VICCHEM turns 90

Dec. 5, 2023 | 5 Min read
In the world of chemical leaders, the news VICCHEM has turned 90 is something really worth celebrating.

In the world of chemical leaders, the news VICCHEM has turned 90 is something really worth celebrating.

From its humble origins in the vibrant heart of inner suburban Richmond back in 1933, as the country was lurching back into business following the Great Depression, the Victorian Chemical Company has innovated, adapted, and reinvented itself over and over to become the success story it is today.

Managing director Andrew Killick says when the business opened its doors in 1933, Melbourne was abuzz with textile and tanning, and the company launched itself into the forefront of those industries, quickly making a name for itself as a cutting-edge enterprise providing quality services to these burgeoning sectors.

Mr Killick says while that formula worked for a time, things were changing fast and 50 years down the track it was time for a new direction.

He says in a pivotal moment in VICCHEM’s history, his family acquired the whole operation in 1983 and set about creating the company it is today.

“We were able to do that because the people who had gone before us provided us with a rock-solid launching pad,” Mr Killick explains.

“Building on the company’s innovative approach and strong track record of quality and integrity, we were able to set out on a path of diversification into the dynamic expanses of agricultural products,” he says.

“Since that time VICCHEM has introduced a range of market-leading products which deliver farming system improvements across broadacre, grain, cotton, horticulture and pasture.

“And we can do that with products such as spray adjuvants; Hasten and Outright 770, wetting agents; Deluge 1000 and Soak and Wet and spray oil Trump.

“We take immense pride in our Australian heritage, remaining Australian owned and manufacturing in Australia, and servicing markets throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, India, Europe and the Americas.”

Mr Killick says as VICCHEM celebrates its 90-year milestone, he believes the company and its staff are not just commemorating the past but also embracing the limitless possibilities of the future.

He says the business provides ‘our customers’ with friendly, professional service and reliable, high performance products, which have been manufactured according to an accredited quality management system ISO 9001:2015.

“Vegetable oils are used widely in our manufacturing processes, with the resulting products being typically non-hazardous to both end user and the environment,” Mr Killick added.

“VICCHEM also has a well-equipped laboratory which is being used in formulation development and quality control testing,” he says.

“In today’s marketplace, VICCHEM stands as a symbol of trust, innovation and commitment to its customers and to the wider agricultural and industrial community.

“We thank the agricultural industry for being part of our incredible journey, and we look forward to the next 90 years of servicing needs and contributing to the growth and prosperity of the agriculture and industrial industries in Australia, and across the globe.”

And the Killicks certainly weren’t resting on VICCHEM’s laurels.

In 1993, Dr Bob Killick, owner of VICCHEM, was involved in the creation of ground breaking chemistry using ethylated canola oil to create the unique formulation of Hasten Spray Adjuvant.

Mr Killick says this was a significant advance in adjuvant technology.

He says following its registration by the National Registration Authority (predecessor of APVMA) in May 1996, it offered agronomists and growers a high performing, versatile and “in-crop safe” adjuvant, locally manufactured in Australia.

“The innovative Hasten formulation was successfully patented and caught the attention of crop protection companies (CPC) as being the first adjuvant based on ethylated canola oil available worldwide.

“Consequently, Hasten’s use in applications across markets steadily grew, as did the number of CPC labels referencing Hasten, catapulting it to become a leading spray adjuvant in Australia.”

In May 2021, Hasten spray adjuvant reached a 25-year milestone of helping Australian producers grow high yielding, quality crops.

Like his father before him, Mr Killick reflects how pleased he is to be here in 2023 and still see Hasten as an Australian developed, owned and manufactured adjuvant - one which has provided excellent performance for farmers, and supported our distributor and industry partners.

Mr Killick says ongoing trial work continues to confirm its position as a leading adjuvant, as does the fact it is now cross-labelled on more than 50 CPC products.

“We are proud to say Hasten is supporting Australian farmers by using 100 per cent Australian grown canola oil in its manufacture and is being sold across the world”.

Like its 90 years, this sort of success from VICCHEM is something well worth celebrating.

Categories Rural Business