Monsanto Announces Seed Quality Initiative

Apr 13, 2001, 01:00 ET from Monsanto Company

    ST. LOUIS, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Monsanto Company (NYSE:   MON) today
 continued implementation of the New Monsanto Pledge by launching a new
 initiative to enhance the company's seed quality leadership by producing a
 consistently high level of quality in the finished product delivered to the
 farmer.
     This is the latest action by the company to implement the New Monsanto
 Pledge which is a series of commitments that describe the company's policies
 for the products developed through biotechnology.
     "Product stewardship and quality management are core values at Monsanto
 and this initiative will carry our continuous improvement efforts to a new
 level of performance," said Mark Leidy, vice president of manufacturing at
 Monsanto.
     "We already have invested over $100 million in seed corn production
 facilities as part of an overall plan to consolidate and upgrade these
 facilities and continue improvements in their quality, safety and
 productivity," Leidy said.  "The new facilities provide more flexibility with
 individual bin drying and faster more effective cleanout between products. "
     In the new initiative, the company is pursuing ISO-9002 registration for
 all commercial and foundation seed production sites as well as for seed
 quality assurance laboratories.  The target date for completing the
 registration process in North America is the end of 2001; production sites in
 Europe, South America and Asia will complete full registration by the end of
 2003.
     ISO-9002 represents an international consensus on good management
 practices to document operating processes and consistent quality performance.
 These standards are administered by the International Organization for
 Standardization (ISO), a worldwide federation of national standards bodies
 from some 110 countries.  ISO registration requires independent auditing of
 processes and performance.
     "The New Monsanto Pledge invigorated our commitment to work for uniform
 global standards for seed quality," said Kevin Lawrence, director of global
 seed supply for Monsanto.  "This will build on the international seed
 industry's voluntary quality initiatives.
     "ISO-9002 registration of our seed production and laboratory facilities
 will enhance the rigorous quality processes we have in place today and provide
 independent verification of our capabilities," he said.
     Contract producers of soybean seed for Monsanto are being encouraged to
 voluntarily complete their own ISO registration process.  Monsanto will
 provide support for these efforts as well as work with other seed companies
 that license Monsanto technology.
     "Seed production is a natural process, so it is subject to natural
 variability," Lawrence said.  "Robust management of process quality, under ISO
 standards, is a powerful tool to assure farmers Monsanto's seeds meet the
 highest quality standards in the industry."
     Monsanto President and Chief Executive Officer Hendrik Verfaillie
 announced the pledge five months ago, committing to dialogue with interested
 parties; transparency with information and regulation; respect for religious,
 cultural and ethical concerns; sharing of knowledge and technology; and
 benefits for growers and the environment.
     Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based
 solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity.  For more
 information on Monsanto, see: www.monsanto.com .
 
 

SOURCE Monsanto Company
    ST. LOUIS, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Monsanto Company (NYSE:   MON) today
 continued implementation of the New Monsanto Pledge by launching a new
 initiative to enhance the company's seed quality leadership by producing a
 consistently high level of quality in the finished product delivered to the
 farmer.
     This is the latest action by the company to implement the New Monsanto
 Pledge which is a series of commitments that describe the company's policies
 for the products developed through biotechnology.
     "Product stewardship and quality management are core values at Monsanto
 and this initiative will carry our continuous improvement efforts to a new
 level of performance," said Mark Leidy, vice president of manufacturing at
 Monsanto.
     "We already have invested over $100 million in seed corn production
 facilities as part of an overall plan to consolidate and upgrade these
 facilities and continue improvements in their quality, safety and
 productivity," Leidy said.  "The new facilities provide more flexibility with
 individual bin drying and faster more effective cleanout between products. "
     In the new initiative, the company is pursuing ISO-9002 registration for
 all commercial and foundation seed production sites as well as for seed
 quality assurance laboratories.  The target date for completing the
 registration process in North America is the end of 2001; production sites in
 Europe, South America and Asia will complete full registration by the end of
 2003.
     ISO-9002 represents an international consensus on good management
 practices to document operating processes and consistent quality performance.
 These standards are administered by the International Organization for
 Standardization (ISO), a worldwide federation of national standards bodies
 from some 110 countries.  ISO registration requires independent auditing of
 processes and performance.
     "The New Monsanto Pledge invigorated our commitment to work for uniform
 global standards for seed quality," said Kevin Lawrence, director of global
 seed supply for Monsanto.  "This will build on the international seed
 industry's voluntary quality initiatives.
     "ISO-9002 registration of our seed production and laboratory facilities
 will enhance the rigorous quality processes we have in place today and provide
 independent verification of our capabilities," he said.
     Contract producers of soybean seed for Monsanto are being encouraged to
 voluntarily complete their own ISO registration process.  Monsanto will
 provide support for these efforts as well as work with other seed companies
 that license Monsanto technology.
     "Seed production is a natural process, so it is subject to natural
 variability," Lawrence said.  "Robust management of process quality, under ISO
 standards, is a powerful tool to assure farmers Monsanto's seeds meet the
 highest quality standards in the industry."
     Monsanto President and Chief Executive Officer Hendrik Verfaillie
 announced the pledge five months ago, committing to dialogue with interested
 parties; transparency with information and regulation; respect for religious,
 cultural and ethical concerns; sharing of knowledge and technology; and
 benefits for growers and the environment.
     Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based
 solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity.  For more
 information on Monsanto, see: www.monsanto.com .
 
 SOURCE  Monsanto Company