by Larry Aylward – Meister Media
California based Nutrient TECH is not just benefiting from the growth of BioSolutions products in the agriculture industry; the company is helping to boost that growth in the United States.
A primary reason for that is the research and development stemming from Nutrient TECH’s parent company, DE SANGOSSE Group, an international leader in BioSolutions for plant nutrition and crop protection. BioSolutions encompass biostimulants, biofertilizers, beneficial microbes, amendments, and biocontrol products.DE SANGOSSE was founded in 1926 and purchased Nutrient TECH in 2015 with the intent to add BioSolutions to its U.S. product line. At the time, Nutrient TECH focused its efforts on manufacturing and marketing the highest quality foliar fertility products.
DE SANGOSSE has been expanding its BioSolutions business internationally and now operates in more than 60 countries. It has acquired 17 companies in the past 10 years, all of which are in the BioSolutions space. DE SANGOSSE accomplished this under Nicolas Fillon, who has been the company’s General Director for 15 years. In that time, Fillon says DE SANGOSSE focused heavily on the research and development of BioSolution products. In France, the company owns a 30% market share. Globally the DE SANGOSSE Group has applied over 74 million acres of BioSolution products in the past season.
“BioSolutions are crucial for sustainable agriculture, and we think the U.S. is a key growth market,” Fillon says.
So does Greg Johnson, who became President of Nutrient TECH shortly after the DE SANGOSSE acquisition. Johnson, who has 40 years of domestic and international experience in crop protection products says, “DE SANGOSSE has had a tremendous influence on Nutrient TECH,” which has begun to produce BioSolutions products at its manufacturing plant in California’s central valley.
“DE SANGOSSE’s core philosophy is to bring proven technology-based products into the marketplace,” says Johnson, who also leads Fine Americas Inc., another DE SANGOSSE owned company. “The opportunity we have is to bring these solutions to the U.S. market and to establish Nutrient TECH as the leader in the BioSolutions segment.”
U.S. BioSolutions Market is Growing
Johnson acknowledges that the U.S. market demand for BioSolutions products is different from the French and European markets. In France and Europe, Fillon says there is a substantial “social demand” for such products from consumers. In the U.S., Johnson and Fillon realize that the social demand is not as significant as it is over the pond, but it is growing.
“Consumers are asking for these types of products, and it is influencing maximum residue limits in the European Union and thus defining what inputs can be used,” Johnson adds. “I see the U.S. market significantly changing over the next several years.”
Thanks to DE SANGOSSE’s ownership and influence, Nutrient TECH is getting out in front of those changes, Johnson adds, noting that research and development is “absolutely critical” to the products’ success in the U.S. In the past 15 years, DE SANGOSSE has invested heavily in capital, time, and effort to develop a pipeline of products that have been rolled out in Europe, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, and other countries.
“Nutrient TECH is integrating a number of these products originating from DE SANGOSSE into its portfolio,” Johnson adds.
Nutrient TECH has conducted its own field trials of several BioSolutions products that have proved successful in the European market. One of those products is ROOTERRA, which contains synergistic natural compounds, trace elements, and essential nutrients to promote the rapid establishment of new plantings and help plants resist environmental stresses. The combination of ingredients stimulates early root development, plant vigor, and growth to maximize crop yield and quality. Johnson says field research with ROOTERRA has confirmed positive yield responses in a broad array of crops to include fruit and nut trees, leafy greens, grapes, root and tuber crops, tomatoes, melons, corn and peppers.
Through various phases of product introduction, Johnson expects Nutrient TECH to become a leader in the U.S. as a basic manufacturer of BioSolutions products. While Nutrient TECH has focused its business primarily on the West Coast, Johnson says the company is looking to establish commercial opportunities and strategic partnerships in other areas in North America and into more broadacre crops.
Driven by Innovation
There have been several unreliable products entered into the BioSolutions segment that over promise and under deliver. Fillon believes that through comprehensive, local research and development, Nutrient TECH and DE SANGOSSE will continue to demonstrate to growers that BioSolutions can play an effective role in their growing successes.
“DE SANGOSSE’s market share in Europe continues to expand because growers are using our products year after year,” Fillon says. Fillon advances that global agriculture needs to respond to the changes that only innovation can address. This mindset is at the heart of DE SANGOSSE’s mission to transform agriculture. In the evolution of agriculture, Fillon believes Nutrient TECH will fulfill that mission in North America.