Last week the 2020 market insight of Agropages was published. In an interview we give you an insight on how we think about the developments in the seed treatment industry, our main business, our mid-and-long term development/research goals and more..
From various market forecast data, the seed treatment industry has very good development prospects. What do you think are the main factors driving the growth of this sector?
Seed treatments are becoming more and more important in the industry, due to the fact that applications of seed enhancement and seed protection products can be done at relatively low cost. Environmental issues, however, are becoming a major problem, especially the need to remove polymers (micro/nano plastics) due to their risks to the environment and human health. Ad Terram’s products are all microplastic-free, giving us an advantage over comparable companies in the industry.
In your opinion, what are the current bottlenecks that are difficult to break through in terms of seed treatment technology and application?
Companies are facing the fact that many chemicals used in or as seed treatments are being banned, so they are searching for alternatives. But the industry is facing the major problem of not having appropriate legislation and new products are being delayed when entering the market, because there is no difference in certification between environmentally-safe products, which are organic, and newly developed molecules, which are chemical based.
What are your company’s main business and sales markets?
Ad Terram is a young company, which started in 2014, specializing in the development of organic products for the agroindustry. These products are mainly used in conventional markets because of their high quality. Our seed coating and our biostimulants ensure farmers better and healthier crops through residue free treatments and higher yields, without negatively affecting germination. Besides seed coatings, we also provide the industry with encrusting and pelleting products for companies wanting to do encrusting and pelleting in-house. We not only offer them binders and powders, but we also develop tailormade recipes when needed. And we also develop foliar, bulb and soil treatments.
Ad Terram makes 100% high-end organic products. What are the advantages of seeds treated with organic products in terms of performance, price and sustainable development of agriculture?
Our seed coatings, premixes and biostimulants for foliar, bulb and soil treatments are, in general, able to compete with chemical products. We do not compromise in terms of quality, physical appearance and price.
A lot of chemical products are banned or going to be banned. Because of this, our products are good alternatives for the agricultural market, as they do not contain any chemicals or synthesized ingredients.
Does Ad Terram provide customized services for other companies?
Ad Terram provides tailor-made solutions for its customers, as well as training and protocols to ensure maximum results. Together with the customer, we find the best solutions.
In addition to optimizing existing products and technologies, does your company have new research and development directions in the future?
Ad Terram is constantly developing new products and new ways of serving our customers with innovations that they can use. Ad Terram tries to look ahead as far as possible to create alternatives to products that are under fire by governments, which keep drafting new legislation affecting the industry without providing companies with alternatives. Designing new products, however, is a long and costly process. When new products are finished, the extremely long and expensive process of registration starts. Every country has its own registration process, even within the EU.
In June, Ad Terram established an exclusive agreement with AGRII to offer 100% organic seed treatment solutions to the UK market. Is this a typical collaborating model between Ad Terram and local distributors in other countries? What is Ad Terram’s strategy in terms of expanding into the international market?
We are very pleased about our cooperation with AGRII. For us, the UK market is very important. Geographically, it is close to us but is a difficult market that requires a local player with experience in the field. AGRII is just that. Ad Terram hopes to make more deals like this in the future, especially in biostimulant markets, as farmers need to be visited and instructed on how to get the best results with our products. Needless to say, this will require significant input by agronomists and infrastructure experts in order to do this on one’s own, as well as the fact that you need to establish close relationships with farmers, as this type of interaction is, in our opinion, the way to go.
What are the short and mid-and-long term development goals of your company?
In the short-term, we are planning with our partner, TeaL, the introduction of our fully-automated pelleting machines, which will revolutionize pelleting. Imagine being able to pellet seeds yourself in a couple of hours, fully automated and with excellent results! The cost of outsourcing pelleting is huge, therefore, the range of products that are economically fit to use pellets on is limited. The range of crops suitable for pelleting is also increasing. The cost will eventually decrease, but we can still maintain high standards. This will add value to crop seeds, as well as tremendous benefits, as this was economically not possible before.
Ad Terram will also soon introduce a new nitrogen fixation treatment, which will be based on a range of selected strains of bacteria applied on seeds and leaves.