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Rights: © Kiwi Innovation Network Limited, 2015
Published 23 July 2015
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Plant & Food Research and US-based plant nursery company Northwest Plant have revolutionised plant variety commercialisation in their deal to market new raspberry cultivars in North America. The novel deal structure will see Plant & Food Research receive ongoing royalties in excess of $1 million, while farmers are realising substantial benefits from the new raspberry variety.

The deal also saw Plant & Food Research awarded the KiwiNet 2015 PWC Commercial Deal Award.

Wendy Cashmore, Manager Plant Varieties at Plant & Food Research, explains the deal and the benefits for all involved.

Transcript

Voiceover
Plant & Food Research completed a landmark deal with the US-based plant nursery company Northwest to supply world-leading raspberry cultivars into North America.

Wendy Cashmore
We’ve always had quite a strong raspberry-breeding capacity through Plant & Food Research and its predecessor organisations, and the call for new varieties for those products in New Zealand was very small, but we recognised when we looked around the world that there were some very large industries focused on those kinds of products, and a very strong and very financial industry is the one in the Pacific Northwest of North America. They really hadn’t had a viable new variety for 30, perhaps 50 years.

Voiceover
The novel deal structure sees Plant & Food receive ongoing royalties in excess of $1 million, while farmers are realising substantial benefits from the new raspberry variety.

Wendy Cashmore
We developed this commercial deal out of the strengths the two parties brought to the table. So Plant & Food Research and its genetics and the real depth of capacity that Northwest Plant and their grower partners could bring – great benefits for us – and for the impacts that we can bring to New Zealand, but to actually take genetic solutions out of New Zealand and bring an improved version of it back for New Zealand use.

The advantages for Northwest Plant as a nursery business are a great revenue-generating kind of tool. Reasonable degree of difficulty for others to get into, so they can maintain a first-mover and a competitive advantage out of that. So they’re getting higher recoverable volume and higher value for that volume. That’s the – we’ve been just as innovative with our business model in taking the outputs and the impacts of this science into use as we have about the science itself, to make sure that we get the appropriate intellectual property protections involved in this.

You’ve got to have a return on the investment in innovation to have – for people to have an appetite to come back and do more of it. We looked for a local solution, and we’re coming up with some international ones.

Acknowledgement
Video courtesy of Kiwi Innovation Network Limited
© Kiwi Innovation Network Limited, 2015