Breeding program

Farmer, growers, processors, and customers count on us to continuously improve seeds in order to help them to succeed in their jobs in a sustainable way.

At HM.CLAUSE we have 14 varietal breeding centers across the globe and 3 global research centers, based in France and California. R&D represents 18% of our annual sales revenue re-invested and 27% of workforce involved.

 

Research effort

Our research effort is fully integrated into our breeding programs with the express purpose of accelerating the development of new and improved products. Our breeders, plant pathologists, cell biologists and molecular geneticists are members of transversal teams focused on specific targets in marketplace.

We have three major R&D locations that serve as a base of operation for some of our breeding activities, but also serve as important locations for global and regional platforms.

At our La Bohalle Research Center in western France, we support our global R&D activities with a genotyping platform, cell biology activities in support of breeding effort with temperate species, and global pathology research. We also develop new cauliflower, broccoli, fennel, arugula, endive, and corn salad seeds here.

In Davis, California, adjacent to the University of California at Davis, our team develops new melon, tomato, cucumber, squash, pumpkin, watermelon and pepper products. In addition, we support our breeders with plant pathology and cell biology research.

In the south of France, in Saint Remy de Provence, we focus on advanced phenotyping research that is coupled to our global new trait breeding effort in cucurbits. Saint Remy is also home to our melon, sweet pepper, tomato, and squash breeding programs which largely target Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Plant Breeding

We improve plants to meet the needs of our customers

Farmers, growers, processors and customers count on us to continuously improve seeds in order to help them to succeed in their jobs in a sustainable way.

Plant improvement specialist examines a tomato flowerPlant breeding is the science of adapting the genetics of plants for the benefit of mankind. The overall aim of plant breeding is to improve the quality and agricultural performance of crops with the objective of developing plants better adapted to human needs.

Plant improvement consists of creating new varieties from existing plants by crossing plants chosen for their desired qualities, then selecting the best of them for ongoing development and cultivation. For the past thirty years, the range of tools available to breeders has increased considerably through the development of technologies used to aid researchers in the field and in addition to the use of laboratory-based analysis to increase the capacity of plant characterization. Using sophisticated computer models to understand the genotype and phenotype, the relationship between the genetic information and the plant characteristics, breeders and researchers can improve their ability to identify the best plants from the crossing of genetic resources.

Breeding programs at HM.CLAUSE

At HM.CLAUSE we breed in excess of 25 important vegetable species from arugula to zucchini. We have breeding locations in 13 countries involving over 700 people. We believe that it is important to work in collaboration with our marketing and sales colleagues in order to ensure that we are close to our customers – in order to understand their needs and to design our breeding programs to meet the demands of the marketplace.

Innovation

We believe in innovation to accelerate the launch of new products 

Over the past 150 years, we have seen a tremendous increase in crop yields. About half of the increase can be traced to improvements introduced through plant breeding, while the other half can be traced to advances in agricultural practices. These changes have brought greater food security, lower rates of malnutrition, lower food costs, more food choices, safer foods, and have created lasting environmental benefits, in both economically developed and developing countries.

Today we continue to improve yield and support the continued evolution of agricultural practices through a better understanding of plant biology. In addition, we better understand the biological processes that contribute to taste, shelf-life, and fruit quality.

As a leader in agricultural innovation, we are well placed to learn from scientific and technological advances at universities and within our industry itself.

We believe in innovation to improve disease resistance

At HM.CLAUSE, we aspire to lead our industry in understanding plant diseases – how to diagnose them, the molecular basis of infection, and the development of strategies to protect plants from contamination. With geographical diversity, we can monitor plant disease development and rapidly evaluate the success of our breeding efforts in the production of plants that are tolerant or resistance to bacteria, fungi or nematodes.

We believe in innovation to meet customer demand

One of the biggest challenges for our customers is the delivery of high quality produce to consumers.Consumers worldwide demand fruits and vegetables with good taste and quality. We aim to improve the taste and shelf-life of fruits and vegetables so that our customers can deliver better tasting and highly nutritious products to the consumer.

In addition, it is well known that fruits and vegetables are important in the nutrition of the world’s population. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals and, perhaps more importantly, help to mitigate human disease through pharmaceutical-like molecules – such as fiber and lycopene which have been documented to help moderate and even diminish the development of certain cancers in humans.

By focusing our efforts on improved taste and increased shelf-life we are helping to do our part in delivering improved nutrition and lessening the impact of chronic disease throughout the world.