New corporate directions in pest management – FMC and Syngenta

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Reflecting its status as the key market for pest management professionals, it is no surprise to either hear about, or to see, shifts in the make-up of the global industry.

Announced at the end of August came the news that Syngenta, Switzerland had agreed to acquire the DuPont Professional Products insecticide business – see here. This acquisition included the DuPont innovative products for the professional turf, ornamentals and home pest control markets.

So PestWorld was the first large public appearance for the newly enhanced organisation. Historically Syngenta had a strong presence in the USA, so to American visitors at the show the stand was much as before.

For international visitors, particularly those from Europe, this acquisition is more significant as the Syngenta profile in pest control has been remarkably low – with their rodenticide products sold via other manufacturers e.g. BASF.

Du Pont on the other hand, had been carving itself a niche with a flow of European registrations and launches with its Advion products. So, it was good to see former European DuPont staff – particularly Aurelie Baillet – now firmly in the Syngenta stable, along with her colleague, Ewan Lamont, business manager for Europe.

Creating non-crop global product portfolios seems infectious, as multi-national FMC announced that they had done the same two months previously.

In her address introducing the FMC sponsored general session on Friday, Bethwyn Todd, outlined the company’s plans for pulling together the companies pest control, turf, ornamental and domestic sectors into one global business, with herself as director in charge of FMC Professional Solutions.

Syngenta''s Aurelie & Ewan
Aurelie Baillet, now firmly in the Syngenta camp,
with her new colleague Ewan Lamont

 FMC''s Bethwyn Todd & Bob Rosenburg
Bethwyn Todd director in charge of the new
FMC Professional Solutions with Bob Rosenburg,
who also has a new role as acting executive
vice president of the NPMA

Product innovation, she explained, is to be a centre piece of their mission, coupled with safety along with a concept widely heard about at PestWorld – sustainability.

Coming from Australia, and only 40 years of age, Bethwyn is certainly a rising star. Having grown-up on a farm in Queensland, Australia she gained a masters in business management, followed by spells in the regulatory functions for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food in Canberra and in the commercial sector with Monsanto, before joining FMC where she was responsible for the Asia region. From here she was invited to take on this new global role.

Judging by the activities of both these companies – watch-out for further developments!

For years the non-crop sector has been something of a Cinderella part of the multi-national company’s portfolios – but with ever tightening regulatory issues in agriculture, coupled with the production of low priced generic products coming from the Far East, their attention seems to be turning to these less developed, and hopefully more profitable, non-crop sectors.

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