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Sweet Taste of Success

EID Parry is a leading Asian agri- business company specialising in sugar related bio-products and neutraceuticals. Philip Yorke looks at what lies behind the dynamic growth of the company and its latest Micro Algal and protein supplement products.

Home Subscribe Adv ertise About Us Contact October 13th 2011 Aerospace & Defence Consumer Goods Forest

EID Parry was founded by Thomas Parry, an Englishman who came to India in 1788 as a free merchant and established the country’s first sugar factory in Nellikuppam in Southern India. In 1897 the company became ‘East India distilleries (EID) and Sugar Factories Limited. It wasn’t until 1975 that EID Parry became a public listed company and subsequently in 1981 was acquired by the Murugappa Group. As part of the Murugappa Group the company has seen consistent growth through a combination of innovative R&D, acquisitions and joint ventures. Today it employs more than 1750 people and recorded sales of around USD 300 million in 2010. The company is part of the Murugappa Group, which is an Indian, agro-based industry leader with a turnover of over USD 3.1 billion, whose diverse product portfolio includes abrasives, engineering, plantations, sugar, bio products, chemicals and neutraceuticals.

Leading the way in microalgal biotechnology

EID Parry was the first private sector sugar company to set up its own in-house R&D division. This was created three decades ago to establish an advanced tissue culture-lab for sugarcane and to develop a varietal programme for its sugarcane products in India. The key business units at EID Parry are: Sugar, Bio-products and Nutraceuticals and these key divisions operate as separate strategic business units. Since then, Parry Neutraceuticals has become a global leader in Micro Algal Technology and is currently manufacturing Certified Organic Spirulina, natural Mixed Carotenoids and Astaxanthin from algae.

The company’s offering of carotenoids is complemented by Lutein Esters and Zeaxanthin, which are produced from marigold flowers, as well as the Lycopene complex found in tomatoes. Recently the company also launched two new over-the-counter (OTC) products; ‘Pro9’ a protein supplement and ‘Pro9D’ a diabetic variant. In addition, EID Parry has obtained the coveted ‘GRAS’ status for its Algal Omega3 oil. Currently EID Parry is at an advanced stage in the commissioning of a new facility for the production of Galactomannan, a soluble dietary fibre.

Furthermore, EID Parry’s sugarcane research centre is far more than a traditional R&D centre of product excellence, it is also a day-to-day open resource for over 100,000 ‘Parry Farmers’ who are constantly seeking sugar cane farming solutions for such things as improving seed quality, technical advice and pest and disease control. Here a multi-disciplinary approach is followed utilising every discipline of biological science, from breeding, agronomy, soil science, pathology, entomology, sugar chemistry, tissue culture and bio-control, in order to provide a total solutions package for the needs of the sugarcane farmer.

Over three decades of research and development in microalgal biotechnology has resulted in the production of many ground-breaking health supplements. These include certified Organic Soirulina, natural Beta Carotene and Astaxanthin, all of which meet stringent world health standards.

The company has also launched a number of new speciality products, such as a Tomato Lycopene Complex, Phycocyanin, Lurein Esters, Zeaxanthin and Green Tea Extracts. These advanced bio-products have become an integral part of the product portfolios of several major brands in over 30 countries. The main markets for these products are North America, South East Asia and The Far East. Although a large proportion of EID Parry’s sales are generated through sales to local sugar distributors, the company also supplies several well known global brands including Pepsico, Coca Cola, Kraft, Britannia and Perfetti.

New bio-plant products driving sales

EID Parry’s bio-product research within its sugar division focuses on the development of products and processes generated from natural sources, such as bio-pesticides, bio-plant growth regulators and bio-fungicides. These have been specifically developed to ensure that agricultural processes are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

In addition to ‘neem-based’ products already on the market, new products in the pipeline include a plant growth regulator developed from a plant source, a twin-pack product for home and garden segments with an enhanced shelf life, as well as a granular plant growth regulator for vegetable crops. Furthermore, the company has developed a bee-attractant to increase the pollination efficiency for flowering crop plants. This is in addition to the development of two new, natural adjuvants to enhance the effectiveness of organic pesticide formulation, and a water soluble formulation of Azadirachtin for root feeding of tree crops and drip irrigation.

Today the bio-products division of IED Parry is focused on producing and marketing organic crop protection worldwide in close technical collaboration with Trifolio-M, Germany. The joint R&D and manufacturing team designed and set up a new Azadirachtin manufacturing plant in Thyagavalli in 1998. Since then, substantial data on physico-chemistry and toxicology profiles of Azadirachtin have been generated through GLP laboratories from various parts of the world. This research included bio-efficacy data generation for more than 30 crops and over 100 crop pests located in 23 countries.

The EID Parry bio division also manufactures Neemazal, which is an effective bio-pesticide, and has recently launched a new organic plant ‘vitaliser’ called AbdA, which is able to offer total protection for rice crops.

Expanding market reach

In India the company serves its end users directly through its own retail chains, as well as through soft-drink manufacturers, bakers, biscuit companies, confectionary chains and other companies in the food processing industry that rely on sugar as a key constituent in their products. In addition, the potable alcohol that the company makes is sold directly to IMFL manufacturers in India.

EID Parry currently has the largest market share in South India and is looking to expand its dominance in this market. Ravindra Singhvi, EID Parry’s managing director, said, “We want to consolidate our market position in this geography before we start venturing into other markets in a big way. We are also looking to enter into manufacturing products with higher value, such as pharma-grade sugar.

“However, our Nutra division predominantly sells in international markets, primarily in the USA. In 1998 our bio division obtained selling registration in Germany through Trifolio-M, which was our marketing partner in Europe and in the USA in 2000. Between us we have the registration for marketing these products in 38 countries including India, USA, Spain, Canada, Netherlands, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea and South Africa. We are currently focused on marketing four Azadirachtin products and four non-Azadirachtin plant vitalisers and spreaders in more than 15 crops of potential importance to India and the rest of the world.”

Today the bio-products division of IED Parry is focused on producing and marketing organic crop protection

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