Monsanto's Ed Ayala exploring consumer needs and grower profitability at PMA Fresh Connections 2012


Internationally recognised expert on vegetable consumer traits, Ed Ayala, will explore how to service increasing consumer needs without sacrificing grower profitability at PMA Fresh Connections 2012.

Mr Ayala, who is Monsanto Company’s Director of Business Development, Consumer Traits, works across the globe to identify and bring to market new produce offerings with added consumer appeal, and will share insights on recent efforts to launch vegetable products with better taste, nutrition and convenience on Thursday 28 during the PMA morning session.

“Everybody benefits from Monsanto’s work to extend and develop varieties that help deliver efficiency and return to producers and quality and diversity of product for consumers,” Mr Ayala said.

Monsanto, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Seminis Vegetable Seeds Inc., is the world’s largest developer, grower and marketer of vegetable seeds and uses world-leading plant breeding technology to produce seeds that improve nutrition and yields, limit spoilage, reduce water and chemical use and enhance flavour.

“Our researchers work with highly complex traits, combining them in new ways to provide solutions to old challenges, particularly using wild plant relatives with a vast reservoir of genetic diversity to enhance existing commercial plant products.”

This focus however, must be balanced against Monsanto’s determination to meet and supersede consumer perception and expectation.

“We must produce products that resonate with consumers– produce that look, smell and taste superior to expectation; that are packed with nutrients and offer convenience and a long shelf life.”

Newly launched varieties are delivering on Monsanto’s vision: taste tests show lettuce variety Frescada to be more flavourful, green and nutritious than iceberg lettuce; EverMild® Premium onions have low pungency and tearing, excellent slicing qualities and maintain desired flavour; and Beneforte® broccoli which naturally contains 2-3 times the phytonutrient glucoraphanin as a serving of other leading broccoli varieties produced under similar growing conditions. Glucoraphanin naturally boosts your body’s antioxidant enzymes levels, which help maintain your body’s defences against the damage of environmental pollutants and free radicals.

Seminis is stacking disease resistance traits in ways previously believed to be impossible: someday it may be feasible to have natural built-in resistance to dozens of diseases in one plant.

“We’re tracking great progress in this area with tomatoes, peppers and onions, recording higher yields, greater uniformity, better shipping ability and protection from pests, which are all of benefit to producers.

“We’re then taking our role a step further, working with grocery retailers and food companies to identify their needs and work to provide innovation that matches current and projected consumer demand.”

“Our aim is continue our collaboration with producers to ensure we understand their needs at every step from farm to retail, cultivating a better future for Australia’s vegetable industry.”

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Media inquiries please contact:
Monsanto: Keryn McLean, Corporate Affairs Lead, 03 9522 7199

About Monsanto Company:
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: