BioSafe Systems has hired Eric Smith as a Horticulture Technical Sales Representative. Smith will spearhead sales goals to establish consistent, direct communication with strategic distribution partners, growers/packers, and market influencers.
In his role, Smith will work to increase market penetration and sales of BioSafe Systems products. He will focus his efforts on establishing a strong, lasting rapport with distributors and providing technical support to loyal customers while establishing relationships with new customers.
Smith has experience in several agricultural and horticultural markets. He has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management in Agriculture and Natural Resources from the University of Florida, as well as work experience with crop production, quality control, sales, and procurement and logistics for established wholesale farms.
Greenhouse Grower recently caught up with Smith and asked him about the biggest issues he’s seen in the market, and how he plans to work with growers to help them deal with these challenges.
Greenhouse Grower (GG): How did your previous experience prepare you for this new role?
Eric Smith: Having worked in sales at the production level and the distributor level, I feel I have a well-rounded perspective of the market place. By starting out in 2007 at a nursery, I experienced what many long-time growers have called the worst market conditions in their lifetime. Those struggles and subsequent victories, coupled with a broader sense gained by my time at the distributor level, have really made me who I am today.
GG: What are the some of the biggest issues or concerns you’ve heard from the growers you work with, and how do you plan to help them deal with these issues?
Smith: In Florida, the climate is almost always ideal for fungal issues. With last winter being so mild, the normal respite was not as evident. Disease pressure began early and remained constant in most areas, especially those with higher than normal rainfall totals. Don’t forget a tropical storm or two just to make things interesting! BioSafe’s chemistries are ideally suited for these pressures. A simple to use, low-rate preventative such as ZeroTol, all the way to a curative treatment such as OxiPhos, are well suited to help growers combat extended seasons of high disease pressure.
GG: What are the biggest challenges this industry is currently facing? Conversely, what are some of the biggest opportunities on the horizon?
Smith: The number-one issue facing our industry, bar none, is water. For both quantity and quality, we are seeing ever increasing regulatory positions across the market, especially here in Florida. The potential for withdrawal limits would certainly impact all sectors, and using reclaimed water comes with a whole new set of issues from a plant pathogen standpoint. Ultimately, it’s up to growers to become active in their local and state association to ensure their interests are protected.
GG: Looking ahead, what role can you play in moving this industry forward?
Smith: By being an advocate for our industry. Folks these days are very quick to point fingers, and it’s up to us to make sure we do the right thing for our industry. Working for BioSafe Systems, I am in a great position to do that not only in word, but also in deed.
GG: If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?
Smith: That’s an easy one- Tarpon fishing in Boca Grande!