Bee Vectoring Technologies Completes California Approval Review Process, Gaining Access to Biggest Commercial Market in US
Mississauga, ON Canada and Sacramento, CA USA (December 22, 2020) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the “Company” or “BVT”) (CSE: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (CVE:BEE) is pleased to announce that it has completed the regulatory approval review process with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) on its proprietary Vectorite with CR-7 (Clonostachys rosea CR-7) (CR-7) biological fungicide for use on commercial crops via delivery using bees.
The commercial license allowing sales will be issued by CDPR in January 2021 following the completion of paperwork formalities after the holiday period. Previously, BVT gained US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval in August 2019 which gave the Company access to US states excluding California. It also has the full Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) organic certification.
“This milestone is a key component of our strategy to accelerate revenue growth in 2021,” said Michael Collinson, Chairman of the BVT Board of Directors. “California is the single largest growing region and our most significant market opportunity in North America. With a variety of crops that span 10 months of the year, it represents the opportunity for significantly larger and more diversified annual revenue. BVT CR-7 dovetails into the California market perfectly, being a 100% organic product delivered 100% naturally, effectively controlling disease and increasing yield while being exempt from residue testing requirements.”
California is BVT’s largest and most crop-diverse market opportunity in the US, where there are 1.3 million acres of key crops for the Company to target and 1.1 million(1) of them are already using commercial honeybees for pollination. BVT’s CR-7 is the first registered active ingredient for the Company and the first active ingredient approved by the EPA and CDPR for application via bees, in which BVT is a global leader. All this, combined with the Company’s patented honeybee dispenser, means BVT is uniquely positioned to address California grower needs in the following crops:
California is the country’s largest berry market (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries) with an estimated 55,000(2) acres representing 30% of the US’s berry acreage. This is the initial crop focus for BVT and where the Company has already attracted customers in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Michigan and the Pacific Northwest.
Almonds are the single largest crop opportunity for BVT with California having 1.2 million(3) acres and a crop value greater than US $6 billion(4), the largest crop in the state. The pollination of almonds is the world largest pollination event on the planet and honeybees are used extensively in the pollination of this crop. BVT continues to work with the Almond Board of California, researchers at the University of California, and growers to penetrate this high value crop.
Almost 50% of the country’s 200,000 acres(5) of pollinated stone fruits (cherries, plums and prunes) are in California. This will be the next area of focus for the Company.
California has significant acreage in other crops representing additional opportunities for BVT. This includes cucurbits and other vegetables (including greenhouse production), oilseeds, avocados and pome fruit (apples, pears). These will be areas of focus for the Company in the future.
“California requires an additional level of regulatory approval beyond the process we went through to achieve our EPA registration in 2019,” said Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. “Because their review process is extremely stringent and unlike with the EPA includes a review of product efficacy, this approval speaks to the strength and credibility of CR-7. We have already started discussions with a number of California growers about commercial trials for the upcoming growing season. Now, with state regulatory approval achieved, we are ramping up sales and marketing efforts to accelerate 2021 revenue growth including hiring a salesperson for California in the new year.”
BVT’s natural, 100% organic, precision agriculture system is particularly useful in drought-prone California. Commercially grown bees deliver biological pesticide alternatives directly to crop flower, reducing the water and fossil fuels needed with chemical pesticide sprays, all while using a fraction of the product required with traditional spray applications.
(1)(2)(5) Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service
(3)(4) Source: Almond Board of California almond almanac
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
The CSE has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release. The CSE does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. 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, 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 August 14,2020, filed with the CSE and 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.