Category: News
Date published: October 10, 2018

Koppert Collaborates with Valto to Control Harmful Tomato Virus

Convinced that cooperation and sharing knowledge are key to promoting natural crop protection, leading biological solutions producer, Koppert Biological Solutions, is cooperating with Valto to ensure that this Dutch producer of beneficial crop viruses has access to tomato growers around the world.

The two innovative biological solutions producers are located in the heart of the Dutch fruit and vegetable growing region and closely linked when it comes to finding natural solutions to pests and diseases. While Koppert operates globally through a network of 27 subsidiaries and distributors in more than 100 countries, family-owned Valto has a specialized range of products and will benefit from Koppert’s extensive distribution network, supply chain, customer services and more than 200 professional consultants.

Worldwide distribution V10

Developed by Valto in 2006, it has been widely used to prevent the emergence of the virulent Pepino Mosaic Virus (PepMV) which has been accountable for substantial losses in tomato production around the world. Since its introduction, this natural crop protection agent has been successfully used by local growers and currently protects a substantial percentage of the total production of tomatoes in the Netherlands.

‘V10 has proved its worth during the course of several efficiency trials that were needed for the full European registration dossier. The two low risk active ingredients and the product V10 have been approved by the Dutch registration office CTGB,’ says Valto’s director, Thorben Looije. While Valto will continue the sale and distribution of its V10 product in the Netherlands, Koppert Biological Systems will be responsible for the distribution and sale of this natural viral solution to the rest of the world. The product is awaiting registration in most of the remaining EU countries and registration processes have been initiated on other continents.

Unfortunately, there are no plans as of this moment for V10 to arrive into the US.

Twofold protection

Valto’s product, V10, is composed of two mild variants of the Pepino Mosaic Virus (VX1 and VC1) and provides twofold protection against various damaging symptoms of the PepMV EU, PepMV LP and PetMV CH2. V10 also suppresses PepMV US1(CH1) symptoms. The Pepino Mosaic Virus is very changeable and causes damaging symptoms such as leaf or stem necrosis and fruit discoloration, fruit size reduction and cracking. Transmission is often through plant sap when working with tomato plants and by using infected materials like clothing and tools.

‘You can compare V10 to a flu injection,’ explains Valto’s Thorben Looije. ‘It’s used preventatively and needs to be applied to young plants. There are often two strains present in the greenhouse. V10 covers both so mutation is less likely and plants are protected naturally. This twofold protection is what distinguishes us from our competitors’.

‘I am extremely happy that the cooperation with Koppert and its professional logistics will provide just the right platform to launch V10 worldwide. I will be closely involved with passing on our know-how and experience to Koppert’s consultants at the subsidiaries concerned,’ Looije adds.

Global cooperation

‘For Koppert, this virus vaccination is compatible with our total plant health approach, so it can be easily integrated into our way of working,’ says Koppert Product Manager, Kris De Smet. ‘Registration in several European countries is expected in a few weeks or months’ time. We expect that tomato growers all over Europe will soon accept the ‘Pep’ virus vaccination as a standard practice, at least in high-tech greenhouses, as growers are aware of the yield losses that this virus can cause.’

‘Yes, at first some growers may be a bit hesitant, since a vaccination is a weak form of the disease so plants feel a small shock initially, but plants will be so much better prepared for the rest of their growth cycle. The same is true for vaccinations in humans, so growers understand this. The benefits are clear, so we don’t expect major concerns in that field,’ De Smet concludes.

For more information about V10 see video.