Monday this week marked 50 years of research for HM.CLAUSE at its seed research facilities in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in southern France. HM.CLAUSE is a growing global vegetable seed company, already number-one globally for melon seeds, and they have a variety of vegetable breeding and other research facilities located strategically throughout the world. HM.CLAUSE is a major player in a variety of vegetable seeds, a leader in some, and as these feature interviews will indicate, the company has its eyes on the future.
HM.CLAUSE Vice President/Head of Global Research, Mark Stowers, spoke with AgNet Media founder and president Gary Cooper to explain more about the event, and about the important role this facility plays in the development of the company’s melon and other vegetable seeds. The company strives to cater to the different tastes of consumers and the desires of farmers to produce for those consumers, no matter where they reside around the world. When the different tastes of different cultures are considered, this can become quite a complicated process, and Stowers in this interview explains how the HM.CLAUSE philosophy and integrated research approach continues to keep the company growing.[audio:http://www.southeastagnet.com/audio/vegetable-specialty-crops/Mark Stowers-GlobalRsch.MP3]
In this two-part interview with HM.CLAUSE CEO Matthew Johnston, we go into a good bit of detail about the history of HM.CLAUSE. It’s an interesting story about how this farmer-owned and operated company has developed over the course of more than a couple of centuries to grow and become a global leader in specialty crop and vegetable seeds research and production. For example, the “HM” in HM.CLAUSE stands for Harris Moran seeds, a long time and well-known name in U.S. vegetable seeds that became part of this company years ago.
Johnston is a Florida native from Polk County and as CEO of HM.CLAUSE is also a member of the executive board of the parent company, Limagrain, which is involved in seeds for many other crops outside of the specialty and vegetable crops universe. Johnston also comments on the importance of young people getting involved for the future, and talks about some of the unique student programs they support at several universities, like the “Challenge 2050 Project” at the University of Florida, which you can learn more about in other posts archived on this website.
Part 2 [audio:http://www.southeastagnet.com/audio/vegetable-specialty-crops/Johnston Interview Pt 2.mp3] Download Audio
HM.CLAUSE has a U.S. headquarters located in Davis, California, where it has corporate offices and another major research facility. The seed company works closely there with researchers at University of California at Davis (UC Davis). This interview with UC Davis associate professor Florence Zakharov explains a good deal more about the research going on in Davis, and how her team works with HM.CLAUSE. Her team helps determine what consumers want in their melons and vegetables, from taste to texture, and a lot of other attributes that growers want to know about too, in order to best serve their markets and stay profitable in the process.[audio:http://www.southeastagnet.com/audio/vegetable-specialty-crops/Florence Zakharov.MP3] Download Audio
The worldwide research effort at HM.CLAUSE includes 900 people, organized into 50 research teams dedicated to 25 species spanning 400 different market segments. A few moments to hear these interviews will peel the cover back a little bit to not only learn more about this company’s unique team approach to vegetable and melon seeds research, but also about how this company is looking to the future to involve young people to become trained to take the present efforts into a new generation. The challenges of the future are many, and HM.CLAUSE believes the young people of today have great opportunities in agriculture, many of which are in the seed industry itself.
The celebration at the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence facility this week included numerous media from throughout France, along with a couple of agricultural media representatives from the United States whose farm media targets major areas of U.S. vegetable production and the seed industry. Also in attendance Monday evening at the celebration were a number of local and regional political leaders, and top executives of Limagrain, all of whom addressed a crowd of nearly 200 who were at the event. Limagrain is unique, in that it is owned and operated by a cooperative of French farmers who continue to grow the company’s interests in seed production for all kinds of crops grown around the world.