International vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan and global agriculture company Syngenta have signed a cross-licensing agreement on vegetable traits.

The agreement gives the companies the right to use the other’s biological vegetable material for breeding and commercial purposes.

“Securing continuous access to breeding material and novel traits is one of our main priorities,” said David Morgan, head of vegetable seeds for Syngenta. “It forms the foundation from which to create novel, innovative varieties with strong benefits for both growers and consumers. This license deal with Rijk Zwaan brings together two innovation pipelines to allow faster delivery of novel vegetable varieties to the market.”

Both companies said the agreement will allow both companies to develop new and improved vegetable varieties by making the most of each other’s innovations is disease resistance and other traits.

“This is a clear win-win deal and one that is excellent for growers and consumers,” said Ben Tax, director of Rijk Zwaan. “Open innovation in breeding is essential for the global food supply.”

The agreement comes after the International Licensing Platform Vegetables (ILP) was formed in 2014, with both Rijk Zwaan and Syngenta founding members of the 12-mmeber organisation. ILP allows vegetable-related innovations to be available to breeders under fair and reasonable conditions.