Abundant Produce manages a portfolio of plant research and development projects, designed to address a blend of traits, target markets, time horizons and consumer trends.
In general, each project is expected to require around three years of intensive research and plant breeding to develop and stabilize desired traits, followed by internal and external trials in years four and five. In years six and seven the focus is on commercialization, working with international seed producers and distributors to establish the new varietal in the marketplace and start building sales volumes. A successful new varietal can be expected to produce at least 5 years of strong returns before competing products start to diminish sales but Abundant’s policy is to attempt to continually refine varietals, ideally providing a fresh offering every two or three years.
Cucumbers are in the commercialisation phase. Abundant Produce has entered into a global Commercialization and Co-Hybrid Agreement with a major international distributor covering hybrid seed production, marketing, sales and distribution. The agreement follows trials demonstrating that Abundant cucumbers are commercially ready and genetically stable, achieving equal or greater yield compared to the incumbents while producing more uniform fruits featuring the shiny, slightly ribbed texture demanded by growers.
Cherry tomatoes, offering novel features in terms of taste, appearance and nutritional content while maintaining vital yield and disease resistance traits, are currently in distributor trials and are expected to enter the commercialisation phase in 2018. Internal ABT trials of novel capsicum and eggplant varietals are expected to commence in 2018, followed by zucchinis the following year.