SAN JOSE, Calif.—July 28, 2018: Crop Enhancement Inc., which describes itself as an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products for enhancing crop yields, has appointed Marcus Meadows-Smith to its board of directors. As a proven, successful, and recognized executive of the agrochemical industry, Meadows-Smith will assist the management team with the development of business models and go-to-market strategies that position Crop Enhancement for success as it reaches a key inflection point: commercialization of its technology.
Meadows-Smith is currently CEO of BioConsortia Inc., a discoverer of microbial crop protection and enhancement products. Prior to that, he turned around the biopesticide business AgraQuest Inc. over a four-year timeframe, culminating in that company being acquired by Bayer CropScience for over $400 million. Following Bayer’s acquisition of AgraQuest, he became head of biologics for Bayer CropScience. Previously, Meadows-Smith had a 14-year career at Chemtura Corporation, assuming multiple managerial roles and ultimately becoming EVP for a $2 billion portfolio of businesses that included crop protection, consumer products, and plastics additives.
Crop Enhancement’s market momentum is growing as the company gears up to launch its first crop protection product, CropCoat. Successful field trials with cacao growers and food value chain partners demonstrated double-digit yield increases, confirming that Crop Enhancement’s approach gives growers a powerful new tool to address the demands of consumers who want sustainably produced foods.
The CropCoat product achieves this through several effective modes of action (MOAs) that growers can deploy for sustainable integrated pest management (IPM), according to the company. Beyond yield and profit increase, CropCoat can deliver to growers the added benefits of no regulated residue (no minimum residual levels, or MRLs), pest resistance management, fewer spray applications and lower costs, the company says.
Field trials with coffee growers are also underway in Central and South America, and the program is being expanded to high-value specialty crops including fruits and vegetables in the United States.
“Crop Enhancement has achieved the two most telling milestones for the success of a startup in agriculture — indeed for any product or company in agriculture— by generating great field trials results, as well as excitement for product adoption by key partners and major players in the food value chain,” said Marcus Meadows-Smith, board director of Crop Enhancement. “Crop Enhancement is well positioned to gain registrations, identify partners who can deliver rapid growth and then collaborate with them to maximize crop yield.”
“I am delighted to welcome Marcus Meadows-Smith to our board of directors after he advised the company for the past year. Marcus brings a wealth of commercialization and value creation expertise to the team,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “We are now driving towards product registrations in different geographies, starting with Indonesia, and seeking distribution partners. Marcus’ extensive experience in this process will help us immeasurably.”
Crop Enhancement’s products target major fruit and vegetable crops worldwide across regions that include North America, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Latin America and Africa. To boost crop yields in these regions, Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit and seeds) to improve their resistance to pests and diseases, and decrease the need for harmful pesticides. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can also be applied with agricultural inputs like nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling farmers to reduce costs and increase crop yields.
Photo courtesy of Crop Enhancement (Kevin Chen, PhD & CEO, Crop Enhancement with Marcus Meadows-Smith, CEO, BioConsortia and Independent Board Director of Crop Enhancement Inc.)