Agrovista joins EU R&D partnership

Agronomy services and products supplier Agrovista UK has joined the Euro-A-Pro arable inputs buying group and R&D organisation as a new partner.

The Euro-A-Pro joint venture was first created in 2009 by Actura-Holdis of France and BSL Germany. Both companies are active in the Netherlands, with Actura-Holdis also represented in Belgium. With the addition of Agrovista UK, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Agrovista BV, itself part of the international Marubeni Corporation,  Euro-A-Pro now has a major presence in the three largest arable crop markets in the EU and further coverage across the north-west Europe region.

The three partner companies will combine research efforts over a broad portfolio of projects covering plant protection, seeds, precision farming techniques and crop nutrition, extending across a wider geographic and commercial area. This will allow the development of new and existing products over a wider market.

Euro-A-Pro will work closely with suppliers and manufacturers, enabling new technologies and techniques to be shared and brought to market more efficiently in order to help growers face the challenges within European farming. Utilising the expertise and the knowledge of the combined partners, growers will have access to far more specialist information to help them maintain and develop profitable farming systems.

 Eric Barbedette, chief executive of Actura-Holdis is president of the restructured Euro-A Pro, with an executive committee comprising marketing and development director of Actura-Holdis Denis Cochet; Agrovista chief executive Chris Clayton and BSL chief executive Stefan Knittel. Mr Cochet will also be responsible for the management of this new entity. In addition, there will be an operational committee made up from the marketing and business teams of each partner company.    

 The partners will have a substantial share of the agronomy supply market in north-west Europe - between 18% and 25% depending on country and market segment. For example, the combined purchase potential for crop protection products is around €850 million, with 80,000 tonnes of cereal seed supply, 1.2 million hectares of corn, 120,000ha of oilseed rape and 40,000ha of sunflower seed.

 James Robertson, Agrovista Group chairman says the move will enable his company to gain scale and the opportunity to leverage its procurement, R&D, technology and precision services. “Seed will become increasingly important both in delivering new traits and carrying crop protection and nutrients treatments,” he says. “This partnership will give Agrovista the scale and access to wider R&D and precision technology resources so that our agronomy offer can help lift food production while maintaining a better environment.”