THOMAS BRITZE - CEO of AMVAC do Brasil
VIDI – AMVAC do Brasil is in this market for over 2 years. How was the decision to come to Brazil and what are the main goals of this settling?
Thomas Britze – AMVAC do Brasil is an American Vanguard company, an American multinational that works for 50 years as a leading company in the world’s agribusiness. Its arrival in Brazil is part of a strategic expansion focusing on increasing its businesses in Latin America.
VIDI – What challenges does AMVAC do Brasil see ahead, considering that it represents a company that is for over 50 years in this market?
TM – AMVAC do Brasil is completely committed to the success of Brazilian Agriculture. It has as its target to offer the Brazilian producers an ample and advanced portfolio of solutions, called 3P Solutions (Performance, Protection and Production), with high technology solutions that provide a greater harvest productivity, contributing to a better and more sustainable agriculture, ensuring the world’s longevity. Besides the Crop Production and Crop Protection Solutions, AMVAC do Brasil will soon offer to the Brazilian market, the SIMPAS disruptive technology, that is modern, safe and it offers economic and ecological advantages. Something that is also in AMVAC do Brasil’s DNA is the ESG practices (Environmental, Social and Governance), directing our perspectives and giving purpose to our activities. Furthermore, AMVAC do Brasil is really particular about its collaborators, which is why we were chosen one of the top 10 companies to work in the agribusiness sector by the GPTW (Great Place to Work) award in partnership with ABAG (Brazilian Agribusiness Association) and Globo Rural Magazine. Thus, our way is definitely full of accomplishments to better and better serve the Brazilian Agribusiness.
VIDI – Can you tell us a little bit more about AMVAC do Brazil’s products?
TM – I am so proud to talk about the solutions we offer to the Brazilian farmers. Therefore, to compliment it, I can say that our Crop Production Line ensures more yield to the harvests to the Brazilian farmers. Who does not like more productivity? We have solutions to the seeds treatment, rooting, stress control caused by extreme heat and other several deficiencies that have to be corrected in the plants, providing great results in the field. Regarding our Crop Protection Line, we have highly efficient products for pest control and crop diseases, such as Counter, which is a nematicide and insecticide with systemic action that is helping a lot the farmers with pest problems in the roots and Redshield, which is copper multisite action protector. To sum up, I invite those who do not know our solutions to be surprised with their performance!
VIDI – At the opening of the AMVAC do Brasil website, we see an alert for the correct and safe use of pesticides. How do you see, in the Brazilian market, the attention to these recommendations?
TM – AMVAC do Brasil’s website was designed according to the Brazilian Pesticides Guidelines, since we offer two lines to the market: Crop Protection and Crop Production. To that extent, the alerts in the website are to guide the producer regarding the correct and safe use of pesticides. This is a job that has been, also, developed by SINDIVEG (Sindicato Nacional da Indústria de Produtos para Defesa Vegetal) – National Union of the Industry of Products for Vegetable Defense, in a literal translation; and its associates. The intent is that good practices be applied; avoiding any kind of problems during the application of products and consequently ensuring better results. Moreover, it aims to make Brazilian people more aware, in a general way, that pesticides are used in Brazil only in the necessary amounts to the crops and that, without them, our production would be compromised due to the pests and diseases. It is worth emphasizing that before being made available for sale all pesticides, whether from AMVAC do Brasil or from another company in the industry, go through a rigorous registration criteria by ANVISA, IBAMA and MAPA, and only then, after submitting technical reports proving that the indices are within the allowed limits, can the products be sold. In summary: the food produced in Brazil is very safe!
VIDI – How do you see, in our market, the advancement of agronomical engineering, aiming the best levels of productivity with quality and safety?
TM – When it comes to innovation and technology in agribusiness, Brazil has always been a role model of implementation of new technologies with bravery and success, besides a lot of dedication and engagement from the Brazilian producers. We have the no-till, new seeds, transgenic and other tools that are examples that the industry has developed and tropicalized to Brazil, which is a continent. The industry keeps making it available new solutions so that the Brazilian producers can produce more and better. Many things will happen around here, revolutionizing the field even more: artificial intelligence, agriculture 4.0, digital transformation and machine learning are practices that we will see more and more implemented in the Brazilian agribusiness, which will be extremely beneficial to the whole sector. However, it is still necessary to diminish the bureaucratization of the sector so that our producers can use all tools in order to get profitable crops, with high performance and, above all, sustainability
VIDI – To your mind, what is missing or what can we do better to improve even more the development of the Brazilian agricultural sector?
TM – The Brazilian Agribusiness deserves to be communicated more positively and better, this is a role that falls to each one of us: to talk more within our families, companies and society, as a whole, about the importance of Brazilian Agribusiness. To my mind, the Brazilian producers are true heroes and warriors, because here there are no subsidies as there are in the USA or as in Europe, countries that offer strong subsidies for agriculture. Hence, our producers deserve more respect and Brazil needs to have a more central and important role as the world’s barn. As I have already said in other occasions, my proposal is that there is a unique communication, a united action involving the government, associations, journalists/media, companies and clients so that the reality is shown: that Brazil has one of the most sustainable agricultures in the world. This, for sure, will contribute to our image in and out of the country. Another point that I think is extremely important is education. We must, from the early years in school, teach children about the origin of food, so that they know it is not produced in the supermarket: it is produced in the countryside and therefore the farmers deserve much more respect than they currently receive.
VIDI – Originally, from Germany you say that you live in Brazil by your own decision and that you love this country. How has this passion developed? Does being passionate about the country have influence in the development of your professional qualifications, directing you to work on behalf of the country that receives you?
TM – In 1999, while I worked at Bayer Portugal, I took my first trip to Brazil, with clients, (it was an incentive trip) and on this opportunity, I knew Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza. I fell for the country and its beauty, its warm and loving people and for the opportunities that I saw here, but at that time, I could never imagine that I would come to work and live in this country. I returned the following year with some clients. Only in 2005, five years later, that I received the proposal to take over Bayer Crop Science Brasil. It was something extremely challenging regarding family ties, but undoubtedly a unique opportunity for my professional career and that is why in 2006 I moved to Brazil. Working in a country that we are passionate about, definitely makes the whole difference. However, I believe the way I lead the teams, developing them and giving them, the leeway to improve their skills has a lot to do with my personality, formation and values. These two factors (passion and personality) together contribute for me to be a better leader, and that is what I seek for every day. I love Brazil and I want to contribute with this country. It is an honor to defend Brazil’s image in my family, among my friends and my entire professional network.