AFYREN and biocontrol start-up CEARITIS announce innovative partnership

AFYREN and biocontrol start-up CEARITIS announce innovative partnership for alternative crop-protection system for orchards

  • AFYREN and CEARITIS join forces to offer tree crop growers an alternative protection solution that respects biodiversity
  • The biomimetic “Push&Pull” biocontrol device developed by CEARITIS creates a natural barrier against crop-destroying insects
  • AFYREN enters organic agriculture market with agreement to supply its biobased organic acids
  • CEARITIS plans industrial production of its sustainable biocontrol solution for tree crops, manufactured with AFYREN’s biobased acids, beginning this year

 Clermont-Ferrand/Lyon, February 7, 2023, 7:45 am CET ­— AFYREN, a greentech company that offers manufacturers bio-based, low-carbon ingredients produced using unique fermentation technology based on a completely circular model, and CEARITIS, a sustainable agriculture start-up, have signed a partnership to support the development of an innovative biocontrol device to protect orchards.

The two companies, which share the same values and commitment to environmental sustainability, have joined forces to offer tree-crop growers an innovative and biodiversity-friendly alternative to insecticides.

A meaningful partnership

The partnership between AFYREN and CEARITIS will accelerate the marketing of a sustainable and efficient pest control device for farmers. The collaboration secures for CEARITIS a supply of bio-based and low-carbon raw materials and allows AFYREN to enter a market that aligns with its mission and its biorefinery model centered on agriculture.

The “Push&Pull” biocontrol solution developed by CEARITIS in partnership with AFYREN provides an effective alternative to the insecticides usually used on orchards. It combines technological, environmental, and societal performance by allowing orchardists to secure their crops while anticipating the regulatory changes that will probably limit or prohibit the use of chemical plant protection products in the future,” said Marion Canale, and Solena Canale Parola, the co-founders of CEARITIS.

The “Push&Pull” biocontrol device developed by CEARITIS: an original and effective solution designed for orchardists

Orchardists currently have only two ways to protect their crops from insect pests: chemical pesticides or biological alternatives that are more costly and time consuming to implement. CEARITIS was created in 2020 to respond to the environmental and economic challenges currently facing the orchard sector. CEARITIS is working on the development of its biocontrol solution to protect several tree crops: olives, cherries, red fruits, almonds, and citrus fruit.

The CEARITIS “Push&Pull” biocontrol system uses a repellent solution which, when sprayed on the orchard, acts as a natural barrier, and prevents pests from coming in. The system combines this with an element outside the orchard that contains a solution that attracts fruit flies and deflects them into an innovative trap. Only the targeted flies are captured, so the system does not impact biodiversity.

The solution is based on natural molecules, is non-toxic for orchardists, usable in organic agriculture and adapted to the profitability objectives of tree-crop farmers.

The technology is currently being field tested for the third consecutive year, to validate proofs of concept (POC) on olive and cherry trees, and the initial results are very encouraging. The approval process has been launched and a marketing authorization is expected soon. The first commercial production is planned for 2023.

The market potential of orchard protection

Each year, 400 tree varieties are threatened by fruit flies, the main pests that destroy tree crops, causing up to $10 billion worth of damage annually worldwide. France alone has 70,000 hectares of orchard land to protect.

The market for plant protection solutions for the tree-crop industry alone represents $1 billion in Europe and as much as $11 billion worldwide.

Biocontrol solutions, which rely on natural mechanisms to control pests, are recognized by the French Ministry of Agriculture as a decisive alternative to reduce the use of conventional plant protection products and as one of the pillars of organic farming.

An innovative solution, based on AFYREN organic acids

The formulation of the repellent solution developed by CEARITIS uses biobased acids produced by AFYREN which act in synergy for greater efficiency.

AFYREN’s biobased products are manufactured using an innovative fermentation technology based on natural micro-organisms. AFYREN’s process uses co-products from non-food biomass in short supply chains, for example, co-products from sugar beet crops. The whole process is environmentally friendly, entirely biomimetic and zero waste — the only substance left over is transformed into fertilizer usable in organic agriculture.

AFYREN’s products meet the most demanding standards and regulations in its main application markets — human and animal nutrition, flavors and fragrances, lubricants, life sciences, and material sciences.

AFYREN NEOXY, AFYREN’s first plant, located in the Moselle region of France, is in the start-up phase, meaning certain production processes are being optimized ahead of the industrial launch of production and invoicing to customers.

“CEARITIS and AFYREN jointly contribute to the promotion of products that respect biodiversity and the health of both farmers and consumers. CEARITIS’ approach is totally compatible with AFYREN’s, since the biocontrol solution will be produced in France, using a circular approach. Our two companies have the same desire to contribute to sustainable economic development that protects natural resources. We share the same vision to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” said Nicolas Sordet, CEO and Co-Founder of AFYREN. 

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