Farming News - Minagro welcomes new board of directors to drive green innovations in sustainable crop care

Minagro welcomes new board of directors to drive green innovations in sustainable crop care

New members' decades-long expertise in agrochemicals will help Minagro align its greener co-formulants within market transitioning towards more sustainable agricultural practices

Minagro, a pioneering start-up specializing in the development of innovative bio-based co-formulants for the agrochemical sector, today announces the appointment of a top-tier board of directors. Chairman Pierre Ferrand and directors George Blackman, Koen Quaghebeur and Alexandre Berbinschi each bring a unique set of expertise in agrochemicals, green chemistry, global distribution and financial investment. Their combined skills will significantly strengthen Minagro's capacity to integrate its sustainable crop nutrition and protection products within the food and biomass supply chains.

The new board, with its decades of experience and understanding of agrochemical operations at the customer level, joins Arnold de Maere, CEO and co-founder of Minagro, to bring pragmatic bio-based innovations to the agrochemical and fertilizer industry, supporting its transition to a sustainable model. Minagro's patented co-formulants: in-can preservatives, adjuvants and solvents, extend to both conventional and organic agriculture. In the future, the company will expand product development in other market areas.

"Minagro is thrilled to welcome this highly expert team of board directors," said Arnold de Maere, CEO and co-founder of Minagro. "We are dedicated to leading the charge in developing greener co-formulants, a critical yet often overlooked component in the crop protection and crop nutrition sector. Our board, with its rich expertise, will drive Minagro's mission to bring about a systemic change in the industry."

The EU is on a strategic mission (CAP) to optimize agricultural practices that minimize negative environmental impacts in terms of soil degradation, water depletion and contamination, inefficient energy use and loss of biodiversity. Minagro's unique range of bio-based co-formulants provides a solution to enable agrochemical manufacturers to better fulfil those regulatory requirements that meet the standards for sustainable agriculture today and in the future.

Board members

Chairman Pierre Ferrand brings 30 years' experience in the agrochemical sector and a wealth of market knowledge and understanding of market dynamics. Having previously collaborated with many cutting-edge start-ups, in addition to his current position as CEO and co-founder of CPAG Consulting, Mr. Ferrand will play a pivotal role in steering Minagro towards sustainable co-formulants and enrich the company's leadership with his multifaceted expertise.

As an independent director, George Blackman, CEO of Realco, a Louvain-la-Neuve-based company specializing in green chemistry for the detergent industry, will provide an outsider's perspective on Minagro's business development. His role is to ensure that Minagro is steered in the direction of new technologies in line with environmental objectives.

Koen Quaghebeur, co-founder and co-CEO of Globachem, will lead on providing strategic insights on the industry and market dynamics.

Alexandre Berbinschi, a representative of Invest.BW – a regional investment firm supporting SMEs in Walloon Brabant, where Minagro is based - will advise the board on the regional ecosystem and opportunities.

Board sees major market opportunity for Minagro's bio-based solutions

According to Minagro, much of the focus on crop nutrition and protection products has been on making active ingredients more sustainable. Yet, active ingredients tend to represent only 50% of a product. The remainder is made up of co-formulants, the highly important formulas needed to enhance product performance, stability and shelf life.

Minagro sees this as a gap in the market which it fills by providing bio-based co-formulants, sustainable alternatives that complement the developments agrochemical manufacturers are undertaking. By providing non-hazardous co-formulants, Minagro ensures that a formulated product will have a much better label classification and thus enable it to remain on the market far into the future.

About Minagro
Based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, Minagro established itself as a standalone entity in November 2022, following a successful fundraising led by K&E, related to Globachem, and Invest.BW. The company's unique focus on developing biobased co-formulants such as in-can preservatives, adjuvants and solvents, positions it as a key player in the transition away from hazardous co-formulants in both conventional and organic agriculture markets.