Bee Vectoring Technologies Completes Successful Official Registration Trials Milestone for Commercialization in Mexico
Mississauga, ON Canada and Sacramento, CA USA (February 12, 2020) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the “Company” or “BVT”) (TSXV: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) today announced it has completed three official registration trials of the Company’s proprietary Clonostachys rosea CR-7 (CR-7) biological fungicide on commercial strawberry and tomato crops in Mexico. BVT worked with a Mexican government approved researcher to conduct the biological efficacy trials which are a requirement for the registration process in Mexico. Results confirmed the efficacy of CR-7 in controlling key diseases on the crops as expected, and the trial results will be submitted to Mexican regulatory authorities for review in the coming weeks. The remaining registration dossier is being prepared and is planned to be submitted by spring or early summer of this year. BVT received US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval back in August 2019.
“As soon as regulatory approval is granted in Mexico, BVT is ready to move into commercial operation and execute on its Mexico market sales strategy,” says Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. “If the regulatory submission process goes as planned without any follow up review required, we could see Mexico registration in place later this year. Having already successfully gone through what many consider a more rigorous process with the US EPA, we are confident that we are poised to complete and achieve this approval in a timely fashion.”
In anticipation of the commercial launch, the Company has already started market development activities of its proprietary bee vectoring system with delivery of VECTORITE™ with CR-7 by both bumble bees and honeybees. It has completed demonstration trials with two major Mexican berry growers on blueberries and blackberries. The growers, who farm in multiple states across Mexico, saw positive results and have agreed to continue trials on larger plot sizes in the next growing season. In addition, the company has built partnerships with two major bumble bee companies serving the Mexican market and some large commercial honeybee companies who provide pollination services to growers.
The trials also tested the Company’s biological fungicide CR-7 as a weekly spray with very positive results: the growers saw a 66% or greater efficacy in incidence and severity reduction over untreated control or standard organic commercially treated crops. This paves the way for a future introduction of a foliar spray end use product containing CR-7. BVT received an exemption from tolerance on CR-7 from the EPA which means all crops that are gown using any end use formulation of CR-7, including a foliar spray product, would not have to be tested for residues of CR-7 by Mexican growers before they export their crops into the US. This is seen as a major benefit in an export-oriented market such as Mexico.
“Currently, Mexico uses US$250 million worth of chemical fungicides per year,” continued Mr. Malik. “In addition to the registration trials, BVT has been conducting demonstration trials with local growers to prove out the efficacy of the technology. The use of biologicals in place of chemical fungicides is a fast-growing trend and an increasing number of growers are modifying production practices to meet higher food safety and quality standards with less chemical input.”
At a time of rising food prices, population growth and concerns about global food security, there is a growing need for more sustainable agricultural practices – ones that will help address future food needs and tackle the emerging challenges of climate change and resource conservation. Mexico is a significant producer of fresh fruits and vegetables, with US$9.1 billion of produce exported to the US annually.1 BVT’s natural precision agriculture system has tremendous market potential in Mexico’s fresh vegetable and fruit production markets, which include 33,800 acres of strawberries, 9,300 acres of blueberries and over 391,000 acres of tomatoes and peppers.2
(1) Source: 2017, Inside Mexico, “What does
Mexico export to the US?”
(2) Source: 2018, Mexico Agricultural and Fisheries Information Service (Servicio de Información Agroalimentaria y Pesquera)
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.