UPL unviels global identity and vision

Rural Business July 18, 2019

“Our new-purpose OpenAg is all about new initiatives and fresh energy, which is why UPL needs a new brand,” said Jai Shroff, UPL global CEO. “The living identity reflects the co-creative potential with our partners in growth.

“The sustainability of our food system relies on agriculture to operate without limits or borders, which is what OpenAg will do. The brand is therefore a living entity, symbolising our commitment to creating open agriculture for connected, sustainable growth. We are very excited to unveil our new identity and vision to the world.”

The new brand unites UPL’s global employees, embedding the belief that ‘nothing is impossible’. The work also strengthens the cross-border collaboration between UPL’s vast network of partners, distributors, farmers, suppliers and retailers.

For the past 50 years UPL has been working to help growers. Its new purpose has been developed to drive agriculture for the next 50 years, working together to feed the world.

In July 2018, UPL acquired Arysta LifeScience for US$4.2 billion. With the global acquisition completed in February, these two distinct businesses are now operating as one under the new UPL identity. Their combined strength makes UPL one of the top five agricultural solutions companies worldwide, with a US$5 billion revenue and a presence in 130 countries.

New UPL offers an integrated portfolio of both patented and post-patent agricultural solutions, including biological, crop protection, seed treatment and post-harvest solutions covering the entire crop value chain.

Michael Caldwell, head of UPL in Australia and New Zealand, believes the new UPL is a better company for the amalgamation of the two entities, both of which have demonstrated continual growth and success over a long period of time.

“There’s been a lot of thought go into what the new UPL stands for – which is reflected in our new values, culture and mission – and how this will support and influence our work now and into the future,” he said.

“That thought process has led us to this bold, new representation of UPL as we move into an age of sustainable agriculture. It represents the connections that the OpenAg network forges between us all. The new UPL is a solutions company. It’s about what we can do with our customers, with farmers, with the whole network to drive world agriculture to the next level.”

UPL strengthens commercial team

With UPL and Arysta now officially operating as one, UPL has strengthened its commercial team with some key appointments.

Heading up the UPL leadership team for Australia and New Zealand is Mr Caldwell, previously country head of Arysta LifeScience in Australia.

With several years’ leadership experience and roles encompassing commercial management, marketing and sales, he previously held commercial and marketing management roles at Chemtura AgroSolutions. When Arysta purchased Chemtura in 2015 he became head of sales and was later appointed country head, a position he has held for the past three years.

Mr Caldwell said he was delighted to announce the new leadership team in Australia and New Zealand. “Our new leadership team brings together the right combination of industry and managerial experience as we head into this next phase of business,” he said.

Joining UPL in New Zealand is recently appointed country manager Scott Hanson. Based in Auckland, he makes the move across from Bayer, where he was country manager for the past three years.

With a depth of agribusiness experience in NZ, Mr Hanson has previously held national sales management positions with Bayer and Pfizer, as well as working in sales for fertiliser company Ravensdown earlier in his career.

He said he was excited to be part of a big multinational that is rapidly growing. Not only will he lead UPL in New Zealand, but he will also transition Etec Crop Solutions, purchased by Arysta in 2018, into the UPL fold. Etec is a significant supplier of agrochemical solutions in New Zealand, with a history of commercialising innovative high-value products for the local agricultural market.

“Etec is a well-known brand here with a long-standing reputation in the market,” Mr Hanson said. “I’m looking forward to building on this strong presence in the region with a broader range of products tailored to the unique needs of growers.”

In a new role, Tim Rees has been appointed as national sales manager for UPL in Australia. Formerly CEO of Northern AgriServices, he brings a wealth of knowledge in rural merchandise management and over 20 years’ work experience in senior managerial roles.

He joined BGA AgriServices in 2008, managing the seven stores through an impressive growth period and subsequent acquisition by Ruralco in 2011, into today’s 19-store Northern AgriServices chain spanning from north Queensland to northern NSW.

During his 11 years at the helm Mr Rees also held a number of roles at Ruralco, including time as rural operations divisional manager for NSW and Queensland, CRT national business council chairman and CRT national council member. His knowledge from managing a large rural merchandise chain will be valuable in his UPL role as he steps across to the supply side.

“My experience as a customer gives me a unique insight to our offer to customers,” he said. “I’m looking forward to using that knowledge – knowing what works and what offers provide value – to work together with our customers for mutual gain.”

Heading up marketing and product development for UPL in Australia is Ian Cass, a senior manager with global crop protection experience. He started with UPL in September 2018 following more than 16 years with Dow AgroSciences.

Prior to his move to UPL, he spent several years with Dow as a project manager for Asia Pacific and before that his roles included ANZ demand manager, business services manager ANZ and Australian horticulture marketing manager.

Mr Cass is excited by the possibilities a new UPL provides locally in an ever-changing market. “New UPL offers solutions spanning the entire crop value chain,” he said. “It represents a compelling value proposition for growers, distributors, suppliers and innovation partners in a consolidating market.

“The new UPL brand is a fresh, creative expression bringing UPL’s vision of borderless existence and limitless optimism for the food chain to life.”

Mr Caldwell said the depth of experience in the leadership team positions UPL to continue to grow and evolve its value proposition to customers. “The world is constantly transforming, and we have to transform ourselves to be a preferable partner to our customers, partners and suppliers, as well as the preferable place to work for our employees,” he said.

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