Jan. 19, 2017
Sumitomo Corporation Invests in European Biocontrol CompanyExpanding Business in Europe, the World Leader in Biocontrol Solutions
Sumitomo Corporation (head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Kuniharu Nakamura) has invested in Futureco Bioscience S.A. (head office: Barcelona, Spain; hereinafter “Futureco”) through its crop protection marketing company, Sumi Agro Europe Ltd. (head office: London, U.K.; hereinafter “SAE”). Futureco specializes in research, development and production of biocontrol products1 and biostimulants2 (together hereinafter “biocontrol solutions”).
With this investment, SAE will access a strong discovery pipeline and manufacturing competence that will significantly enhance its portfolio in this key growth sector. SAE began marketing crop protection products in Europe, more than 25 years ago and today has a direct distribution presence in 16 countries through its subsidiary and affiliate companies. The wide portfolio and flexible supply options from Futureco provides an opportunity to strengthen SAE position as a provider of new technology solutions that are developed for local farming systems. The expansion of the business in biocontrol solutions is one of the key strategies of SAE, and is expected to bring about complementary synergy with its crop protection products in both product development and sales.
Futureco will access the distribution network of SAE in Europe and Sumitomo Corporation worldwide for its existing portfolio and expects to accelerate the field development phase of its pipeline portfolio through collaboration with the SAE Development Division. Futureco is a family-owned company that has successfully targeted innovation in the sector of lower impact crop protection and plant health technologies, for more than twenty years. Collaboration with research institutes and universities, including the University of Barcelona, has been integrated with their practical agronomic knowledge to focus the discovery and selection of commercially valuable biocontrol solutions.
The biocontrol solutions market has been expanding at a rate of more than 10% per year and is expected to become a five-billion-dollar market worldwide within five years, driven by growing demand for low environmental impact products and expected relatively lower cost for obtaining approval for use compared with its chemical counterpart. SAE targets annual sales of 50 million dollars by 2020 with its biocontrol solutions portfolio in Europe.
Sumitomo Corporation has engaged in plant protection products for over 40 years since it started exporting Japanese manufacturers’ products in the 1970s, thereby contributing to improving the productivity and efficiency of agriculture. Currently, Sumitomo Corporation is conducting import and distribution in more than 30 countries, primarily in Europe and North America, under the strategy of further developing the downstream of value chains, with a view to achieving total sales of 150 billion yen.
Sumitomo Corporation will make efforts to enhance its distribution organization by expanding its operations around the world, particularly in Asia, to increase the volume of biocontrol products it handles in order to meet diversifying needs for plant protection products and help address the growing needs for safe and reliable food and other food issues.
1 “Biocontrol products” refers to natural occurring substances, insects, nematodes, fungi, other living organisms or their extracts used in plant protection,
2 “Biostimulants” refers to any substance or microorganism applied to plants with the aim of enhancing nutrition efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance and/or crop quality traits, regardless of its nutrients content.
|[Outline of SAE]|
|Location||:||London, United Kingdom|
|Business||:||Management of companies importing/selling agrichemicals and other agricultural materials|
|Sales||:||269 million euro (consolidated bases; year ending December 2015)|
|[Outline of Futureco]|
|Business||:||Research, development, production and commercialization of environment-friendly agricultural bio-formulation for the protection and nutriment of agricultural products|