ST. LOUIS and MONTEREY, Calif. -- Monsanto Company announced today it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. to develop new products that will enhance consumer vegetable choices.



The five-year collaboration will focus on broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach. Plant breeding will be used to improve the nutrition, flavor, color, texture, taste and aroma of these vegetables. Any new products realized from this collaboration could be commercialized by Dole in North America.



"The consumer wins because Dole's market knowledge combined with our research and development capabilities will help bring new healthy and flavorful products to consumers," said David Stark, vice president of consumer traits at Monsanto. "We are very excited and pleased to bring this focus to our business via this collaboration with Dole and its strong brand."



"Dole prides itself on innovation and bringing consumers high quality, nutritious, and great-tasting products," said Roger Billingsley, senior vice president of research and development for Dole Fresh Vegetables. "We are looking forward to collaborating closely with Monsanto to do just that."



This type of collaboration combines the strengths of the two industry leaders, each bringing their unique capabilities to the partnership. Monsanto's agricultural expertise that improves the speed and accuracy of new and beneficial characteristics will be guided by Dole's knowledge of consumer needs and marketing.



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.



Dole, with 2008 net revenues of $7.6 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.



SOURCE: Monsanto Company via PR Newswire.