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The newly established Contract Research Organisation (CRO) of SGS Australia Pty Ltd is up and running.

The first of a number of efficacy trials were established this month in Australia’s main banana production region (Innisfail, North Queensland), assessing the efficacy of foliar applied controlled release nitrogen sources. This aims to reduce nitrogen losses and minimise run-off into the Great Barrier Reef.

The importance of protecting the Great Barrier Reef has become apparent after discussions with a number of sponsor companies. In addition to potential leaching of fertiliser products, pesticide movement is now a major environmental and regulatory issue. Sponsor companies must demonstrate that any new and/or existing products do not pose a threat to such pristine environments.

SGS is in early discussions with a number of sponsor companies establishing protocols for soil dissipation studies. This area has not been well serviced in the Australian market. Globally, SGS Group has considerable experience with these studies and also across business units within the country.

One of SGS Australia’s key priorities will be to gain GLP accreditation. It is anticipated that this will be achieved in 2013. Consequently, these activities along with product evaluation (efficacy and crop safety), will be the initial focus of the business. Product evaluation will initially be focused on the country’s sub tropical and tropical cropping regions. SGS Australia has considerable expertise in tropical cropping industries as well as proximity to the region’s markets.

Our expansion will take our operations into a range of geographic territories covering both broadacre and temperate horticultural production. As with other SGS units (Seed & Crop), varietal screening of GMO and conventional crop varieties may be an opportunity in the future.

Feedback from the Australian market has been excellent. The breadth and diversity of SGS Australia’s expertise is helping to differentiate it from other CROs. SGS is able to offer services across the entire food chain, from pre-planting, through to post harvest evaluation. It is expected that there will be synergies with other overseas SGS units. Negotiations are underway with a number of sponsors for global pesticide development work and Australia is one of a number of countries collating data as part of global packages. For clients the ease of dealing with a single partner across multiple locations is appealing.

For more details, please contact:

Jon McCarthy
Business Manager
SGS Australia Pty Ltd
59 Bancroft St Pinkenba, Brisbane, Queensland 4008
t: +61 7 3622 4747

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SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.