Biobest UK’s General Manager Phil Walker, a leading figure in the UK biological control industry for some 40 years, is retiring and handing over the reins to another industry stalwart Simon Jones.
Having obtained a degree in Applied Biology followed by post-graduate studies in Crop Protection, Phil began his career in 1976. Working for companies including Perifleur, Glinwell, Buntings and Natural Pest Control he helped develop production systems for beneficials and played a valuable role pioneering reliable IPM management programmes for protected crops, ornamentals and soft fruit.
Phil was a founding director of Biological Crop Protection (BCP Ltd) – the Queen’s Award winning company that helped UK protected growers lead the way in implementing IPM strategies. Founded in 1987, BCP formed a close collaboration with Biobest − the Belgium-based pioneers of commercially reared bumblebees for crop pollination. As a result, BCP became the first to supply bumblebees to pollinate UK tomato crops, while supplying Biobest with beneficials and associated IPM training for its growing worldwide markets.
On completing his three-year contract helping establish Biobest UK, and having reached 65, Phil is retiring. Biobest UK’s new General Manager, Simon Jones, recently joined from Certis Europe – where he was UK Development and Stewardship Manager. Simon began his career at BCP in 1989 where he went on to manage the highly successful UK technical sales team that worked closely with Biobest.
“UK growers have relied on Biobest’s quality and innovative products for several decades,” says Simon. “The formation of a stand alone company, Biobest UK, with its own dedicated highly skilled technical team has further strengthened the company’s position in the UK marketplace. Joining Biobest UK I am delighted to once again be working with many of my former BCP technical colleagues − who now form the core Biobest UK team. Having originally been taken on by Phil at BCP some 30 years ago, I am looking forward to carrying on the work he has begun more recently here at Biobest UK.”
“With nearly 30 years wide ranging experience of biocontrol, biopesticides and crop pollination, Simon is extremely knowledgeable and skilled in regard to managing sales and technical support teams,” says Phil. “He is the right person to take Biobest UK to the next stage.”
Although retiring from the General Manager role, Phil will remain involved in some project work for the Biobest Group.
Image caption: Simon Jones (left) and Phil Walker (right)