CPL Business Consultants ‘How-to-do-it Guide to Biopesticides’ is a practical guide for those interested in starting or acquiring a business in this market.  This volume does not provide market data or analysis. Instead, it draws on CPL’s years of experience in developing, producing, registering, manufacturing and selling biopesticides. 

CPL has produced editions of this study since 1987, provided extensive single-client consultancy on biopesticides to many companies, given talks and written publications on the subject.  You can see the last edition of the contents of The How-to-do-it Guide to Biopesticides with Historical Examples by clicking on the link. You can also find the Forward from the guide below.  CPL is able to update this volume on request.

For details of other reports which were published in CPL’s Biopesticides series, click here.

The How-to-do-it Guide to Biopesticides

Success in biopesticides rests on a few fundamentals which do not change all that much; there are many examples of both what to do and what to avoid. This volume briefly addresses the characteristics of the companies that go into biopesticides. It sets out and reviews the key success factors for participation in the biopesticides business. Similarly, the processes of finding, making and then marketing biopesticides are discussed in detail.

Detailed Biopesticide Company Case Studies

For this edition, we have included some historical case studies including detailed information on:

  • Agricultural Genetics Company (later MicroBio, Becker Underwood now BASF)
  • Ecogen (gone)
  • EcoScience (gone)
  • Koppert (still growing)
  • Mycogen (gone to Dow, now Corteva)
  • Novo (formerly Tate & Lyle, Microbial Resources, later Abbott, then Valent/Sumitomo)

Each of these companies was reviewed in some detail in the early 1990s in a short-lived journal called AgBioIndustry published by CPL and CABI.

Shorter Biopesticide Company Overviews

We have also included a shorter overview  of:

  • AEF Global (gone in its original form)
  • AgraQuest
  • Bactec (gone)
  • BioAgri (Lantmännen)
  • Biosys (gone to Certis)
  • Certis
  • Earth BioSciences / Taensa (gone)
  • EcoSoil Systems (gone)
  • Eden Bioscience (gone)
  • Mycotech (went to Laverlam)
  • Prophyta (now Bayer)
  • Verdera / Kemira (now Lallemand)

A feature of the biopesticides business is that when the author started in the 1980’s, the market leaders were Abbott and Sandoz, and Koppert BV was a sound family business selling biocontrol insects. 33 years later, the market leaders were Abbott’s successor Valent, Sandoz’s successor Certis, and Koppert was still a sound but larger, mostly family business selling biocontrol insects among other products.

Within those 33 years, one biopesticide company, Eden BioSciences, was briefly worth $1billion without having a real product. Others used capital for acquisitions of real companies as their ‘route to market’. Others tried ‘roll-ups’, putting together a number of weak companies hoping to make a strong one. Some of the founders and investors made money, but most did not. The biopesticides business is about the fundamentals, knowing your customers and markets, having sound products and crucially, being able to produce and sell them cost-effectively.

CPL has worked on many biopesticides projects, for example on a business plan and on acquisitions. For information about CPL Business Consultants, have a look at our PowerPoint Introduction and a brochure describing deliverables, differentiators and case studies. You can also review eight case studies.

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