For Immediate Release
HANFORD, California and ADELAIDE, South Australia – February 7, 2017
S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) today announced it has commenced commercial seed production for one of the Company’s proprietary hybrid sunflower seed varieties in New South Wales, Australia. This marks S&W’s initial entry into the “vertical production model” for sunflower, a nearly $1 billion global crop. S&W anticipates that the transition into sunflower seed production will allow it to capture a higher gross profit dollar and move closer to the end customer. The move continues S&W’s recent strategic initiatives to expand vertically by leveraging the company’s key distribution and production capabilities.
S&W acquired the operations of SV Genetics’ (“SVG”) sunflower program in May 2016 with the goal of advancing deployment of the proprietary germplasm that exhibits high yield, high oil, disease resistance, and outstanding standability, on a global basis. The company has royalty-based sunflower licensing agreements with 5 partners in 6 countries that are currently increasing production, and commencing commercial-scale production of the hybrid sunflower operations is the first step in the company embarking on its dual strategy to further expand the company’s opportunity within sunflower.
The vertical entry into a production-based model for hybrid sunflower follows S&W’s recent vertical entry into the production of hybrid sorghum, and aligns S&W’s operations more closely with its existing alfalfa seed operations where the company is currently one of the largest producers worldwide. S&W is initially producing the hybrid sunflower seed in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area of New South Wales, Australia, with initial end customer markets of Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Pakistan through distribution partners under both branded and private label programs. The variety being produced, SW-S6066, is a medium, late maturity sunflower that has historically performed extremely well in various regions of the world.
Mark Grewal, chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company commented, “We saw a significant opportunity in our acquisition of SVG to leverage our existing distribution and production infrastructure for the benefit of the sunflower program. We anticipate that the transition from strictly a royalty-based model to a vertically integrated research, production and distribution model for sunflower will allow for us to capture increased value of this healthy and high-performance non-transgenic vegetable oil that is gaining increasing popularity worldwide due to its high Vitamin E and low saturated fat levels. Sunflower seed production on a global basis is expanding and forecasted to rise further driven by strong demand in Asia, the EU, Africa and the Middle East. We look forward to the continued expansion of our sunflower program in the years to come.”
About S&W Seed Company
Founded in 1980, S&W Seed Company is a global agricultural Company, headquartered in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The Company’s vision is to be the world’s preferred proprietary seed Company which supplies a range of forage and specialty crop products that supports the growing global demand for animal proteins and healthier consumer diets. The Company is a global leader in alfalfa seed, with significant research and development, production and distribution capabilities. S&W’s capabilities span the world’s alfalfa seed production regions, with operations in the San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys of California, five other U.S. states, Australia, and three provinces in Canada, and S&W sells its seed products in more than 30 countries around the globe. Additionally, the Company 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 concerning the anticipated benefits of a vertical production model for sunflower (including its impact on our ability to capture a greater share of the gross profit dollar for sunflower), the increased attention directed to sunflower as a result of its nutritional qualities, the continued advancement of our vertical production strategy, and the estimates of production and growth of the sunflower market. 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, 2016, and in other filings subsequently made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does 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.