Mon, 26/03/2018 - 00:00


Industry news

Sumitomo Chemical Japan recently acquired 82.9% of shares in Botanical Resources Australia Pty Ltd and its affiliated companies (the BRA group), making it a consolidated subsidiary. The BRA group is a global leader in the production of the natural insecticide active ingredient, Pyrethrin which is extracted from Australian grown pyrethrum daisies. Since their inception in 1996 BRA have led the world in the cultivation of the pyrethrum daisy and now manage thousands of hectares of their own, and their growing partners daisies.

The other major shareholder in BRA is MGK. MGK is itself a leader in the development and distribution of a wide range of insect control technologies including pyrethrum, and is also majority owned by Sumitomo Chemical. This acquisition places Sumitomo Chemical as the global leader in pyrethrum and will allow the group to apply the know-how of BRA to its current products, as well as using the acquisition to form a more stable supply system for pyrethrins.

Pyrethrum is known as a botanical insecticide as it is produced primarily in the flowers of a plant from the chrysanthemum family. Pyrethrum-producing plants are harvested and sent to a processing plant for extraction of the active ingredient. The process of extracting and refining the pyrethrum is highly complex, and this is the area in which BRA lead the world. The resulting insecticide is very pure and powerful, created from a naturally occurring, low toxicity, sustainable resource.

Pyrethrum is a very exciting compound which already has a long history, but also has a lot of untapped potential, as Producers look for natural solutions with the advantages of no residues and no withholding periods. Sumitomo, along with BRA and MGK, will look to explore this potential in the coming years.

The Sumitomo Chemical Australia AgroSolutions team recently had their sales and planning meeting in Tasmania so that they could incorporate a visit to BRA to find out more. The team were able to tour the production plant and visit to the companies farming operation. BRA manages 1200 ha of farmland, producing not only pyrethrum daisies but also poppies, potatoes, carrot, wheat and onions.

Brett Ryan, Marketing Manager at Sumitomo said that the visit was a great learning experience for the team “The team were already familiar with pyrethrins as it is the active ingredient in Pyganic - our organic insecticide. We have also been involved with pyrethrum growers through the development of Sumagic plant growth regulator used to help manage the crop and maximise yield.  So, it was a great opportunity for us to expand on that knowledge through our time with the world’s foremost authority on pyrethrin production. It was great to see the interaction between our AgroSolutions team and the BRA farm management staff. A lot of knowledge was shared both ways in the brief visit, and it’s clear that there will be ongoing co-operation between these two teams “