AgraQuest CEO Lauded for Strategic Vision
News Dec 03, 2010
In a London awards ceremony recently, Agrow World Crop Protection News named Marcus Meadows-Smith, CEO of AgraQuest, the crop protection industry's "Best Manager with Strategic Vision" for 2010. The prestigious award, selected by an independent panel of 11 judges, commemorates success in translating strategic initiatives into company gains.
Meadows-Smith was honored for his vision in marrying AgraQuest's strengths to the converging needs of the food production market, including increased productivity to feed the growing population, consumer desire for affordable foods with no or low pesticide residues, aspiration for sustainable agriculture, and regulatory action eliminating many pesticides driving the need for innovative tools. Meadows-Smith has repositioned the company to become the go-to partner for biopesticides for mainstream agriculture.
To achieve this vision, Meadows-Smith re-activated and substantially funded AgraQuest's research and development pipeline in an effort to deliver new highly effective technologies to the market as quickly as possible, establishing a target for the team to deliver three new fungicides and two new insecticides by 2014.
"At a time when global agriculture needs crop protection innovations with both strong performance and environmental safety, AgraQuest's scientific capabilities - from microbiology to natural products chemistry and genomics - have uniquely positioned the company to deliver powerful new technologies in the coming years," said Bill Reilly, member of the AgraQuest Board of Directors and former Administrator of the EPA.
Meadows-Smith created a new division focused exclusively on monetizing AgraQuest's intellectual property into segments related to, but outside, classic field crop production. The BioInnovations group has recently cemented partnerships with Alpharma in animal nutrition, Bayer in home and garden, and Monsanto in seed treatment.
Perhaps most notably, the AgraQuest team reinvented the company's target segment, crafting a new vision for "low chem" agricultural production, a practice whereby some synthetic components of a season-long pest control program are replaced by biopesticides, resulting in higher yields and better control, with minimal chemical residues in crops and reduced impacts on the environment.
"Agricultural production is undergoing immense change. We have to feed the growing population with clean, safe and affordable food in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way. Growers today have the challenge of being highly productive whilst reducing residues, managing resistance issues and protecting the environment," said Meadows-Smith, who accepted the award at the ceremony in London. "I am honored to receive this recognition on behalf of all the AgraQuest team, who are helping to provide low chem solutions and delivering modern, sustainable agriculture practices."