to our clients. To deliver the best solution to their needs and problems, we have set up an organisational structure that makes us more responsive whilst ensuring world-class process standardisation. Marketing and Sales are key to the process as they are the areas in direct contact with our clients, detecting their needs, the latest trends and pointing the way to go. Moreover, we have local teams that approach our stakeholders at grassroots level and adapt our global strategy to regional and local needs. We currently market our products in over 60 countries, with local teams in 24 geographic locations who deploy our strategy. The Innovation Department responds to our clients’ needs in terms of solutions and the Industrial Department is responsible for making our clients’ needs come true in products with the highest quality standards on the market, following an agile process that enables us to supply our clients in a minimum period of time, with solutions ready to be sold worldwide.


What is your business model and the criteria in choosing partners?


Partners are a key element in our go-to-market strategy as they are at its core. We follow a push-tech-pull strategy in which our distributors play a major role. To deliver solutions to solve their growers’ crop problems and cater for their needs, we transfer technical and solution performance knowledge to them, based on partnerships with prestigious research centres and universities. The solutions are then passed downstream to our distributors and subsequently to the end users to produce sustainable, healthy fruit, vegetables, cereals, and other foodstuffs in line with consumer, the food industry and retailer demands. Our distributors have in common characteristics such as high technical skills, that will help us to spread our biostimulation, crop nutrition and crop management expertise. In addition, our perfect partner must be ambitious in terms of constantly seeking sustainable business growth.


What are your plans to develop new markets?


We have a clear challenge with a 2030 vision: we aim to be perceived as the best bionutrition partner to produce the vegetables, cereals, and fruit that the food industry, retailers and consumers are demanding in terms of quality, yield and sustainability. To achieve this, we focus on our stakeholders’ needs. According to our recent customer satisfaction and external stakeholder surveys, they require advice and support from us.  From a strategic point of view and to rise to the challenge and respond to our stakeholders’ needs, we must deliver added value to them in our areas of influence, i.e., biostimulation, sustainable crop nutrition, crop management and agri-food market knowledge.

 
Accordingly, our priorities centre on expanding the main geographical areas where biostimulation and the crop nutrition business are key. We have a clear strategy on maintaining our position in countries where we have an important market share, launching new products and expanding into new crops. In developing markets, we have a strong strategy to increase our outreach, and, for these new markets, we have defined a roadmap that centres on our more traditional lines in the initial stages of entering the market and then shifting to the new ones as the market matures.


Tradecorp is committed to environmental sustainability and organic agriculture. Do you plan to introduce organic-certified products and promote and apply them globally? Could you share some of your company’s carbon farming practices/programs?


As a company with sustainability at its core, Tradecorp promotes internal actions aimed at reducing its impact on the environment, including reducing its water and energy consumption, its emissions, and the waste in its plants.


In line with Rovensa Group’s commitment to a net-zero future, Tradecorp significantly reduced the use of polyethylene in 2020, cutting its global emissions of CO2 by 240,399 kg.


Responsible management of our products throughout their life cycle is essential for us, our customers and society at large. One of Tradecorp's main objectives is to increase the number of low-risk solutions in our portfolio to 30% of our business by 2025.
As a company focused on the development of sustainable solutions for agriculture, Tradecorp is boosting organic-certified products. We have doubling sales of organic products in a 105% in the last 4 years. During the same period, we have increased in a 36% the organic-certified products, this has meant more than substantial growth.


Tradecorp biostimulants based on natural sources boost circular economy. With this solution we have increased in an 83% circular economy products sales in the last 4 year. Waste management is another key component of Tradecorp’s sustainability commitment, with the company taking actions to create more sustainable product packaging by using recycled materials. Latest investment has addressed to reduce carboard consumption saving approximately 162,000 boxes per year.


We have also become members of GLOBALG.A.P., the world's largest platform establishing a set of standards for good agricultural practices, and in 2012, we signed the United Nations Global Compact initiative, which pledges to align operations and strategies with its ten principles, including the environment.


We are a company that also considers that it is important to engage all agents to promote real, tangible change. As part of Rovensa group, we want to involve all other stakeholders in the development of our sustainability objectives. Our retailers play a key role in the agri-food chain. We are working with the "Sustainability Ambassadors" programme to enable our distributors to improve their tools, increase their range of sustainable agriculture solutions and ultimately bring them to the farmer.
In addition, in our roadmap and our commitment to sustainability, we aim to reach the following UN Sustainable Development Goals.


If you'd like to share your company/product/solution story, please contact Grace Yuan via: grace@agropages.com

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