We were fortunate enough to attend for the first time the annual congress of the relatively young Biocontrol industry, vital to the future of crop growing, and we felt right at home!
Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting
With a record attendance of 1227 delegates from 52 countries, 536 organisations all related to the fast-growing Biocontrol sector were represented. Vivent’s exhibition stand was one of 90 from 18 countries. We were in excellent company – from manufacturers of the latest bio-based crop protection & improvement products, bio control product testing companies, registration & regulation experts, to leading agricultural institutes. It was no surprise then, given PhytlSign’s latest research results and our potential role in sustainable crop growing, that we received a lot of interest from a range of individuals and companies and made a number of great contacts.
The level of innovation on show here, from mainly small to medium sized companies, was impressive, and all with the same remit of helping to grow crops sustainably in a global situation- population increasing, availability of arable land reducing, and resources like water becoming scarcer. At the same time ever-diversifying pests & diseases (that will be emboldened further by global temperature rises) have to be tackled in a way that is not harmful to life. This is why it’s such an important industry!
The Biocontrol market is categorised by many investors as being in the `early growth stage’ but has seen rapid growth (16-18% CAGR) in the last few 5-8 years with hundreds of mainly small companies playing a part. This contrasts greatly with long-established industries such the synthetic crop protection and seed manufacturers that are dominated largely by 4 main players.
Controlling crop pests and diseases with biopesticides and macro-organisms presents many challenges for the manufacturing, storage and distribution of such products, but also in the area of establishing global regulation, i.e. common terminology & safety standards, testing methodology etc. Hence the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association (IBMA) is busy working with companies and authorities around the world to quickly establish operating parameters. This work is very urgent because the need for high standards of regulation must be balanced against allowing new, desperately needed bio-based crop protection solutions to quickly become widely available.
We are certainly feeling excited about being part of this vibrant, innovative and globally important industry. You can view the presentation that we had running on our stand here. ABIM Stand