Bee Vectoring Technologies Announces Start of the Sales Process in World’s Largest Almond Market
Mississauga, Ontario and Sacramento, California–(Newsfile Corp. – March 10, 2021) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (CSE: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (CVE: BEE) (the “Company” or “BVT”) is pleased to announce it has started its first grower trials in the Company’s largest single crop opportunity in the US to date, the California almond market. BVT has begun trials with five almond growers and key crop advisors in the main almond growing region in the state, the Central Valley. The total California almond market is valued at over USD $6 billion(1), is the largest non-dairy crop in the state, and includes over 1.2 million(2)acres in production.
The five new trials come less than two months of BVT receiving state regulatory approval for its proprietary Vectorite with CR-7 (Clonostachys rosea CR-7) (CR-7) biological fungicide. The Company was not able to conduct field trials before this approval. Securing this level of trials from growers in a new state, in a new crop and in such a short period of time, signifies the momentum that BVT is now achieving in the US market. Like the Company’s recent announcement on berry trials with California growers, this speaks to the opportunity for acceleration of BVT’s growth in the largest agricultural market in the US.
BVT is also in discussions with the Almond Board of California, which represents 7,600 almond growers and 100 handlers. The Almond Board is one of the US’s leading crop associations with commitment to increase adoption of environmentally-friendly pest management tools by 25% by 2025. The objective of these first trials is to gain awareness, and proof of concept for the BVT technology to control key fungal pathogens in almonds, in a manner consistent with the objectives of Almond Board.
“Prior lab trials and trials in other crops have indicated that CR-7 can suppress Monilinia, the pathogen that causes brown rot blossom blight, the principal disease in almond flowers,” stated Dr. John Sutton, a world-renowned plant pathologist, expert in biological disease control and member of BVT’s Scientific Advisory Board. “In over 35 years of research as a plant disease epidemiologist, I found CR-7 to be one of the most effective biological tools available for suppressing crop disease on the farm. CR-7 is by nature an internal and beneficial colonizer of almost all kinds of plants. When applied in crops it immediately establishes a mutually beneficial relationship with the plant tissues and is able to respond rapidly at any time to blockade attempted invasions by pathogens and thereby suppress disease. Furthermore, it stimulates the plant’s own natural resistance to numerous pathogens and stress conditions plus exerts biostimulant effects which taken together add up to enhanced vigor, productivity and quality.”
The field trials are now underway in California’s Central Valley and are designed to confirm that bees can carry CR-7 to the almond bloom efficiently in order to manage the disease. Four are commercial demonstrations led by agricultural consultants or crop advisors who work directly for growers and are responsible for evaluating and recommending disease and pest control solutions. The fifth is an R&D trial, led by a well-respected researcher with connections to the Almond Board of California, and conducted on 20 acres of a large almond orchard. Following standard scientific protocols, this trial will assess the efficacy of bee vectoring with CR-7 on disease and crop yield, looking at BVT-treated plots, untreated plots and those with and without conventional fungicide sprays. In order for the trials to be useable, the disease has to be present and this is not always the case every year, particularly in dry windy seasons, so several seasons and multiple sites may be required to demonstrate the effectiveness of the BVT system.
“California almonds use over 2 million(3) bee colonies for pollination every year, a massive opportunity for BVT,” said Ian Collinson, Sales Manager at Bee Vectoring Technologies. “We have already mobilized the first market stage of our sales adoption cycle to secure these initial trials, as we have successfully demonstrated in other crops, and we continue to build relationships with almond growers in preparation for next year’s growing season. These trials also provide invaluable information and knowhow for our system and solidifies BVT as a market leader.”
BVT’s sales adoption cycle consists of four market stages that span three to four growing seasons and this is done in each crop starting with the largest opportunities. The first stage is awareness, which involves proof of concept and initial trials. In the second pilot stage, small-scale sales are secured via grower demos. The launch stage is when commercialization happens, with initial revenues coming from a small percentage of the acreages of large, influential growers as they validate the product. Finally, the expansion stage sees revenue growth achieved through increased share of acres with existing customers and more new customers as word-of-mouth spreads.
“Almonds and BVT are a natural fit,” continued Mr. Collinson. “Every nut exists because a bee pollinated the flower. Bees must pollinate each and every blossom – 3 trillion of them – there is no other alternative. Why not have the same bees carry biological fungicides at the same time?”
(1)(2) Source: Almond Board of California almond almanac
(3) Source: Goodrich, Brittney (January 6, 2020). 2020 Almond Pollination Market: Economic Outlook and Other Considerations.