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Local growth with global backing for FMC Australasia


Creation date: 13 March 2020


FMC is a name you can expect to hear a lot more in the months and years ahead…

 

The 130-year-old global agricultural sciences company is making great strides under Australasian leader Kristina Hermanson, and the Australian market has been selected as the global launchpad for the brand’s new blockbuster product, Overwatch® Herbicide, powered by Isoflex™ active.

 

With a strong focus on innovation and customer success, a commitment to local manufacture and a corporate vision around sustainability, diversity and integrity, the FMC brand is delivering strong results and is ready to step up as one of the country’s leading ag science brands.

 

Managing Director of FMC Australasia Kristina Hermanson says that her team is achieving beyond expectations thanks to a shared passion for the industry.

 

“People, culture and community lie at the heart of Australian agriculture. That’s something we live and breathe at FMC through our culture of safety, active promotion of diversity and inclusion, and through our efforts to support and participate in the communities we live and work in.

 

“I am very proud to say that this approach has resonated strongly in the market, leading to annual revenue growth of eight per cent last year despite flat market conditions globally. It’s very encouraging and we’re excited to continue this trajectory, as we bring new products to market and support our reseller network to meet the needs of their customers.”

 

About FMC

FMC is a global agricultural sciences company that advances farming through innovative and sustainable crop protection technologies. It has a team of over 100 people across Australia and New Zealand, and manufacturing operations throughout the world. For the Australian and New Zealand markets, the company has a local manufacturing facility at Wyong, where it has clocked up 30 years of producing quality crop protection products including herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.

 

“Our dedicated manufacturing plant at Wyong is central to FMC Australasia’s long-term success,” Ms Hermanson says. “FMC is one of just a few remaining multinational companies with integrated formulation and packaging facilities on local turf. It’s something we’re proud of, and something that reflects our commitment to this market.”

 

FMC continues to invest at Wyong, including the recent addition of a multi-million dollar SC herbicide formulation line, purpose-built to formulate Overwatch® Herbicide, Rustler® and other industry-leading products.

 

“Quality and continuity of supply are the backbone of our business, and the facility at Wyong is fundamental to FMC’s ability to respond to short term demand changes attributed to Australia’s unpredictable climate,” says Keith Quiney, Head of Operations at FMC.

 

In addition, FMC is investing in supply chain improvements across Asia with manufacturing and formulation capacity for Isoflex™ active in India, and formulation capability for Rynaxypyr® in India and Indonesia.

 

“We have also been investing heavily in people to service the current business and new portfolio when it arrives, and we are ready,” Ms Hermanson says. Recent appointments include additional positions to enhance product development and registration capability and the establishment of a national technical extension team to guide Overwatch® Herbicide and other new products into the market.

 

“We’re also building the local marketing competency to support future growth, creating an inclusive workplace underpinned by a growth mindset.”

 

The future for FMC

“These are exciting times at FMC. We’re gearing up for the launch of Overwatch® Herbicide in 2021, as well as looking ahead to the flow of new products in the pipeline. However, the focus for FMC is not just scientific results; we are focused on our distributors’ and their customers’ results.”

 

Striving to deliver excellent customer service, FMC Australasia is in the process of a multi-stage roll-out of a new SAP S4/Hana system – an important step towards removing complexities and making the process of doing business with FMC as simple as possible.

 

“We want to take customer experience to the next level. Part of that means making sure the operational and logistical side of our business makes it easy and profitable for resellers to partner with us, and this investment will certainly help us achieve that. At the end of the day, though, we know the best thing we can do for resellers is to give their customers solutions to their problems. We’re focused on being well positioned to understand what the market needs, and responding to those needs.”

 

Ms Hermanson says a key part of FMC’s approach to product development is to get a deep understanding of the problem the product seeks to solve.

 

“The commercialisation plans for Overwatch® Herbicide, for example, has been one of ongoing consultation with customers and users, hearing and understanding their needs, and being flexible in our thinking to deliver a solution tailored to their unique problems.”

 

Introducing Overwatch® Herbicide

Overwatch®™ Herbicide will be a new pre-emergent option to control annual ryegrass and a wide range of other weeds in wheat, barley and canola, and is expected to be especially well-received in parts of Australia where some current herbicides are losing their effectiveness. Its unique mode of action, favourable chemical attributes and proven crop safety will give growers an unparalleled level of rotational flexibility should seasonal conditions change for the worse.

 

Results you can see

According to Hugh Palmer, Portfolio manager: Herbicides, one of the unique features of the herbicide can be seen in the way ryegrass reacts to the chemical – turning a striking shade of magenta which is noticeable in the rows, before turning white, and eventual control.

 

The new herbicide will be applied as an IBS (Incorporated By Sowing) treatment and demonstrated excellent performance across a wide range of locations and conditions last season and in trials over several years.

 

It is proving to be a robust herbicide that has performed well in both wet and dry conditions and in trials under varying stubble conditions. Parts of Victoria, for instance, have had large amounts of rainfall while other areas such as New South Wales have struggled. In all cases, trials with Overwatch® Herbicide have shown efficacy as good as or better than the current market standards. 

 

Overwatch® Herbicide is currently pending approval by the APVMA and registration is anticipated in 2020, followed by commercial introduction in 2021.

 


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