Sumitomo Chemical Strengthens Its Crop Protection Business for Sustainable Agriculture
Oct. 9, 2020
Sumitomo Chemical has announced the realignment of its group subsidiaries to further strengthen its biorational business. Valent BioSciences LLC (VBC) in the US will now be responsible for all of the biorational-related business functions of Sumitomo Chemical Group. It also announced Valent U.S.A. LLC (Valent), the US headquarters of Sumitomo Chemical’s crop protection business, has opened a new state-of-the-art facility that integrates Valent’s headquarters and R&D operations. These measures will allow the Sumitomo Chemical Group to accelerate its contribution to sustainable agriculture, while also enhancing and expanding its global crop protection business.
Sumitomo Chemical Group’s global crop protection business has two pillars: conventional crop protection products and biorationals*. As the global crop protection market expands amid the need for increased food production prompted by population growth, the demand for biorationals, in particular, is expected to grow in the future.
Given this trend, the Sumitomo Chemical Group has repositioned its biorational business, enabling VBC to direct all the business functions. This allows VBC more operational independence and further strengthens the business. Specifically, a Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) position has been created at VBC to oversee the global biorational sales operations. The CCO will oversee a Sustainable Solutions Business Unit (SSBU), focusing on sales and services of biorationals in each region. SSBU staff will also be increased. In addition to the SSBU established at Valent, Sumitomo Chemical plans to create new SSBUs at its regional headquarters for the crop protection business in South America and Europe. As for biorational products under development, Sumitomo Chemical currently has six new products expected to be launched soon and many other promising product candidates in the early and middle stages of development. The six new products will launch following registration approval anticipated in 2022 or later. The SSBU in each region will be responsible for marketing these products.
In relation to conventional crop protection products, Valent’s new facility, the North American Innovation Center (NAIC) in San Ramon, California, opened in August 2020. This new site for crop protection products integrates Valent’s headquarters and R&D operations, which had been in different locations in Northern California. The NAIC is equipped with state-of-the-art R&D labs, and Valent will continue to focus on the development of innovative crop protection products to support sustainable agriculture.
Sumitomo Chemical will continue to promote the research and development of both conventional crop protection products and biorationals that contribute to sustainable agriculture, and deliver new solutions to agricultural producers through its global sales network. This will contribute to the stable supply of safe and secure food, increasingly in demand worldwide.
*The Sumitomo Chemical Group defines "biorationals" as products and microbes derived from natural sources or natural products themselves, such as microbial pesticides that protect crops from pests, plant growth regulators that improve and enhance crop quality and yield, and microbes that improve soil health.
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