Vitas forms strong relationships with wine-growing experts

A visitor of considerable note was recently welcomed to the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier.... View Article

A visitor of considerable note was recently welcomed to the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier. Our Tunisian distributor SEPCM paid us a visit, accompanied by Belgacem D’Khili, its key customer in the wine-growing industry. Organised from 27th to 29th May 2019, these meetings began in Loire Atlantique, before continuing in Saint Malo. The purpose of the meetings was to increase Groupe Roullier’s presence in the vineyard sector and develop wine-growing expertise.

A subsidiary of Groupe Roullier specialised in products specifically suited to each country in the Plant Nutrition field, Vitas directly markets Groupe Roullier’s Agricultural Supplies range in countries where there are no subsidiaries. To do so, it works with importers and distributors exclusive to the country. The main territories involved are Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. Vitas primarily operates in the water-solubles and fertigation market.

Last May, Vitas welcomed a customer of our distributor SEPCM (Doghri Group), based in Tunisia. This invitation was also arranged by wine-growing specialists from the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier: Marie Le Néouanic and researcher Mustapha Arkoun. A graduate oenologist from Université de Montpellier and a doctor in Agronomic Science, Belgacem D’Khili is also an international viticultural expert in charge of the Castel Group’s interests in Tunisia. This specialist is currently managing an area of 1,100 hectares, 240 hectares of which are vineyards. The estate is located in Jendouba, in northwestern Tunisia. During his visit, he was accompanied by Chebil Mehrez, the Managing Director of SEPCM. 

From Nantes to Saint-Malo: a multi-stage meeting  

While the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier was the final stage in these meetings on the wine-growing industry, everything began in Nantes on 27th May 2019, where a meeting was organised with Hervé Valette, Managing Director of Coopérative des Maraîchers Nantais and winegrower. This provided a chance for these experienced professionals to discuss the subject that brought them together. 

The second stage for our distributor and its customer was the visit to the Herbauges estate in Loire Atlantique. This 120-hectare vineyard is located at the heart of the Muscadet vineyard and exports 900,000 bottles each year, 80% of which are for the United States and the United Kingdom.  

The last stage was the visit to the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier on 29th May. Our visitors were able to take part in a training session, presented by Marie Le Néouanic, on the approach to fertilisation. For his part, Belgacem D’Khili shared Tunisian vineyard techniques. The experts from the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier also demonstrated the applications of solid fertilisers and biostimulants in the wine-growing sector.  

The visit went really well and Vitas should be able to develop sales in specialised markets in Tunisia.Charles Lafaurie, Africa and Middle East Export Manager.

Increasing our presence in the wine-growing sector

The main subject of these meetings was the Groupe Roullier’s approach to vineyard nutrition in difficult conditions. 

These meetings and the resulting discussions proved fruitful and will lead to the application of our fertilisation plan for Belgacem D’Khili’s estate, both for the vineyards and the citrus and olive trees. Tests will also be carried out to compare the customary Tunisian growing practices and Vitas’ growing practices. The tests will extend to organoleptic stages because Belgacem D’Khili is also an international expert in olive oil, and as such participates in numerous panels in France and worldwide.  

Welcoming the only Tunisian person to hold the French agricultural merit award is an honour and will enable us to increase the presence of the Groupe Roullier’s products in the viticultural sector. A partner like this is a major boon, and will enable us to increase our investment across this sector.  

We have a presence across various vineyards in France, Italy and Portugal, where market share in these countries is very significant.


Interview – Aurélien Claeys, Regional Director of TIMAC AGRO BeLux

Aurélien Claeys, you are currently Regional Director of TIMAC AGRO BeLux. What aroused your interest... View Article

Aurélien Claeys, you are currently Regional Director of TIMAC AGRO BeLux. What aroused your interest in the IBL Program?
There are principally two things that I can put my finger on. The first one is the opportunity to join a Group that works towards sustainable and precision agriculture. Its industrial footprint and potential development are great. To work for a firm renowned in its field is an opportunity and the IBL Program lets us seize it. The second thing is the quality of the program itself. To integrate a subsidiary with a high level of responsibility while being coached at head office as well as in the field is a huge advantage.

What is the greatest strength of the IBL Program?
The greatest strength is the fact that we learn by doing. We are integrated into the core of a commercial subsidiary as Regional Director, working with local experts who are available to help us evolve our relationships with farmers, technical sales representatives and distributors. We are allowed to prove ourselves progressively with maximum support.

What have you learned from the weeks of training at Saint-Malo?
Above all, it allowed me to discover the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier and I was very impressed by it. A unique centre of innovation dedicated to the world of Animal and Plant Nutrition. In addition to the opportunity to access this exceptional venue in the world of agri-feed supplies, I was impressed during the weeks of training by the human contact created with the other participants and the chance to be able to share our daily experiences. We are confronted with the same difficulties and having this network is very important to me. We are therefore supervised at three levels: the formal and the theory plus the practical training which are essential for me, the local aspect and the actions we have to implement in the field, and lastly the natural aspect. The “natural” aspect refers to the relationship that we form with the team. We were able to discuss things together informally and this was a rewarding experience.

“I’ve always wanted to occupy a position of responsibility with a P&L to defend.”

Experts support the candidates. Can you say a few words about yours?
I work with Alain Gaupin, Sales Director, who I hold in high esteem. I have great consideration for him, not only for his professional credibility and his long history in the firm, but also for his enthusiasm, which he knows how to transmit to others. This kind of person instils in you a passion for the profession. I like learning by his side and once more, it’s an opportunity offered by the program: to be able to evolve alongside people who have proved their worth and to pass the baton on to future generations.

You are reaching the end of the 15-month IBL Program. How would you assess this experience?
Thanks to this experience, I was able to become aware of the reality in the field and what TIMAC AGRO represents in Belgium and to other subsidiaries in Europe. From the outset, I was able to take part in the subsidiary’s strategy and understand how it works from the inside. I’ve always wanted to occupy a position of responsibility with a P&L to defend. This is the case today. The track record is therefore very positive as I’m reaching my full potential due to this experience.

What are the next challenges you are going to take up?
In a few months, I’ll have the immense opportunity to support development in two countries, Latvia and Lithuania, as Zone Leader. This new responsibility is an exciting challenge for me and I can’t wait to meet it. Once again, this attests to the dynamism of TIMAC AGRO and the impact of the IBL Program.




Our TSAs fertilise the Algerian Sahara

Thanks to new irrigation technologies and to the sharp increase in investment; Algeria’s Saharan agriculture... View Article

Thanks to new irrigation technologies and to the sharp increase in investment; Algeria’s Saharan agriculture is booming. In ten years, the average size of farms in this region has grown from 5 to 100 hectares. Thanks to our TIMAC AGRO Algeria TSAs, growing wheat, maize and watermelons in the desert is no longer just a mirage!

Our area of operation: 20,000 ha of crops

Our TIMAC AGRO Algeria TSAs work in a zone covering 12,000 ha of hard wheat, 5000 ha of silage maize and 3000 ha of watermelons. The intensive crops, where our techniques, products and fertigation plans are applied, have achieved convincing results. The advice of our TSAs on the cultivation of watermelons guarantees the quality and sustainability of the fruit.

The farmers particularly appreciate a reduction in losses while the fruit are stored in cold rooms and transported to the commercial areas in the north of the country.

“We rigorously plan our trips; in the Algerian South, great distances separate the farms. We want to be available to effectively monitor the crops because in the desert the same plots can produce two harvests per year! After a first harvest of hard wheat, we provide support for a second sowing of summer silage maize to be harvested in November.”
Bachir Zahouani, TSA in the Ghardaïa and Ouargla regions of Algeria

Sand, water and biostimulants

Our local TSAs are familiar with the austerity of the desert: the (sandy) soil is a simple substrate for the crops. This makes biostimulants indispensable in the hostile climate of this region (high temperatures in summer/winter frosts). All the plant’s nutrients have to be added, either into the soil with solid fertilisers, or via fertigation, with hydrosoluble fertilisers.

Our TSAs advise the farmers to add up to 5 different applications of biostimulants on silage maize and hard wheat.


Over 800 farmers at the presentation of Grassland AGRO, with Teagasc

Last April, Grassland AGRO was involved with Teagasc at the Farm Open Day of the... View Article

Last April, Grassland AGRO was involved with Teagasc at the Farm Open Day of the 2019 Irish Grassland Farmer of the year. Over 800 farmers attended to hear messages on Grassland management for dairy cows, including a presentation on the importance of the soil and nutrient applications. The Grassland Farmer of the Year is a competition within the Teagasc Grass 10 programme, which is supported by Grassland AGRO and Groupe Roullier. This year’s winner is achieving an impressive annual grass yield of 15 t/ha of grass dry matter, and is grazing each pasture more than nine times each year!

We are very pleased to have Grassland Agro getting such great recognition at farmer and at key influencer levels for its technology, know how and especially getting the motivational feedback to our Irish supporting agronomy team (TSAs).



YIELD SERVICE: the successful programme of TIMAC AGRO Hungária

Launched 5 years ago by TIMAC AGRO Hungária, the Plant Nutrition Management Programme YIELD SERVICE... View Article

Launched 5 years ago by TIMAC AGRO Hungária, the Plant Nutrition Management Programme YIELD SERVICE has several objectives: to change the usual practices of supply, to feed soils according to specific needs, to improve yields and to help to create environmentally friendly nutrient management. This programme not only affects the quality and quantity of the crop in a given year, but also the soil itself, and thus the future results. This initiative also responds to the Hungarian government’s request for farmers to perform soil analysis every 5 years.

YIELD at our customers SERVICE

This Programme has many benefits. It offers a complete service, from sampling to design, to establish a precise budget plan. This plan has there by been enabling share costs of nutritional supplementation between the analysis tables and it reducing the risk of environmental pollution by avoiding unnecessary applications. Since 2014, the subsidiary has been providing such services for nearly 400,000 hectares in Hungary.

This service also allows for a personalized approach thanks to a realistic plan established during meetings with our experts and producers. Based on measurement and professional calculation, farmers can follow each step of work transmitted in real time by telephone or email. If farmers had been analyzing their soil for a long time, the data was rarely used. Now, the data collected and the results can be verified and communicated.

“Since I joined the program, my use of fertilizer has been more focused. In each area, I release sufficient preparation and quantity for the plant with the given soil conditions. For me, the main motivation was profitability and I could achieve higher yields. “

Zsolt Szabó, Production Partner in Baranya


YIELD SERVICE: for a differentiated application

Whether it is a nitrate sensitive farm, traditional or precision, this Programme includes several elements to meet the legal requirements of the Hungarian government. First, it is the soil sampling for analysis in an accredited laboratory partner of TIMAC AGRO Hungária. Then comes the detailed and descriptive diagnoses for classifying the limiting factors for soils. These data allow to analyze the cost of nutrient intake. It is then in the form of tables that soil maps are inventoried to allow a professional consultation by our TSAs to give the best advice on the costs of service and to propose the adapted products.

Thanks to YIELD SERVICE and its optimized nutrient application technology, our partners have been able to increase the quality of their yields and have achieved higher revenues. In 2016, a new branch was born: YIELD SERVICE +. This specialized version of the program is provided for precision farming technology and will go even further in the observations with, in particular, the use of aerial imagery. The planning (and the diagnosis) is not only on filed level but on homogeneous units called management zones.


Learn more: http://www.timacagro.hu/yield-service/mi-az-a-yield-service


TIMAC AGRO supports the largest producer of olive oil in the world

Olive growing is closely linked to Mediterranean culture. Spain, the world’s leading producer of olive... View Article

Olive growing is closely linked to Mediterranean culture. Spain, the world’s leading producer
of olive oil and table olives, cultivates 57% of its olive trees on dry land and 42% on irrigated land. For irrigated land, 46,410 ha are fertigated 10 or 12 times per year. This fertilisation programme is monitored by 65 of our TSAs who visit over 500 ha of olive plantations each year.

For the last 4 years, 16 TIMAC AGRO España TSAs have been closely collaborating with 22 technicians from the company DCOOP. Our teams jointly deploy the strategy developed by TIMAC AGRO: the TSAs provide advice on plant nutrition to farmers and the DCOOP technicians concentrate on quality control and harvest estimates. Our actions have resulted in renewed plant vigour, enhanced fat content (+22%), and increased olive size and weight (+8%). A promising step for our Spanish TSAs!

Each phase of the vegetative cycle of the crop benefits from a specific input:

  1. After the harvest and during the winter vegetative dormancy, our products improve germination and the development of more productive branches. In March, we recommend foliar application products.
  2. In the spring, we improve flowering.
  3. In the summer, we increase the fattening of the olive with biostimulants.
  4. Between June and September, we work on fruit ripening and fat yields.

For the fertigated crops, we use liquid products in the germination, growth and ripening phases, as a substitute for granular fertilisers.


Manuel Ferreira de Campos: 20 years as a passionate Technical Sales Agent

Manuel began his career as a TSA with TIMAC AGRO Portugal at the age of... View Article

Manuel began his career as a TSA with TIMAC AGRO Portugal at the age of 51 in 1999. He has become one of the most successful TSAs in the country. He is very committed to wine-producing areas such as Falua and is now passing on his passion to young recruits.
The first time he met the manager of zone, Rui Rosa, Manuel had no idea what was in store for him at TIMAC AGRO. As a new employee, he used his experience as a company manager to succeed in his second professional career. Armed with an unfailing tenacity, he garnered new agricultural and agronomic knowledge and quickly developed his client portfolio.
“I prepare for my visits the day before to evaluate the needs of each client. I always take the recommended steps a little further. I organise up to 18 visits per day, with a 60 to 70% success rate: that is the goal that I set myself”.

A masterful demonstration

Manuel is especially committed to the wine-growing land he is responsible for, and he forges strong links with the distributors. He provides the best advice to the winegrowers:
“Agriculture is very dependent on the climate. It is up to us to find solutions to minimise losses (caused by hail, for example) and overcome crisis situations. It is also up to us to advise our clients for the long term. When I arrived at the vineyard, I suggested that the winegrowers invest in our solutions to improve the soil, and so the plants. This enriched the wine and the sales price rose. Other producers took an interest in this impressive quality upgrade. Today, our products are said to work ‘miracles’!”

Evolving with our clients

At the start, Manuel only worked with a dozen or so colleagues at the VITAS Portugal meetings, our Portuguese branch founded 24 years ago. Today, the 46 VITAS TSAs work in ideal conditions: they offer a wide range of products and work with modern equipment: tablets, smartphones, etc.
“The agricultural world is changing and it is up to us as TSAs to adapt and make the most of this. Our arguments are backed up by the knowledge of the Roullier Global Centre for Innovation. With its continual innovation, it proves that human intelligence cannot be replaced by machine.”

TIMAC AGRO Polska invests in scanners for soil analysis

TIMAC AGRO Polska cooperates with farmers whose crops are very varied: wheat, corn, rapeseed, sugar... View Article

TIMAC AGRO Polska cooperates with farmers whose crops are very varied: wheat, corn, rapeseed, sugar beet, apples or berries. Crop area is very diverse, with farms ranging from 5 ha to 3500 ha.

Until now, the company has only been doing laboratory research. Łukasz Peroń, Marketing Director at TIMAC AGRO Polska, wishes to pursue other approaches, complementary to those existing for their studies: “We have been using the traditional laboratory for soil analysis. It was the only method available. Everyone knows and trusts it. On the other hand, the waiting time is much longer than if we use a soil scanner”. For him, time plays a crucial role: “As a company, we naturally invest in proven new technologies. We like the scanner because the search is very fast. In a few minutes we can have a basic analysis and show the report to the farmer (or send it to him). On this basis, we can improve our advice and increase responsiveness to farmers. The scanner is also a very practical device because it is easy to use and carry”.

Soil analysis directly at the farm

After the first telephone contact with the customer, TIMAC AGRO Polska advisers meet him directly on his farm. During this visit – and thanks to the scanner – they can analyse its soil. The company currently employs 115 TSAs who advise farmers to improve the yield of their soil. At the meeting in the farmer’s field, they can quickly analyse the nutrient content of the soil and show them in minutes the results of the research. With the scanner, it is possible to be in the field and have a report on his phone ready to be presented to the client.

An innovative product on the Polish market

It is in 2018 that the scanner made its appearance in Poland and TIMAC AGRO Polska was one of the first companies to use it. Since innovation is part of the company’s DNA, this investment made sense, as Marcin Wieremczuk, Product Manager at TIMAC AGRO and scanner user, points out: “Farmers are very interested in the scanner because it is a novelty that has only been put on the market recently. Our experience shows that the results are very similar to the traditional laboratory”.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/2Gey1ZQ  



Technical day on potatoes with McCain

On Thursday 20 December, a technical day on potatoes was organised by the Nord-Pas de... View Article

On Thursday 20 December, a technical day on potatoes was organised by the Nord-Pas de Calais agricultural council. 300 people took part in the event, including technicians, regional distributors and about 250 potato producers.

The Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier (CMI) was invited to attend this technical meeting to share its expertise in plant nutrition and, in particular, on issues regarding phosphorus nutrition in potatoes.

The day began with Loic Piat, the agricultural manager for McCain France and Belgium, presenting the good results obtained using Top Phos on potatoes. Then, two CMI Development Managers, Nicolas Juignet and Pierre-Grégoire Vimon, informed the audience about the issues related to phosphate fertilisation and then more specifically about its impact on tuberisation and potato production.

Our collaboration with this agribusiness company on the issue of phosphorus began in 2011 and has made it possible to conduct field experiments over the course of the last six years on the Innovator potato variety in northern France. The significant involvement of local TIMAC AGRO teams throughout this time and in preparation for this event has been a contributing factor to its success (Regional directors: Thomas Château, Pierre Démolin, Ana Claudia Tamba).

This was a very fruitful event and has increased potato producers’ confidence in our field experts, our TSAs and TIMAC AGRO solutions. Furthermore, it also helps to highlight the CMI’s expertise in Plant Nutrition.


McCain Foods Limited, founded in 1957, is a Canadian business specialising in processing and distributing food products. It is known primarily as a producer of frozen chips. The company McCain Foods, whose head office is located in Toronto in Canada, employs about 20,000 people in 55 factories worldwide. It processes, on average, 12 million tonnes of potatoes per day for different markets. With regard to chips, the company represents a third of all production worldwide. 

Founded in 1957 by two brothers, Harrison and Wallace McCain, who invented the process for freezing fried potatoes. The company is not listed on the stock exchange; all shares belong to the founding family.