Bee Vectoring Technologies Opens European Office and R&D Center
Mississauga, Ontario and Sacramento, California--(Newsfile Corp. - February 17, 2020) - Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (TSXV: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (the "Company" or "BVT") today announced the opening of its new European office in Switzerland's Agri & Co Innovation Center, where the Company joins other innovative organizations in the country's flourishing ag-tech community. The move is part of BVT's award in the Agri & Co Challenge.
"We are honored to have been awarded this space as part of the Agri & Co Challenge and we would like to thank them for their support. The award recognizes BVT as a sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides, something that the European market is eager to adopt," says Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. "The new office and the accompanying expert resources will help BVT expand into the European market."
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The new location is designed to help BVT continue its innovation in biological crop protection delivery systems. It includes a fully-equipped laboratory, growth chambers, greenhouse space for trialing (starting in spring 2020), and 95 hectares of land leased to a local grower who will host trials in his fields, as well as office space. In addition, BVT will receive the full support of Agri & Co staff and the Swiss canton of Fribourg's state government, access to experts in various fields, as well as facilitated R&D collaborations with other ag-tech innovators.
"This is now our regional base for piloting and commercializing our natural precision agriculture technology in Europe. The goal of the BVT Europe office is to coordinate registration efforts across Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME), enable partnership conversations and develop our go-to-market strategy with our North American head office," says Christoph Lehnen, BVT's Business Manager for EAME. "As soon as we have Swiss regulatory approval, which we anticipate this year, we will start establishing commercial deals with Swiss growers and gain valuable experience for an eventual launch across Europe."
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Strategically, it's beneficial for BVT to have a presence in the Agri & Co Innovation Center. The vision for the Center is to become the Swiss - and potentially even a European - hub for the Agri, Food and Nutrition industry, with a number of startups already in place and more companies in talks to occupy a portion of the newly refurbished space.
"Consumer pressure against pesticides is significant in the European market," continued Mr. Lehnen. "The European Union (EU) and Switzerland recently banned Chlorothalonil1, one of the world's most common pesticides, which means another one of very few available contact fungicides is off the market. Growers have access to fewer and fewer tools to manage their crops, while resistance to fungicides is increasing. It's a perfect entry point for crop protection alternatives, like BVT, that are effective and meet strict environmental requirements."
Switzerland, like the rest of Europe, has targeted to reduce the risks of pesticide use by 50%.2 In the Swiss action plan on pesticides, this involves less pesticide applications, more training and education, the substitution of pesticides posing particular risks, and other target actions. At the same time, new pests (e.g. Drosophila suzukii) and diseases (e.g. Marssonina coronata) have established a foothold in Europe, and in many cases, cannot be managed with chemical pesticides. Alternatives are needed and this presents the market opportunity for BVT.
Today, growers in Switzerland and broader within the EU are increasingly seeking non-chemical alternatives. The overall EU pesticides market is worth approximately US$13 billion.3 BVT is targeting $1 billion of that for its bee delivery system, a huge opportunity that opens up a new market, helps maintain yields, and offers Europe a healthier, less chemically-dependent future.
1 Source: Official Journal of the European Union, April 29, 2019
2 Source: Switzerland Action Plan Pesticides, January 28, 2020
3 Source: Eurostat, March 28, 2018
BVT, an agriculture technology company, is a market disruptor with a significant global market opportunity in the $240 billion crop protection and fertilizer market. BVT has pioneered a natural precision agriculture system that replaces chemical pesticides and wasteful plant protection product spray applications by delivering biological pesticide alternatives to crops using commercially grown bees. BVT's award-winning technology, precision vectoring, is completely harmless to bees and allows minute amounts of naturally-derived pesticides (called biologicals) to be delivered directly to blooms, providing improved crop protection and yield results than traditional chemical pesticides - and improving the health of the soil, the microbiome and the environment. Currently, BVT has over 65 granted patents, over 35 patents pending in all major agricultural countries worldwide, and has US EPA registration of its VECTORITE™ with CR-7 (EPA Registration No. 90641-2) for sale as a registered biological fungicide for use on the labeled crops.
Ashish Malik, President & CEO
Babak Pedram, Investor Relations
Virtus Advisory Group
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Certain statements contained in this press release constitute "forward-looking information" as such term is defined in applicable Canadian securities legislation. The words "may", "would", "could", "should", "potential", "will", "seek", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect" and similar expressions as they relate to the Company, "annual revenue potential", are intended to identify forward-looking information. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking information. Such statements reflect the Company's current views and intentions with respect to future events, and current information available to the Company, and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including: planted acres of strawberries in Florida, selling price of competitive chemical pesticides and the US to Canadian dollar exchange rate. Material factors or assumptions were applied in providing forward-looking information. Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking information to vary from those described herein should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize. These factors include changes in law, competition, litigation, the ability to implement business strategies and pursue business opportunities, state of the capital markets, the availability of funds and resources to pursue operations, new technologies, the ability to protect intellectual property rights, the ability to obtain patent protection for products, third-party intellectual property infringement claims, regulatory changes affecting products, failing research and development activities, the ability to reach and sustain profitability, dependence on business and technical experts, the ability to effectively manage business operations and growth, issuance of debt, dilution of existing securities, volatility of publicly traded securities, potential conflicts of interest, unlikelihood of dividend payments, the potential costs stemming from defending third-party intellectual property infringement claims, the ability to secure relationships with manufacturers and purchasers, as well as general economic, market and business conditions, as well as those risk factors discussed or referred to in the Company's Filing Statement dated May 29, 2015, filed with the securities regulatory authorities in certain provinces of Canada and available at www.sedar.com. Should any factor affect the Company in an unexpected manner, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, the actual results or events may differ materially from the results or events predicted. Any such forward-looking information is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. Moreover, the Company does not assume responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of such forward-looking information. The forward-looking information included in this press release is made as of the date of this press release and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, other than as required by applicable law. All figures are in Canadian dollars.
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