From May 25th until May 31st 2015, a select group of Costa Rican IPM customers made a tour through Canada and the USA under the guidance of Veronica Cervantes, Biobest consultant and Ricardo Acuña, technical advisor at Bio Control S.A., Biobest’s distributor in Costa-Rica since 2005. Bio Control S.A. is making steady progress in the use of beneficials and IPM tools in this Central American country. The tour provided a good overview of current best practices in biological control in North America as well as a visit to the Biobest production facility in Leamington, Ontario.
Freddy Piedra, CEO of Bio Control S.A., highlights the importance of this exchange: “We have built a portfolio of registrations in our country and can supply our customers with a broad range of beneficial organisms. We’ve had an excellent collaboration with the public sector to broadly demonstrate the potential of biocontrol solutions. The interest of ornamental and vegetable producers in our country is growing step by step. This North-American visit gives our customers a platform to interact with growers that have many years of experience using biological control, and helps them appreciate the sophistication of Biobest’s production and quality control processes.”
Ricardo Acuña: “This tour was a very valuable experience for me and my vegetable, cutting and seed producer customers.” Ricardo illustrates this point with an example in the ornamentals sector. Production of ornamental cuttings is quite important in Costa Rica. “Growers could see with their own eyes, how biocontrol creates value through the entire chain from cuttings to the end user. We saw how US consumers will travel from afar to buy products from a local ornamental producer, who is a dedicated user of biocontrol solutions. Our customers are at the beginning of the value chain. Cuttings produced with biological control in Costa Rica provide plant material free of chemical residues to US growers, and that is key to a successful start of their IPM Programs.”
Veronica Cervantes: “I am really grateful to our US and Canadian customers and colleagues who were happy to share their experience with us, allowing the group to cover key IPM strategies in vegetable, ornamental and plant breeding production. Together with Bio Control S.A., I’m dedicated to supporting Costa Rican customers build experience implementing successful and sustainable biological control programs. I was very pleased to help them become familiar with the best biocontrol practices used by our North-American growers, to show them our production site and the application in the field of some of our most innovative products such as Nutrimite® and Nutricard, which are food supplements for the beneficials.”