Biobest opens bumblebee factory in China

Good news for Chinese vegetable and fruit growers. Soon, they will be able to buy bumblebees for crop pollination from a local production plant. The bumblebees will be produced in Biobest’s brand new production facility in Shouguang, in the Shandong province. China is the world's number one tomato producer, with the largest crop area grown under protection. The use of bumblebees in tomato and other crops is very well established in many countries around the globe. Chinese growers however, have only limited access to bumblebees which are all imported from abroad. The import of bumblebees into China is subject to a lot of administrative formalities including quarantine.

Chinese horticulture has a strong need for pollinators. But just like in other parts of the world, natural pollinators have becoming scarce, partly due to the fact that many Chinese growers still rely heavily on the use of chemical pesticides.

In order to provide optimal service to Chinese growers, Biobest has built a brand new production facility for bumblebees on the site of its Shouguang subsidiary. The initiative to start a bumblebee production line in China originated in October 2011 in the framework of a Belgian economic mission to the People's Republic of China, led by Belgium’s current King Philip.

“Starting up production in China was not an easy job” Says Kris Fivez, area manager at Biobest. “But finally, all obstacles have been removed. The new production line in Shouguang guarantees that we can deliver a product in line with our international quality standards and with China’s strict quarantine requirements. The Chinese grower can count on us for healthy bees that will do a great pollination job."

Biobest is dedicating a lot of attention to the last steps in the start-up of its Chinese bumblebee activities. Kris Fivez, area manager at Biobest: “Our experts in production, but also in sales and technical support are frequently travelling to China to ensure a successful start. We invest a lot also in training our future local employees. The potential of the Chinese market is very large. Just like in other markets, we are convinced that the introduction of bumblebees will contribute significantly to a more selective use of chemical products.

Biobest, headquartered in Westerlo (Belgium), is active worldwide in pollination and biological control. The company was founded in 1987 and has multiple production sites across the globe including in Morocco, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, Canada and the USA.

For more information, contact kris.fivez@biobest.be.

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