Whether it is hungry caterpillars in orchards, insatiable flies on vines, ravenous moths in berry and vegetable crops, on fields or cotton fields: food producers around the globe are fighting pests that threaten their harvests. One Swiss family business, which was founded 30 years ago on the basis of a single biological insecticide, is proving that this can also be done without polluting chemicals. Andermatt Biocontrol AG is now offering a wide range of biological pesticides. These are selective insect viruses that are supplied to customers in highly concentrated liquid form. Diluted with water and sprayed onto the cultures, the viruses infect the harmful insects with a disease that is directly fatal to them.
“Our products enable safe and residue-free pest control,” stresses Daniel Zingg, CEO of Andermatt Biocontrol: “Thanks to the targeted effect, only the intended organisms are combated; useful insects and animals as well as humans and the environment are spared.” The sustainable crop protection products are developed and produced in Grossdietwil, Lucerne, where the company's own research laboratory is located and 90 of the Andermatt Group's more than 250 global employees work.
From pioneer to global player
According to Zingg, it is a major challenge “to survive in an environment shaped by multinational companies with synthetic chemical pesticides”. Nevertheless, Andermatt Biocontrol is successfully present with 10 subsidiaries in 60 countries spanning Europe, Africa and Australia as well as North and South America. There is still great potential for growth: New regional offices and a strengthened market entry in Asia, Africa and Latin America ensure that today's export share of more than 50 percent is set to grow significantly in five years and that sales will exceed 100 million Swiss francs.
The Swiss SME owes its position as one of the world's leading suppliers of biological pesticides to its know-how, sound customer advice and international presence. It carefully selects key markets according to strict criteria, a process that is often supported by Switzerland Global Enterprise. Participations in similarly oriented SMEs allow it to expand its range of products, and local field trials show that biological products offer a real alternative to chemical-synthetic crop protection products. Andermatt Biocontrol was nominated for this year's Export Award for its successful internationalization strategy.
Daniel Zingg is happy, and says: “We are proud that our innovative strength has enabled us to place a whole range of sustainable crop protection products in key markets, making us a genuine problem-solver for producers.”
Daniel Zingg freuts, und er sagt: «Es macht uns stolz, dass wir dank unserer Innovationskraft in den Schlüsselmärkten eine ganze Palette von nachhaltigen Pflanzenschutzmitteln platzieren konnten und dadurch für die Produzenten ein echter Problemlöser sind.»