Bee Vectoring Technologies Accelerates Growth in US Midwest with Three of Region’s Largest Berry Producers
Mississauga, ON Canada and Sacramento, CA USA (April 14, 2021) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the “Company” or “BVT”) (CSE: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (CVE:BEE) today announced that the Company has tripled its sales commitments among blueberry growers in the US Midwest, signing nine growers, including three of the largest berry producers in the region. BVT is also launching two R&D demonstration trials in Michigan.
Michigan, the main blueberry growing state in the US Midwest, is following the same sales adoption pattern that BVT has experienced in Georgia. In Georgia the initial two years saw increasing levels of interest and market adoption through establishment of a solid foundation with key customers, followed by increased acreage as the experience and word of mouth spread. This was followed by rapid accelerated growth in the third year with 100% customer retention together with a doubling of revenue through acquisition of new customers.
“We now have secured the foundation in Michigan from where we expect to grow along the same path as we paved in Georgia,” said Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. “More importantly we have now significantly increased our customer base in key US markets, including the Southeast and the Midwest, and continue to make good inroads in the Pacific Northwest and California. We anticipate this strong momentum to continue in lead up to and through this year’s growing season and look forward to announcing more news soon in other US regions.”
At 90,000(1) acres, the US blueberry market represents about a third of the 270,000(2) acre global market. Michigan has 20,000 acres(3), with a bloom period that starts in May, and harvesting from late June through October.
Blueberry growers in the Midwest are particularly impacted by Anthracnose fruit rot caused by the fungus Colletotrichum acutatum. It can lead to substantial economic loss through reduced yield, shelf life and fruit quality, with reported preharvest fruit losses of 10 to 20% and postharvest losses of up to 100%. It can also cause unacceptably high microbial counts in frozen fruit.(4)
“Anthracnose can be mitigated through chemicals but not rectified altogether,” said Ian Collinson, Sales Manager at Bee Vectoring Technologies. “Midwest growers use the BVT system to combat Anthracnose, reduce early fruit drop, and cut down on chemical pesticide spray intervals and intensity. Large growers looking for new solutions have been especially keen to try the BVT system with its totally organic approach and zero residue.”
These growers will use BVT’s proprietary Vectorite with CR-7 (Clonostachys rosea CR-7) (CR-7) biological fungicide and natural precision agriculture system in the upcoming growing season on about 170 of their approximately 3,000 overall blueberry acres under production. Based on common practice and the actions of previous growers trialing the system, the Company expects these growers will add BVT on increased acreage across their operations in the coming two to three seasons based on positive results.
“BVT is in the second pilot stage of our sales adoption in the Midwest, and our second season in the Midwest. We plan to use our expanded foothold in the sales adoption cycle region to keep leveraging grower trial data and endorsements to accelerate our reach even further for the 2022 growing season,” continued Mr. Collinson.
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.
(1)(3) Source: USDA, 2018 Agricultural Statistics Annual
(2) Source: FAO, United Nations, 2017 Statistics
(4) Source: Michigan State University, Michigan Blueberry Facts: Anthracnose Fruit Rot
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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