HM.CLAUSE celebrated the 50th anniversary of its research station in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in the presence of Matthew Johnston, CEO; Frank Berger, Deputy CEO and Mark Stowers, Global Head of Research & Development.
Also in attendance were local elected representatives, special guests from the scientific community and the site’s employees. Addressing the crowd, Franck Berger, Deputy CEO HM.CLAUSE reminded us: “After being created through the acquisition in 1965 of a fruit operation, today the 25-hectare breeding station preserves its original mission to develop the Mediterranean crops of tomato, pepper, melon and zucchini. Together with our 66 permanent employees and nearly thirty seasonal workers, we are proud to celebrate the research center’s 50th Anniversary with the unveiling of a completely renovated and expanded Mas Saint Pierre, which stands as a symbol of our commitment of both preserving our rich history and investing in the future. ”
He added, “Over the last eight years, we have made an investment of €8.3 million for the expansion and the renovation of the site. This site is extremely important to our global research organization because the four species bred in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence represent 60% of the total turnover of HM.CLAUSE and a significant portion of the worldwide vegetable seed business.”
Also speaking to the crowd gathered for the anniversary celebration was Mark Stowers, Global Head of R&D for HM.CLAUSE who said, “Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is a remarkable location for the development of new plant varieties. Located halfway between the Ecuador and North Pole, with rich soil and 167 days of sun, we have here the ideal conditions for cultivation.”
He continued by describing the evolution of the research center: “To our four breeding teams dedicated to tomato, pepper, melon and zucchini, we added a team for pepper pre-breeding, a team for the identification of new traits in cucurbits, and a research laboratory and support team for phenotyping.”
He concluded his remarks saying, “The worldwide research effort at HM.CLAUSE includes 900 people who are organized into 50 research teams dedicated to 25 species spanning 400 different market segments. For melon, we are proud to say that we are the worldwide leader with exceptional diversity, including the famous Charentais melon in France, the Yellow Canary in Italy, the Piel del Sapo in Spain, and the Western Shipper cantaloupe in the United States.