Mississauga, Ontario and Sacramento, California–(Newsfile Corp. – March 10, 2021) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (CSE: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (CVE: BEE) (the “Company” or “BVT”) is pleased to announce it has started its first grower trials in the Company’s largest single crop opportunity in the US to date, the California almond market. BVT has begun trials with five almond growers and key crop advisors in the main almond growing region in the state, the Central Valley. The total California almond market is valued at over USD $6 billion(1), is the largest non-dairy crop in the state, and includes over 1.2 million(2)acres in production.
The five new trials come less than two months of BVT receiving state regulatory approval for its proprietary Vectorite with CR-7 (Clonostachys rosea CR-7) (CR-7) biological fungicide. The Company was not able to conduct field trials before this approval. Securing this level of trials from growers in a new state, in a new crop and in such a short period of time, signifies the momentum that BVT is now achieving in the US market. Like the Company’s recent announcement on berry trials with California growers, this speaks to the opportunity for acceleration of BVT’s growth in the largest agricultural market in the US.
BVT is also in discussions with the Almond Board of California, which represents 7,600 almond growers and 100 handlers. The Almond Board is one of the US’s leading crop associations with commitment to increase adoption of environmentally-friendly pest management tools by 25% by 2025. The objective of these first trials is to gain awareness, and proof of concept for the BVT technology to control key fungal pathogens in almonds, in a manner consistent with the objectives of Almond Board.
“Prior lab trials and trials in other crops have indicated that CR-7 can suppress Monilinia, the pathogen that causes brown rot blossom blight, the principal disease in almond flowers,” stated Dr. John Sutton, a world-renowned plant pathologist, expert in biological disease control and member of BVT’s Scientific Advisory Board. “In over 35 years of research as a plant disease epidemiologist, I found CR-7 to be one of the most effective biological tools available for suppressing crop disease on the farm. CR-7 is by nature an internal and beneficial colonizer of almost all kinds of plants. When applied in crops it immediately establishes a mutually beneficial relationship with the plant tissues and is able to respond rapidly at any time to blockade attempted invasions by pathogens and thereby suppress disease. Furthermore, it stimulates the plant’s own natural resistance to numerous pathogens and stress conditions plus exerts biostimulant effects which taken together add up to enhanced vigor, productivity and quality.”
The field trials are now underway in California’s Central Valley and are designed to confirm that bees can carry CR-7 to the almond bloom efficiently in order to manage the disease. Four are commercial demonstrations led by agricultural consultants or crop advisors who work directly for growers and are responsible for evaluating and recommending disease and pest control solutions. The fifth is an R&D trial, led by a well-respected researcher with connections to the Almond Board of California, and conducted on 20 acres of a large almond orchard. Following standard scientific protocols, this trial will assess the efficacy of bee vectoring with CR-7 on disease and crop yield, looking at BVT-treated plots, untreated plots and those with and without conventional fungicide sprays. In order for the trials to be useable, the disease has to be present and this is not always the case every year, particularly in dry windy seasons, so several seasons and multiple sites may be required to demonstrate the effectiveness of the BVT system.
“California almonds use over 2 million(3) bee colonies for pollination every year, a massive opportunity for BVT,” said Ian Collinson, Sales Manager at Bee Vectoring Technologies. “We have already mobilized the first market stage of our sales adoption cycle to secure these initial trials, as we have successfully demonstrated in other crops, and we continue to build relationships with almond growers in preparation for next year’s growing season. These trials also provide invaluable information and knowhow for our system and solidifies BVT as a market leader.”
BVT’s sales adoption cycle consists of four market stages that span three to four growing seasons and this is done in each crop starting with the largest opportunities. The first stage is awareness, which involves proof of concept and initial trials. In the second pilot stage, small-scale sales are secured via grower demos. The launch stage is when commercialization happens, with initial revenues coming from a small percentage of the acreages of large, influential growers as they validate the product. Finally, the expansion stage sees revenue growth achieved through increased share of acres with existing customers and more new customers as word-of-mouth spreads.
“Almonds and BVT are a natural fit,” continued Mr. Collinson. “Every nut exists because a bee pollinated the flower. Bees must pollinate each and every blossom – 3 trillion of them – there is no other alternative. Why not have the same bees carry biological fungicides at the same time?”
(1)(2) Source: Almond Board of California almond almanac
(3) Source: Goodrich, Brittney (January 6, 2020). 2020 Almond Pollination Market: Economic Outlook and Other Considerations.
BVT, an agriculture technology company, is a market disruptor with a significant global market opportunity in the $240 billion crop protection and fertilizer market. BVT has pioneered a natural precision agriculture system that replaces chemical pesticides and wasteful plant protection product spray applications by delivering biological pesticide alternatives to crops using commercially grown bees. BVT’s award-winning technology, precision vectoring, is completely harmless to bees and allows minute amounts of naturally-derived pesticides (called biologicals) to be delivered directly, continuously and daily throughout the bloom process, providing improved crop protection and yield results than traditional chemical pesticides – and improving the health of the soil, the microbiome and the environment. Currently, BVT has over 65 granted patents, over 35 patents pending in all major agricultural countries worldwide, and has US EPA registration of its Vectorite™ with CR-7 (EPA Registration No. 90641-2) for sale as a registered biological fungicide for use on the labeled crops.
Ashish Malik, President & CEO
Babak Pedram, Investor Relations
Virtus Advisory Group
The CSE has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release. The CSE does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Certain statements contained in this press release constitute “forward-looking information” as such term is defined in applicable Canadian securities legislation. The words “may”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “potential”, “will”, “seek”, “intend”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect” and similar expressions as they relate to the Company, “annual revenue potential”, are intended to identify forward-looking information. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking information. Such statements reflect the Company’s current views and intentions with respect to future events, and current information available to the Company, and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including: planted acres, selling price of competitive chemical pesticides and the US to Canadian dollar exchange rate. Material factors or assumptions were applied in providing forward-looking information. Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking information to vary from those described herein should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize. These factors include changes in law, competition, litigation, the ability to implement business strategies and pursue business opportunities, state of the capital markets, the availability of funds and resources to pursue operations, new technologies, the ability to protect intellectual property rights, the ability to obtain patent protection for products, third-party intellectual property infringement claims, regulatory changes affecting products, failing research and development activities, the ability to reach and sustain profitability, dependence on business and technical experts, the ability to effectively manage business operations and growth, issuance of debt, dilution of existing securities, volatility of publicly traded securities, potential conflicts of interest, unlikelihood of dividend payments, the potential costs stemming from defending third-party intellectual property infringement claims, the ability to secure relationships with manufacturers and purchasers, as well as general economic, market and business conditions, as well as those risk factors discussed or referred to in the Company’s Filing Statement dated August 14,2020, filed with the CSE and securities regulatory authorities in certain provinces of Canada and available at www.sedar.com. Should any factor affect the Company in an unexpected manner, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, the actual results or events may differ materially from the results or events predicted. Any such forward-looking information is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. Moreover, the Company does not assume responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of such forward-looking information. The forward-looking information included in this press release is made as of the date of this press release and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, other than as required by applicable law. All figures are in Canadian dollars.
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