Greener, safer ingredients for crop care

By Emmanuel Peulens, Green Chemical Users Director at Minafin Group

  Emmanuel Peulens, Green Chemical Users Director at Minafin Group, the global fine chemicals developer an

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Emmanuel Peulens, Green Chemical Users Director at Minafin Group, the global fine chemicals developer and manufacturer, talks about the Group’s diversification into bio-based ingredients for the crop care industry.
Earlier this year, Minafin launched Minagro, a new business unit that targets green and safer ingredients for the crop care industry. Originally dedicated to scale-up of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) under clinical testing, this is Minafin’s latest diversification into new markets such as personal care, agricultural and high-value industrial fine chemicals. We spoke to Emmanuel Peulens, Green Chemical Users Director, to discover the rationale for the development of this new business unit and the company’s mission to provide greener and safer ingredients to the crop care industry.
Q: Until fairly recently, Minafin was associated with the pharmaceutical industry. What triggered the diversification?
Minafin’s fine chemicals expertise is well known in the pharmaceutical market through its Minakem business unit. While pharma activities represent today around 50% of the turnover, the group is also developing and manufacturing products for other markets such as personal care, specialty chemicals and polymers. This additional diversification allows us to enlarge our market offering by providing the crop care industry with safer ingredients and sustainable solutions which are in increasing demand.
Q: The new business unit, Minagro, focuses on green ingredients for the crop care industry. What is the rationale for this particular diversification, and why now?
The crop care industry is increasingly favouring safer and naturally-sourced ingredients. This trend is mainly driven by tighter regulations on traditional chemical ingredients and by growing end-user demand for developing sustainable solutions. 
We are convinced that we can support this market trend with the development of a co-formulants range based mainly on renewably sourced raw materials. We will also offer a line of biostimulant active substances based on plant extracts. With this portfolio, we believe we can offer customers sustainable co-formulant alternatives for their final products.
Q: What experience does the Group have in this field?
Minafin Group has an established network of customers in the field of agrochemicals through its business unit Pennakem which for more than 30 years has been developing and commercializing products based on renewable chemistries such as derivatives of furfural.
Q: What products and services will Minagro offer?
Minagro will offer co-formulants, adjuvants, biostimulant active ingredients and preservation packs based on renewable chemistries. These products will be promoted by strong application support and microbiology competencies provided by our experts.
Q: How do you see these sectors growing over the next 5 years, and what is Minagro’s strategy to maximize on potential opportunities?
The crop care market is growing steadily and evolving to respond to the increasing requirements of sustainable agriculture, food quality and efficient supply.  Minagro’s strategy is to develop specific product offerings and to establish close links with our partners allowing us to address growing market opportunities.
Q: is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Minagro’s laboratories, commercial and administration offices are located in Louvain-la-Neuve close to Brussels, Belgium. Our team would be glad to discuss in detail our potential support for new customer developments.
Minagro, 8, rue Fond Jean Pâques, 1435 Mont-St-Guibert, Belgium