DAVIS, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 04/09/12 -- AgraQuest, Inc. today announced changes in the company's sales and marketing teams aimed at accelerating the velocity of recent growth and supporting new product introductions. Bruce Odens has become Vice President of U.S. & Canada Sales. Sarah Reiter has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing - AgroChemicals & Food Value Chain. Ken Phelps has joined the company as Marketing Manager - USA and Canada.
"These changes bring focus to our sales and marketing efforts in the North American market," said Cesar Lamonega, Senior VP of Sales for the Americas and Asia.
AgraQuest will launch BIO-TAM™ soil fungicide and OPTIVA™ fungicide in U.S. markets this year to build upon the grower acceptance and market adoption of AgraQuest's existing portfolio of crop protection products including the SERENADE® family of fungicides, SONATA® fungicide, BALLAD® PLUS fungicide, and REQUIEM® insecticide. This new team will continue to build on AgraQuest's 30 percent per annum growth rate and increase the pace of the company's expansion.
BIO-TAM soil fungicide will join SERENADE SOIL® fungicide to broaden the company's soil fungicide offering. With the phase out of methyl-bromide and the challenges associated with using other fumigants, growers are increasingly turning to biofungicides as tools to control soil diseases and increase crop yields.
"The rapid growth we've seen with SERENADE SOIL fungicide -- more than doubling its sales last year -- reflects a need in the market for innovative solutions," said Lamonega.
OPTIVA fungicide delivers impressive contact control of a wide spectrum of fungal and bacterial diseases affecting fruit and vegetable crops at very low use rates. Launching first in the western U.S. for trees, vines and vegetables, the product is expected to be available across the USA in 2013.
The new team is additionally tasked with expanding AgraQuest's commercial presence in North America for the future. "The company's pipeline is extremely robust," said Ashish Malik, AgraQuest's Senior VP of Marketing. AgraQuest aims to launch five new biopesticide active ingredients to the U.S. market in the next five years. "We plan to introduce a variety of products aimed at improving grower profitability through yield enhancement and control of nematodes, mites and other insects or crop diseases."
Odens will lead the U.S. and Canadian sales team, bringing more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and program management of agrochemicals and seeds to the new role. He joined AgraQuest in 2011 as the Key Account Manager.
Reiter, who has been with AgraQuest since 2006, will drive marketing activities for North America and will develop strategies to incorporate biopesticides within sustainability practices in the global food value chain.
Phelps brings more than 30 years of experience in sales and marketing fungicides, insecticides and herbicides to his role as Marketing Manager - USA and Canada. All three will work from the company's headquarters in Davis, California.
AgraQuest, Inc. is a global biotechnology company that focuses on discovering, manufacturing and marketing highly effective pest management products to increase agricultural production. As a leader in green agriculture and the emerging low chem sector, AgraQuest is at the forefront of changes in food production by providing growers with solutions that offer best-in-class control while reducing the chemical load on the environment and creating sustainable agriculture opportunities. Through its Agriculture and BioInnovations divisions, AgraQuest focuses on natural products designed for pest control and yield improvements for global agriculture, the garden and in food safety markets. For more information on the role AgraQuest innovations will play in Better Food and a Better World, visit www.agraquest.com.