28 March, 2019
After 22 years at Cotton Seed Distributors and a total of 34 years in the wider cotton industry, Philip Steel is retiring.
After spending 11 years with the NSW Department of Agriculture as a regulatory officer, setting up quality assurance systems for cotton export products, Phil joined CSD in 1996, at a time when the company was moving into genetically modified cotton.
He played a key role in establishing the rigorous quality assurance requirements of this technology, much of which underpins CSD’s Quality Assurance protocols today.
Moving into management, Phil oversaw the reorganisation of seed processing at Shenstone as CSD’s first major plant upgrade occurred in 1999/2000
He also led a team that commercialised the Bollgard® II technology for CSD. This was pivotal moment for CSD, in delivering a technology to growers that effectively put the industry on the front foot in managing Helicoverpa resistance while at the same time continuing to enhance the industry’s environmental footprint.
The work of Phil and his team saw CSD granted the first commercial license under the Gene Technology Act 2000 as part of the Bollgard® II commercialisation.
In 2002, Phil undertook the challenging role of managing CSD’s newly acquired seed increase and research farm before moving into a strategic product development role, where for the past 12 years he has overseen CSD’s international business, deploying new material into various markets and overseeing IP management and governance over international matters.
The relationships that Phil has established have also assisted in securely managing CSIRO germplasm in global markets, and in sourcing breeding material globally, bringing it through quarantine and onto CSIRO for evaluation. Phil will be missed at CSD, however he moves into the next phase of his life leaving CSD well and truly positioned as a world leading cotton seed company focused on grower profitability,
CSD thanks Phil for his contribution to the industry and wishes him all the best in retirement.
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