June 24, 2009

Monsanto To Work With Dole On New Vegetable Varieties

Monsanto Company and Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. on Tuesday announced a new partnership which will see the development of new produce that will be more appealing to consumers.

The five-year partnership will be targeted at creating breeding methods for broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach that will improve the vegetables' nutrition, flavor, color, texture, taste and aroma, the companies said in a joint statement.

"Monsanto's agricultural expertise that improves the speed and accuracy of new and beneficial characteristics will be guided by Dole's knowledge of consumer needs and marketing," they wrote.

Monsanto spokeswoman Riddhi Trivedi-St. Clair told Reuters that the new breeds would not be genetically modified like Monsanto's corn seed and soybean products.

"The consumer wins because Dole's market knowledge combined with our research and development capabilities will help bring new healthy and flavorful products to consumers," David Stark, vice president of consumer traits at Monsanto, said in a written statement.

"Dole prides itself on innovation and bringing consumers high quality, nutritious, and great-tasting products," said Roger Billingsley, senior vice president of research and development for Dole Fresh Vegetables. "We are looking forward to collaborating closely with Monsanto to do just that."

Dole spokesman Marty Ordman told Reuters that the company had been a customer of Monsanto's for decades.


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