A French company is bringing its unique model and crop technology to Ontario.
Timac Agro Canada, a division of international agriculture company The Roullier Group, offers fertilizer products, especially stabilizers and treatments than can help with nutrient efficiency in soils.
The company started in France when the founder discovered that there were opportunities to use shellfish to improve soil quality. The company expanded into granulation plants for nitrogen, phosphorus and potash and now focuses more holistically on nutrient uptake, soil health and plant resistance to climatic stress, says Simon Riopel, general manager of Timac Agro Canada.
The company has 2,400 representatives around the world now, which it says visit 20,000 farms per day.
Riopel says the company has a unique delivery model — it believes in the direct contact of its representatives as problem solvers and solution providers to farmers, but it delivers its products through partner agriculture retailers.
Riopel says they have partnerships with three retailers in Ontario, but aren’t ready yet to name them.
As a market with 950,000 tonnes of fertilizer applied per year, he expects to have 30 to 40 company representatives on the road. Riopel points out that his representatives won’t also be selling seed or crop protection products.
The company has created a research hub in eastern Ontario as it believes in localized research and plot work, says Riopel.
“Everything we do is subject to scientific review,” he says. The company has 120 university research partnerships around the world and is in the process of establishing those in Ontario and Western Canada.
The Roullier Group owns William Houde, a large agriculture retailer in Quebec, so its distribution strategy is different there. In the rest of the world, however, Riopel says they operate with partnerships with local agriculture retailers.
That strategy makes sense, he says, as the local retailers have relationships with the customers, especially with delivery of bulk products like fertilizer. The fertilizer can be treated with Timac Agro products at the retailer and then delivered to the customers. He says Canadian farmers are well served by extensive retailers who provide “wonderful service.”
Riopel says that Timac Agro products fit well with the increased focus on precise application of fertilizer through the 4Rs initiative which encourages fertilizer be from the right source placed at the right time, at the right rate and in the right place.
“It’s not only about working with NPK, it’s working smartly around plant nutrition,” he says, including soil health, microbial activity in the soil and biostimulation.
The company will have more demonstration plots this year and tours that will be part of introducing the company to farmers. The plots range from Thunder Bay to New Liskeard, to London to Winchester.