Seed World

The Business of Color

Bringing over 150 years of colorant formulation expertise to the U.S. agriculture industry, Clariant’s Agrocer™ is positioned to deliver color to the seed industry.

When color-giant Sandoz formed Clariant and later acquired Hoescht, in 1997, over 150 years of colorant formulation experience was brought together to provide industry leading color products, as well as solutions to colorant challenges within the agriculture industry. Today, Clariant’s Agrocer™ continues to develop and deliver both uniformity and distinction to their agriculture customers, providing colorants with both unrivaled shelf-life and specific color shade. The combination of specificity and staying-power allows unparalleled identification and branding opportunities for the companies they work with.

Clariant ventured into the U.S. agriculture marketplace, identifying an unmet need within the segment: colorants specifically manufactured for seeds. Although there were colorants used to identify seeds for safety and inventory purposes, no product existed as a specially formulated, long-lasting color solution specifically for seeds.

Clariant’s specially formulated colorant were designed to provide companies and farmers, alike, solutions to identification, safety, branding and inventory.

Mark Self, market segment manager for special applications at Clariant, says that the value colorants add to seed goes beyond merely distinguishing one seed from another.

“Seeds are becoming so valuable. They are an expensive component of the annual operating costs for a farmer. And, seed companies are beginning to realize that outside of their packaging and marketing materials, the seeds themselves can be an important piece of their branding,” he says.

He also shares that Clariant is not only meeting their customer’s colorant needs, but also providing the “paint store, color-swatch” solution they are looking for. “Seed companies want to select a very specific color so that farmers can more easily identify seeds,” says Self, “and they are always surprised to learn that using a custom formulated Clariant color doesn’t add much to the expense.”

“Color is important as a treatment. A lot of seed treatments on the market are colorless or very poorly pigmented. The addition of a high-quality colorant helps to ensure that each seed is being coated properly for better results,” Self says. The uniform finish Clariant colorant products provide creates aesthetic appeal and sense of quality. While the light withstanding characteristic leads to a longer-lasting superior color.

Legally, all treated seeds must be identified to prevent mishandling and the adulteration of other products and food and Clariant is poised to meet the demanding requirements of farmers and agriculture companies in meeting the exacting regulatory requirement.

“At Clariant, we are like bakers; our seed colorants are made from scratch from a precise recipe at our manufacturing plants around the globe. And we go beyond what is required for quality testing. Our agriculture specific colorants come with over 150 years of colorant formulation expertise, and we deliver a superior product,” says Self.