Hockley International

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Hockley International's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Hockley International is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Peter Rosevere, marketing
manager, with two new crop
protection products for the UK
Frank Howard, chairman, Catherine Howard, finance
director, and Tommy Gill, managing director
With a background in chemistry, Frank Howard founded
Mostyn Chemicals in 1979, initially to sell a range
of industrial chemicals, but, driven by demand from
customers, he soon focused more specifically on pesticide
formulations. The business, based in Poynton, Cheshire,
concentrated on global markets and enjoyed steady growth; in
fact, export success resulted in an award – the Export Award
for Smaller Businesses, with the company later receiving The
Queen’s Award for Export. At the time, it was one of the smallest
companies to succeed in doing so. To reflect its global business, the
company changed its name to Hockley International, and became a
worldwide supplier of pesticides for agriculture and environmental
health, with a specific focus on developing and emerging markets.
In 2010, further growth provided Hockley International with the
opportunity to move to offices adjacent to Manchester airport,
providing good transport links, especially for global customers.
The market
The global pesticides market is highly regulated, with most countries having specific
product approval requirements. Costs in research and development to bring a new
pesticide to market are significant, and led by the big multinational companies,
which makes them prohibitive for small companies like ourselves. Recent years
have seen much consolidation in the industry, moving from a global abundance
of companies to a point where only a handful of multinationals hold the majority
»Founder: Frank Howard
»Established in 1991
»Based in Manchester
»Services: Pesticide exporters
»No. of employees: 20
»Independent British company
»Exports 99 per cent of sales to
over 30 countries
Hockley International
share of the market. Against this
background, we have defined our
position in the generic pesticide
market and invested in technical
expertise to gain product approvals in
During the last 30 years, the
agrochemical world has changed
dramatically. Almost all producers
of active ingredients in the UK have
closed, as have many in Europe, with
production moving to India and later
China. In fact, most of the pesticide
formulators have also shut up shop in
the UK, with business going to Europe
and the Far East.
Throughout these changes, we
have looked at the opportunities
created and built a flexible strategy,
concentrating on regulatory and
financial support for customers. We
operate strict quality control when it
comes to our supply sources, robustly
structured through a comprehensive
ERP system and ISO 9001 certification.
Successful growth in an ever-evolving
industry, a strong agrochemical focus
on African markets and expanding
environmental health sector shares
in Central America and the Far East,
especially Vietnam, has been the result.
Global reach
The company’s Mostyn, Alderelm and
Hockley “Hi” brands are sold in many
countries: north and sub-Saharan
Africa, the Middle and Far East and
South and Central America. From
Algeria to Zimbabwe and Colombia
to the Philippines, you will find our
products protecting crops, humans
For agriculture, we offer a wide range
of fungicides, herbicides, insecticides
and growth regulators, packed and
labelled to customers’ requirements.
We provide products for use on many
crops, including cereals such as maize,
rice, wheat and barley alongside
vegetables, grapes, flowers, cocoa,
sugar cane and coffee.
The environmental health range we
offer includes space spray and residual
insecticides for application by all
types of equipment to control flies,
wasps, mosquitoes, bed bugs and
cockroaches. In addition, there are
insecticides for treating bed nets, and
a range of products specific to the
control of pests in animal environs.
These include a range of insect
growth regulators, alongside residual
and space spraying insecticides to
control flies and beetles, particularly in
Challenges facing Hockley
When competing in this highly
regulated technical market, there are
huge upfront costs, which are more
significant when it’s considered that
product approval may not be granted
at the end of all the investment
and research. We ensure then that
we focus heavily on research and
development to produce data for
generic products, technical expertise to
compile informative dossiers and the
British products for a
global market
We have looked
at the
created and
built a flexible
on regulatory
and financial
support for our
Highlighting best practice
recruitment of well-trained staff for
the production, logistics, import and
export of goods.
While we all agree that regulation is
necessary, currently the costs to play in
the over-regulated EU pesticide market
have become prohibitive for SMEs.
Continuing uncertainty around Brexit
is also a cause for concern, as the
transition plans remain unclear, but it
will most certainly consume resources
and prove to be a source of significant
costs in the initial phase.
Hockley today – investing
Nevertheless, we continue to invest in
our future, namely in the regulatory
and technical aspects of the business
– that is, to build registration dossiers
which facilitate the acquisition of
sales licences in markets of interest.
Relationships with our global
customers are key to sustainable
business, and continued technical
support and product development will
provide a healthy pipeline of products.
Undeterred by the challenges, we have
recently undertaken a new venture,
Hockley Agro UK Ltd, and, this year,
launched products for the first time
into the UK agriculture market,
offering farmers a range of pesticides
for key crops.
Wherever possible, brands will be
made and packed in the UK carrying
the “Made in Britain” logo. Our
first product, TEBURA, a fungicide,
was launched this year in April,
and was closely followed by the
Research, development and
We have worked in conjunction with
scientists at various universities over
the years. Our primary focus in this
regard has entailed a close partnership
with the Biocomposites Centre at the
University of Bangor, and involves
chemical research towards a natural-
equivalent herbicide. Aftersix years of
work, we are starting to make serious
progress, and the project is undertaking
greenhouse trials to prove efficacy.
Toxicology tests are also underway.
With a keen interest in science and
technology, and a strong desire
to promote more interest in STEM
subjects within education, we
currently sponsor five science students
at Manchester University, and are
working on a scheme to promote
science in local primary schools.
The future
We welcome all initiatives to help
and grow locally and globally, be that
support in regulation, export, staff
training or marketing. We are wholly
committed to producing goods for
export in the UK, supporting local
businesses, investing in educational
projects alongside university research
and, most of all, employing staff across
a variety of disciplines. Government
focus on helping SMEs through
reduced regulation, incentivised
investment in product research and
global marketing, however, would
help deliver a better future for us, our
community and the industry in general.
focus on
helping SMEs
investment in
research and
would help
deliver a
better future
Peter James, sales
executive, Lewis
Litchfield, marketing
executive and Peter
Rosevere, marketing
manager, at PPC Live UK


This article was sponsored by Hockley International. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy