LOXTON, South Australia; MUCHEA, Western Australia, WESTERLO, Belgium: Biological Services, a pioneering and leading biological pest control company in Australia and Biobest Group NV, a global player in biological control and pollination headquartered in Belgium, today announced that the parties have concluded an alliance. Biobest has acquired a 51% stake in Manchil Altmann Pty. Ltd., the company trading as Biological Services, and now has production/distribution subsidiaries in over 20 countries worldwide with its commercial network extending to more than 70 countries.
Biological Services started operations in 1971 producing Aphytis wasps for red scale control in citrus orchards. James Altmann took the helm of Biological Services in 1987, and in July 2014 joined forces with Manchil IPM Services, created by Lachlan Chilman. With combined forces, Biological Services succeeded in building a premier position in Australia’s biological control business. The company deals with a range of crops including protected greenhouse crops, covered and outdoor berries, outdoor vegetables and perennial fruits. While there is substantial global trade of beneficial organisms for biological control, Australian growers must source these products locally due to Australia’s strict quarantine laws.
Co-managing director James Altmann commented: ”The biocontrol industry is growing rapidly worldwide, and, it provides much-needed alternatives to chemical pesticides. The industry’s growth is also driven by substantial investments in R&D. Innovative solutions help expand the grower’s toolkit for effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Our pledge to Australian growers is to offer access to a full range of high-quality biocontrol products backed up by reliable advice. I’m thrilled to announce our alliance with Biobest, as a leading international player, because it will help us deliver on that promise, by tapping into their experience and resources.”
Co-managing director Lachlan Chilman added: ”Entrepreneurship has been the foundation of our success. The deal with Biobest will help us to deliver improved innovative solutions, but still allows us the freedom to keep our personal spirit as the engine driving Biological Services’ growth. Growers value our personal technical advice. We will put our enhanced access to expertise from around the globe at their service.”
Marc Mertens, CSO of Biobest Group NV agreed: ”We strongly believe in the growth potential of the Australian market for biological control. Therefore, we have taken ambitious steps to build a strong position here. In combination with an earlier investment in Australia in 2019 in Bugs for Bugs, we now have a unique position to contribute to the needs of Australian growers and consumers. The new generation of growers are eager to source effective natural solutions for pest control instead of a continual reliance on broad-spectrum, residual chemical pesticides. James and Lachlan are outstanding entrepreneurs. Our strategy is to continue to empower them, to extend their network and to create technological synergies. That is how we can make an even greater contribution to help Australian growers grow healthier products in an environmentally sustainable way. The biocontrol business is still quite small in comparison to the chemical industry. Our efforts to build critical mass with our partners are essential to give our natural solutions the visibility and the traction they deserve.”