FRESNO, Calif., June 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) today announced the company has signed a new license agreement for production and marketing of two sunflower varieties for the Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan with a seed company with significant distribution throughout the region. The licensee has commenced commercial scale seed production activity in the Ukraine, and S&W's sunflower hybrids will be introduced into the market place for the 2017 production season.
Russia and the Ukraine are the two largest sunflower markets, representing nearly 60% of the global sunflower production. This agreement highlights the first commercial activity that S&W's recent acquisition of SV Genetics has had in these lucrative markets. The two licensed varieties are traditional polyunsaturated oil types, however the licensee is also evaluating high oleic types, and a variety resistant to Imidazilone herbicide. Additionally, the licensee is expected to evaluate S&W's alfalfa seed products in 2017, highlighting what S&W believes is a prime example of the complimentary fit of the recent SV Genetics (SVG) acquisition by S&W.
SVG has licensing agreements with different partners to provide its grain sorghum, forage sorghum and sunflower genetics throughout the world, including Australia, parts of South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Pakistan and South Africa.
Mark Grewal, president and chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company, commented, "We are extremely pleased with the addition of this new licensee to the portfolio of seed companies that are working to expand the production and distribution of our newly acquired sunflower seed varieties across the world. The Ukraine and Russia are the two largest sunflower markets in the world, and this licensee chose to move forward with our varieties due to the diversity and strength of these two varieties, and also the SV Genetics breeding program as a whole. We look forward to working with this new seed company on a go forward basis to expand our sunflower operations, and potentially our alfalfa operations as well."
Sunflowers have multiple specialty uses including oil, birdseed and human consumption, with SV Genetics' current seed focus on the oil market. Sunflower oil is light in taste and appearance and supplies more Vitamin E than any other vegetable oil. It is a combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with low saturated fat levels. The versatility of this healthy oil is recognized by cooks internationally, valued for its frying performance and health benefits. With multiple types of sunflower oils available, it meets the needs of consumer and food manufacturers alike for a healthy and high performance non-transgenic vegetable oil.
Global sunflower seed production in 2016-17 is projected at 41.2 million tons, up 5 percent from the current season and above the recent 10-year average. The sunflower seed oil trade is forecast to rise, supported by very strong demand in India, the EU, North Africa, and the Middle East.
About S&W Seed Company
Founded in 1980, S&W Seed Company is a global agricultural company, headquartered in Fresno, California. The Company's vision is to be the world's preferred proprietary seed company by supplying a range of forage and specialty crop products to support the growing global demand for animal proteins and healthier consumer diets. The Company is the global leader in alfalfa seed, with unrivaled research and development, production and distribution capabilities. S&W's capabilities span the world's alfalfa seed production regions, with operations in the United States, Australia, and Canada, and S&W sells its seed products in more than 30 countries around the globe. The company is also a provider of proprietary hybrid sorghum and sunflower seed germplasm, and is utilizing its research and breeding expertise to develop and produce stevia, the all-natural, zero calorie sweetener for the food and beverage industry. For more information, please visit www.swseedco.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may," "future," "plan" or "planned," "will" or "should," "expected," "anticipates," "draft," "eventually" or "projected." Forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding S&W's new license agreement, and the anticipated benefits and synergies of the agreement, including the potential expansion of the licensee's relationship into other sunflower varieties as well as alfalfa seeds. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and other risks identified in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, and in other filings subsequently made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of the receipt of new information, the occurrence of future events or otherwise.
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SOURCE S&W Seed Company