From aphid-fighting fungus to mighty mites, Anatis Bioprotection’s all-natural pest control products offer farmers greener alternatives to conventional insecticides.
The company Jean-Bernard Gélinas works for is full of bugs. And that’s just the way he likes it. After all, when you’re Director of Marketing and Business for Anatis Bioprotection, creepy crawlies come with the territory. “You got to love insects,” says Gélinas.
Anatis Bioprotection offers farmers a smorgasbord of beneficial insects to choose from as eco-friendly alternatives to conventional chemicals. Thrips chewing up your onions? Deploy a batch of Anatis’ predatory mites to fight back. Potato beetles waging war on your spuds? A contingent of spined soldier bugs ought to do the trick.
But what really sets the Quebec-based company apart is BioCeres: a bio-insecticide derived from a fungus whose spores can infect and kill pests. Getting the BioCeres formula just right wasn’t easy. It took Anatis founder and president Dr. Silvia Todorova 20 years to identify the perfect strain of fungus — one that was aggressive enough to obliterate whiteflies, thrips and other harmful pests but wouldn’t wipe out beneficial insects like ladybugs or bees.
Then came the challenge of lining up suppliers, manufacturers and distributors and clearing all the regulatory hurdles. By April 2014, Anatis had perfected the bio-insecticide, successfully registered it for greenhouse use and produced its first lot of BioCeres.
Throughout that journey, Anatis leveraged the expertise of Bioenterprise. The agri-business accelerator helped Anatis put together a business plan, build financial models and connect them with distributors and partners. “It was a good fit,” says Gélinas. “They helped the company to get on track.” Bioenterprise’s links to Ontario greenhouse growers — a target market for Anatis — was the cherry on top.
Now, Anatis is focused on full-scale commercialization for 2015. “We have all the pieces of the puzzle in place,” says Gélinas. “Right now, we’re working like crazy trying to get this product on the market.” And if the interest he sees from growers is any indication, it’s going to be a busy year.
While they’re currently targeting farmers, the team has its eye on other markets that could benefit from their bio-insecticide: lawn care professionals, pest control companies, bed bug exterminators — the list goes on. “Almost every week, someone asks us if we have tested the product against that insect or that other insect,” says Gélinas.