23 November 2001

Crop protection alliance seeks a fresh approach

HIGH value and specialist crop growers are being offered a new integrated service to make best use of agrochemical, biochemical, biological and pheromone control products.

Certis has been formed from the various crop protection businesses of Mitsui group across Europe and the US, including Hortichem, Agrisense and Biological Crop Protection in the UK and Novartiss former Bt biological control agent business in the US.

Unlike competitors it will pursue a solution-based approach to crop protection problems, rather than simply offering individual products, said marketing manager Kevin Price at the companys Brighton launch.

"It is not like pulling a product off the shelf and just using it. This sector requires expertise and knowledge to develop integrated solutions that make products work well."

With 120 staff across Europe the company aims to work with distributors and growers direct to develop increasingly bespoke advice for higher value crops, including potatoes.

Diamond-back moth control in field-scale brassicas demonstrates the need for integrated solutions. "We can offer pheromone traps for monitoring populations, insect growth regulating sprays like Dimylin to combat low populations and insecticides to tackle populations if they exceed treatment thresholds," said Mr Price .

The Certis name will be adopted from January 2002, with a head office in Brussels. Annual turnover in Europe is £24m. &#42