E.E. Muir & Sons gains exclusivity to MRSC varieties for the Australian market and equity ownership

Murray River Seed Co founders Jovan Djordjevic and Sam Bush

(l-r) Murray River Seed Co founders Jovan Djordjevic and Sam Bush

Murray River Seed Co (MRSC) has officially announced a new strategic partnership that will see E.E. Muir & Sons become a shareholder.

The result of the partnership will see E.E. Muir & Sons gain exclusivity to all MRSC varieties for the Australian market as well as equity ownership in MRSC.

Vegetable seed breeder MRSC was founded in 2021 by managing director Sam Bush and R&D director and principal breeder Jovan Djordjevic.

Bush said working with E.E Muir & Sons will help drive the business forward.

“I have witnessed the Muir family build a company over many generations that has a strong legacy of improving innovation outcomes for growers throughout Australia,” he said.

“Their long-term vision for innovation that supports profitable, high-quality produce aligns with our commitment to design innovative seeds for growers around the world. 

“We are proud to now be working more closely with them with the aim of continuing to improve growers’ choices in the genetics they can access.”

The partnership will also leverage E.E. Muir & Sons’ extensive distribution network and large team of specialised agronomists to bring MRSC’s unique genetics, research, and development to key regional growing locations.

Andrew Muir, chief executive and managing director of E.E. Muir & Sons said the new arrangements will enhance and expand the company’s solutions on offer to growers.

“Our latest investment and collaboration with MRSC are emblematic of how we like to approach business, adding value and working with great people that are focused on improving the options available to Australian growers and consumers,” said Muir.

“We are pleased to be affiliated with Sam and Jovan and proud to be partnering together with the aim to continue to strengthen growers’ choices cutting edge seed genetics that can be used throughout Australia and internationally.”

Bush said innovative, grower-focused breeding was the priority for MRSC.

“We breed new varieties for the global market in many different market segment types. This is done by our own breeding team, as well as with several innovative breeding partners,” said Bush.

“In the Australian market, beyond our own breeding programmes, we are also developing other companies’ varieties for local conditions, such as lettuce, tomato, pepper, leek and onion.

“The right partnerships are key to our success. We’ve always worked this way – finding other innovative, like-minded companies around the world to scale and aggregate all the wonderful research and development so growers can access it sooner.”

MRSC’s vision for its watermelon and melon plant breeding focuses on creating new varieties resilient to climate change, offering benefits for growers around the world, said Djordjevic. 

“For instance, we breed plants to yield more within a shorter season, reducing vulnerability to both biotic and abiotic stresses, decreasing water and fertiliser usage. All while maintaining that recognisable summer fruit freshness and taste. Our breeders are innovators-in-chief, and they often work hand in hand with growers,” said Djordjevic.

“We use proven state-of-the-art hybrid breeding methods, including genotyping thousands of genes to maximise the natural hybrid phenomena known as ‘heterosis’ and ‘hybrid vigor’ – without the use of GMO or gene editing techniques.

“Our breeding strategy and targets are tailored to markets such as the US, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, Honduras, Spain, and Italy.”

The MRSC breeding programme currently includes mini seedless watermelon, large seedless crimson type watermelon, large seedless black sugar baby watermelon, mini micro-seeded watermelon, and harper melons.