Thu | Sep 21, 2017

New liquid organic fertiliser for J'can market - Spanish firm partners with Avery on regional distribution deal

Published:Sunday | July 16, 2017 | 7:00 AMNeville Graham
Ralph Avery holds a container of Bombadier fertiliser to be distributed by Growers Choice Avery Organic Company on behalf of Spanish company, KIMITEC Group.

The transfer of a sole-trader business from Richard Avery to his to son saw the incorporation of Growers Choice Avery's Organic Fertilizer four months ago.

And that new outfit has now partnered with a KIMITEC Group of Spain in the distribution of organic fertilisers in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries.

It began when the Spanish company, while looking for new markets, happened on a name in a Google search. Export Area Manager at KIMITEC, Ignacio Gonzalez, says the company was looking for new areas to enter - they are already up to 82 markets since 2007 - and saw promise in the Caribbean and Latin American region as the next zone for an export push.

"We were actively looking for partners in the region. Our Google search gave us Avery as the number four company, with a very good reputation. We made contact and visited, and we are very impressed with the reputation and the reach of the company," Gonzalez told Gleaner Business, ahead of the official announcement of the partnership last week in Kingston.

This had been preceded by meetings with farmers in Clarendon, St Elizabeth and St Catherine.

The reputation of Avery's Organic Fertilizer was built over 51 years by Ralph Avery since he began serving the farmers of Jamaica as an islandwide distributor for Antilles Chemical Company in 1966.

"All those years, we saw the growth and downturn in the sugar and the banana sectors," Avery said.

He left Antilles Chemical in 1970 to produce his own brand of organic fertiliser, using his own locally developed blend.

"A.U. Belinfanti was minister of agriculture, and he encouraged me to continue on that route," Avery recounted.

"Antilles Chemical collapsed by a lengthy strike. The large sugar estates and farmers islandwide turned to me for organic fertiliser," he said.

Fast-forward to early 2016 and with contact made by KIMITEC and Avery getting ready to enjoy a long-postponed retirement, after toiling to build his company, it was time to pass the baton to his 39-year-old son, who runs his own geriatric care and medical supplies business in New York.

 

RENAMED BUSINESS

 

Prince Avery says he has put systems in place to run his other business as he deals with the handover in Jamaica. The first order of business was to rename and register the company as Growers Choice Avery's Organic Fertilizer in March this year.

"I felt that if we were to go forward, then our company name had to represent the reputation that my father has built over the years. Avery's Organic Fertilizer is indeed the grower's choice," Prince said, explaining how the new name was derived.

KIMITEC is putting its research and development capabilities behind the introduction of product to suit regional conditions. Gonzalez was not prepared to say what level of investment is going into its Latin foray.

"The fertiliser market in Jamaica and the region is very competitive, we know that, but we are putting a massive effort to establish ourselves here after being successful with our customised organic fertiliser solution all over the world," Gonzalez said.

Prince Avery was equally coy about his company's monetary commitment, saying only that "so far, we've invested a few millions".

The organic fertiliser is being marketed under the name Bombardier. Gonzalez says this will be the first in a list of about 200 products that the company plans to introduce to the regional marketplace.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com