- Owns largest potash mine in Brazil sourcing key ingredient glauconite from ancient rock
- Fertilizer product billed as a superior alternative to potassium chloride
- Fully committed to producing 149,000 tons per year, ramping up to 300,000 tons
What Verde AgriTech does:
The company is developing innovative products that exceed rising standards of organic and conventional farming. It produces solutions for farmers facing the constant challenges surrounding crop nutrition, crop protection, soil improvement, and increased sustainability.
Verde promotes sustainable agriculture through the development of its Cerrado Verde potassium project in western Minas Gerais, smack in the middle of Brazil’s Cerrado agricultural heartland. There the company hosts the biggest potash mine in Brazil with proven and probable reserves of 777.28 million tons. Its business is estimated to have an after-tax net present value of about $2 billion.
Commercially, Verde’s flagship product is Super Greensand. Its key ingredient is glauconite, mined from rock that’s 570 million years old. The finished product is a multi-nutrient fertilizer containing potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and 64 other minerals and trace elements to improve the chemical, physical and biological conditions of the soil.
The company since 2009 has been working with the product that now has the backing of the Organic Materials Review Institute and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. It’s sold in the US, Canada and China. It's is also available for purchase on Amazon.com.
In Brazil, where the product is called K Forte, is increasingly winning over farmers and others in the county’s agriculture industry. The product is marketed as a superior alternative to potassium chloride, a widely used fertilizer by Brazilian farmers who help make the sprawling South American nation the largest importer and second-largest consumer of potash in the world.
Verde has noted a number of K Forte's advantages over potassium chloride. Firstly, the product is much more appropriate for tropical soils. It also doesn’t add salt or chloride to the soils. It strengthens plant resistance against pests and diseases and improves organic production. As a result, yields increase as does the nutrient quality of the food.
And the company also argues that it's a good way for Brazil to decrease its dependence on potassium imports while fighting carbon dioxide. The company says potassium chloride products can kill soil organisms that store carbon dioxide and the chemical can cause some crops like sugar cane to release carcinogenic dioxins into the atmosphere during processing.
Another big selling point is that the company is backed by Alysson Paolinelli, a company director called “the father of tropical agriculture” who won the World Food Prize and is currently the president of the Brazilian Corn Growers Association.
How is the company doing:
Operationally, Verde AgriTech is investing C$1 million in the expansion of its plant facilities at Cerrado Verde, as it plans for ramp-upped production of its flagship product. Construction, which was financed exclusively from cashflow, concluded in October and increased the plant's production capacity to 500,000 tons per year.
Also, Verde was granted an environmental license for a new plant, which the company plans to build adjacent to one of its mining pits. The new plant is ultimately expected to produce 890,000 tons of product per year. In addition, the company received mining permits for two other pits.
As part of his compensation plan, CEO Cristiano Veloso recently acquired C$300,000 worth of shares, bringing his total holding in the company to 15.33%. Since launching the company in 2005 Veloso has been paid in stock instead of cash, as are other board members.
Verde has a tight capital structure. There are about 51 million shares on a fully diluted basis, of which 46 million shares are outstanding.
The company’s last reported quarterly financials tell the story of the growing demand in Brazil for its K Forte product.
It produced 52,111 tons and sold 62,855 tons of the product in the third quarter of 2019, up from 33,760 tons and 23,625 tons, respectively, in the second quarter. Verde sold only 4,825 tons in the first quarter. Verde saw third-quarter revenue of nearly C$3.1 million (double that in the first six months of 2019) and posted a gross profit of C$1.6 million.
The company had hoped to hit its sales goal of 200,000 tons in 2019 but trimmed estimates for total sales to 110,000 tons, good for C$5.3 million in revenue.
Overall, Verde says it is fully committed to producing 149,800 tons per year and has applications pending for an additional 333,000 tons per year.
- Expects sales target to reach C$10.6 million in 2020
- Seeks a top annual production goal rate of 25 million tons
- Plans significant developments in coming months
What the boss says:
“Verde is improving the world,” Verde AgroiTech's CEO Cristiano Veloso told Proactive last year.
“The more we sell, the healthier you get and the better the environment becomes.”