Thu, 15/02/2018 - 00:00


Industry news

Sumitomo Chemical Australia has appointed Jock Leys as Business Development Manager – ANZ. Based in the Sydney head office, the role will primarily be responsible for developing the company’s soil health and biological portfolio (biorationals) across Australia and New Zealand. Sumitomo Chemical’s Managing Director Tony Brookes said, “we are delighted to have Jock on board given his wealth of experience in the industry and we look forward to him helping to build the new biologicals portfolio in Australia and New Zealand”.

Jock has held a variety of roles in the industry, from his early days working with biologicals for CSIRO in Canberra and broadacre agronomy in Northern NSW to various positions in sales and marketing with some of the industry’s most well-known companies. Whilst the primary objective of this role will be leading the development of a new soil health portfolio he will also be assisting in the development and strategy of the conventional chemical portfolio.

Mr Leys says he is excited to join the Sumitomo team and take on this new position, especially given the increased desire by many in the industry to see more of these types of new biological products aimed at improving plant health while curing specific pest or disease issues. The level of R&D and commitment Sumitomo is putting behind this segment is impressive, says Jock.

“With increasing concerns of consumers relating to some conventional crop protection practices and the desires and demands of food retailers for high quality, residue-free produce there is definitely a demand for new, more sustainable solutions”, says Mr Leys. At the same time the regulatory and environmental requirements imposed by the authorities continues to be increasingly stringent for conventional chemistry. With the majority of biologicals, we see an absence of residue issues altogether and a range of other benefits including reduced risk of resistance development and increased safety for workers and the environment.

Sumitomo Chemical already have the benefit of a significant track record in the biological’s space in countries like the US according to Mr Leys, especially with wholly owned subsidiaries such as Valent Biosciences, MGK and Mycorrhizal Applications. With proven technology already in the company’s toolkit but not yet developed in Australia we have a great opportunity to work with the local industry to understand the benefits they can bring and develop those that will really add value.