“We work globally, but in a local way and at ground level”. Laia Cortel was interviewed for the weekly fruit and vegetable magazine Valencia Fruits
Global sustainability and agricultural sustainability as essential, efficient use of raw materials in production, and a clear trend towards ecological or zero waste production are, for many, the keys to the near future. Laia Cortel, Commercial Director of Bioiberica, comments on how her company is working in this direction by optimizing fertilisation and promoting the reduction of dependence on chemical pesticides, while maintaining a production strategy that is a “100% circular bioeconomy”. In short, “high value-added products that are totally biodegradable with no risk to health or the environment that meet the highest quality and worldwide sustainability standards” created with a global mindset but, at the same time, understanding local particularities and needs.
Valencia Fruits: How has Bioiberica experienced the social recognition of the agricultural sector as an essential sector as a result of the pandemic?
Laia Cortel: The recognition of the agricultural sector as an essential sector is indisputable. It is important that society has acknowledged the great value of the work farmers do, equating their work to that of other essential groups such as healthcare workers or security forces. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the work of farmers and livestock farmers has been crucial in securing food supplies for the population and I think that this recognition was, therefore, unquestionably due.
VF: Has this situation had an impact on your business?
LC: Fortunately, at Bioiberica we have not suffered any negative repercussions. The company provides essential services and, for that reason, our production and supply of heparin and other pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as the production chain for agricultural products, has been running completely as normal. However, there are countries we export to, where we have experienced difficulties in maintaining normal business operations. In Spain, in the first phase of the pandemic, we had to work with the uncertainty of the situation itself, working from home and with restrictions on the transport of goods, both nationally and to other countries. Thanks to the support of a committed team of people and our efforts to adapt to the situation, we were able to maintain our business and continue to rely on the support of our customers.
VF: Do you think that awareness of sustainable agriculture has evolved as a result of this new situation?
LC: Yes, 100%! I am sure that an increased awareness of global sustainability will be one of the major drivers for the development of more sustainable agriculture. And the post-pandemic scenario, together with the launch of the European Green Pact, will evolve agricultural production towards more efficient practices in terms of the use of raw materials and an increase in organic or zero waste production.
VF: How does Bioiberica contribute to sustainable agricultural practices and to the circular bioeconomy?
LC: Bioiberica’s solutions for sustainable agriculture are aimed at optimising fertilisation and reducing dependence on chemical pesticides. In addition, Bioiberica’s production strategy is a 100% circular bioeconomy. Starting with raw materials that are organic in origin, and then using processes designed to minimise consumption of resources, we obtain 100% organic, efficient, and sustainable end products.
VF: Bioiberica is a reference standard among products for plant stress. What is the role of biostimulants in optimising fertilisation? How can they reduce dependence on pesticides?
LC: Quality biostimulants stimulate plant growth and development throughout the life cycle of the crop. Their use boosts plant metabolism to improve crop yield and quality, especially in situations of plant stress, whether due to adverse weather conditions, or because they have been affected by disease or agricultural pests. Biostimulants also increase efficiency in nutrient and water use, making crops more productive and healthier, and reducing the need for chemically synthesised fertilisers that can be harmful to the environment. In addition, biostimulants for root application can be used as soil health enhancers, particularly favouring the development of beneficial microorganisms that help both to optimise crop fertilisation and to enhance the bioprotective effect of the soil, reducing dependence on phytosanitary products.
VF: What lines is Bioiberica working on to develop new solutions?
LC: At Bioiberica, we are working on developing solutions to improve the efficient use of nutrients with innovative formulations that increase the bioavailability of nutrients for plants. In this way, we promote the reduction of doses and container sizes, as well as the profitability of fertilisation. We have started working on the efficient use of micronutrients, and we are now particularly focused on the efficient use of nitrogen and calcium. In addition, we also want to expand our Bioprotection line, both in terms of improving our range of attractants for fruit flies and expanding the Biocontrol product line.
VF: Do you plan to launch any new product?
- We have recently launched the new AminoQuelant® Flow range in the form of a concentrated suspension containing L-α-amino acids for deficiency stress in crops. It consists of three bioavailable nutrition products: AminoQuelant®-Mn Flow, AminoQuelant®-Zn Flow and AminoQuelant®-Zn/Mn Flow. Bioiberica thus offers the agricultural sector a product that is richer in micronutrients and more efficient in absorption and translocation, which also makes it possible to reduce the application dose and the cost of the treatment per hectare.
VF: What is the main argument for farmers to choose Bioiberica’s solutions if they want to choose sustainable agriculture?
LC: Bioiberica creates and develops high value-added products that are totally biodegradable with no risk to health or the environment, that meet the highest quality and worldwide sustainability standards. We know, by the very nature of the company, what it means to work in support of the circular bioeconomy, understanding that it is the most sustainable and profitable way to add value to society. We work globally, but in a local way and at ground level with the realities of each area and crop, supporting our technicians and farmers with the limitations and needs they encounter in their daily lives so that they, too, are responsible for sustainable production of their crops.