SOURCE: AgraQuest

AgraQuest

April 22, 2011 19:41 ET

AgraQuest Inc. Embraces the Spirit of Earth Day Throughout the Year

In Celebration of Earth Day, AgraQuest Renews Its Pledge to Deliver Innovation for Better Food and a Better World

DAVIS, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 22, 2011) - Faced with the challenge of feeding 9 billion hungry people sustainably by the year 2050, farmers today are looking for solutions that address three needs: how to increase productivity, improve food quality, and minimize environmental and human impact. AgraQuest's portfolio of biopesticides for crop protection enables growers to control crop diseases and pests, to reduce pesticide run-off and regulated residues, and to increase crop yields. While Earth Day is commemorated each April 22nd, the message of Earth Day is lived everyday as AgraQuest drives innovation in agriculture around the world.

"We are proud to be the leading research and development company focused on microbial biopesticides," said Marcus Meadows-Smith, CEO of AgraQuest and Chairman of the Outreach Committee of the Biopesticide Industry Alliance (BPIA). "Today our products are sold in 27 countries around the world, giving growers solutions that increase their crop yields while being healthier for the environment and for all of us as consumers. Earth Day gives us the opportunity to renew our pledge to deliver innovation that drives better food and a better world."

That pledge is backed by AgraQuest's recent increase in scientific personnel. In the last six months, AgraQuest has added 13 new scientists to its world-class research and development staff, bringing the current number of personnel dedicated to research and development to 55. The additional staff will add velocity to development of AgraQuest's robust pipeline of biopesticide products for control of diseases, nematodes and insects in crops around the world.

"Our scientists are developing new, highly effective solutions that benefit growers and safeguard our planet," said Jonathan Margolis, PhD, Executive VP of Research and Development at AgraQuest. "Sustainable agriculture will be an engine for growth for AgraQuest and is good for the economy, for people and for our planet -- the triple bottom line by which today's most sustainable companies are measured."

In addition to expanding its staff, AgraQuest recently raised $17.5 million in capital to fund potential acquisitions and to further speed the company's development of new products for sustainable agriculture. AgraQuest has also initiated a dialogue with legislators about the future of food production systems and sustainability. This outreach effort highlights the potential for biopesticides to generate lasting economic, environmental and social value.

"These are exciting times for us at AgraQuest," said Meadows-Smith. "Our products are in high demand by growers and our partners, and as a result we are experiencing impressive growth in sales."

About AgraQuest, Inc.

AgraQuest is a biotechnology company that focuses on discovering, manufacturing and marketing highly effective pest management products for agricultural, institutional and home markets. The company holds a large portfolio of its own proprietary products, as well as actively in-licenses technology that fits into its low chem portfolio. As a leader in green agriculture and the emerging low chem sector, AgraQuest works to provide growers with solutions that offer best in class control while reducing the chemical load on the environment and creating sustainable agriculture opportunities. The Agrochemical division of AgraQuest offers a global portfolio of products -- recognized as safer to beneficials, workers and the environment -- that includes SERENADE®, SERENADE®SOIL, SERENADE®Garden, RHAPSODY®, SONATA®, and BALLAD®fungicides and REQUIEM®insecticide. AgraQuest's BioInnovations division provides the company an avenue to take biological and low-chemical technology created for the agriculture industry and discover innovative uses for it in related markets. The BioInnovations division identifies both appropriate market segments and opportunities for AgraQuest's intellectual property, while seeking industry leaders in ancillary markets to partner in the commercialization and distribution process. AgraQuest has received several environmental awards including the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the U.S. EPA for the discovery and commercialization of SERENADE. It also received the prestigious Global Frost & Sullivan Growth Leadership Award in 2009 for the biopesticides market. For more information visit www.agraquest.com.