A significant restructuring of fruit and vegetable seed development operations is taking place within US agriculture group Monsanto, affecting operations at De Ruiter Seeds, Seminis and PoloniSemences, which is part of the Monsanto-owned International Seed Group.
Seminis, the world's largest developer, grower and marketer of fruit and vegetable seeds, which Monsanto acquired in March 2005, will be solely responsible for open-field crop development, while Dutch vegetable seed company De Ruiter Seeds will take the lead when it comes to varieties used in covered production.
The reorganisation comes more or less one year on from the completion of Monsanto's €546m acquisition of De Ruiter Seeds Group.
Responsibility for melon development across the entire group will be officially handed to Seminis in September, it has been confirmed. It remains unclear what role melon specialist PoloniSemences will play in the reorganised set-up.
From 1 September, De Ruiter Seeds' complete melon portfolio will be sold and marketed under the Seminis brand.
"Since Monsanto's acquisition of De Ruiter Seeds in June 2008, we have been working hard to build an infrastructure to support these two product brands where the De Ruiter Seeds brand represents innovations for protected culture, while the Seminis brand is our line of products for the open field," explained Alois van Vliet, business lead for Europe, Africa and the Middle East at Seminis.
"Melons are a key crop for Seminis and we are going to be investing a lot more in this product group," he continued. "We see lots of opportunity for innovation in this area."
Mr Van Vliet was speaking during last week's International Melon Days 2009 in Parma, Italy.
Hosted by De Ruiter Seeds, Seminis and Poloni, which is part of the Monsanto-owned International Seed Group, the event brought together over one hundred leading players from the global melon supply chain.
Innovation in the melon sector was at the core of the event's programme, with varietal trials offering delegates an insight into the latest developments within the portfolios of the three companies and dedicated conference sessions providing information on the latest melon marketing trends at international level.
"In a competitive global marketplace and with the world economy suffering its worst financial crisis in decades, we appreciate that more than ever we need to invest in the relationships with our clients and bring to the market innovative and high-quality products," said Fulvio Berton, global marketing director at De Ruiter Seeds. "International Melon Days 2009 has provided the perfect platform for achieving these goals."