- Venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis—a recognized leader in the marketing and distribution of crop protection, precision agriculture technology, seed and nutritional products—aims to accelerate the application of sustainable crop protection technologies for high-value fruit and vegetable crops.
Cavallo Ventures, the venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis, has invested in Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products for enhancing crop yields. With its investment, Cavallo Ventures aims to accelerate the development of Crop Enhancement’s breakthrough crop protection technology in the United States — particularly for the production of high-value fruit and vegetable crops.
Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat® technology targets major fruit and vegetable crops across North America, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Latin America, Europe, and West Africa. To boost crop yield, Crop Enhancement develops proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit and seeds) to improve plants’ resistance to pests and diseases while reducing the need for synthetic pesticides and pesticide applications.
Crop Enhancement’s formulations can be applied with agricultural inputs such as nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling growers to reduce costs and increase crop yields. Beyond yield and profit increase, CropCoat improves grower wellbeing by supporting worker wellness and safety, as well as enabling growers to implement sustainable integrated pest management (IPM) techniques.
Wilbur-Ellis serves the needs of thousands of growers who are responding to the demands of food companies and consumers for sustainably produced foods by implementing IPM approaches that employ chemical as well as biological crop protection approaches for the production of high-value specialty crops. This investment reflects the efforts of Wilbur-Ellis and Crop Enhancement to address significant trends that are reshaping how the world produces food:
- A globally recognized need to carefully manage the use of crop protection inputs through stringent regulations that ban several classes of products known to harm the environment;
- Tighter restrictions on maximum residue levels (MRLs) on food products — in particular for imported products; and
- The powerful market force of hundreds of millions of consumers who demand sustainably produced foods.
“Growers around the world tell us that they want solutions that are good for their farms as well as the environment,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “In trials we’ve completed, our first product, CropCoat, is proving to be an effective and sustainable crop protection technology. As we expand our efforts to fruits and vegetables here in the U.S., we’re delighted to welcome Cavallo Ventures into the fold.”
“We’re glad to be able to back the Crop Enhancement team as they develop innovative solutions to long-standing challenges in production agriculture,” said Mike Wilbur, president and CEO of Cavallo Ventures. “Their unique approach addresses trends in the food and ag industry calling for products that are more sustainable and friendlier for growers, their farms and the global ecosystem.”