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MK Seeds expanding breeding program

AU: International markets key to growth for onion seed company

Magnus Kahl Seds (MKS) is a specialist seed company breeding hybrid onion varieties for commercial growers around the globe. The company also operates a breeding program dedicated to speciality alliums such as seed shallots, echalions, sweet onions and a high flavonol based onion variety for quercetin extraction, used by the health industry.

However, 80% of what they deal in is brown/yellow onion varieties for commercial production.

Though headquartered in Victoria, Australia, the company has international marketing and production operations and a new seed processing facility and offices in the Northern hemisphere, the company's Dan Weddell explains.

"We have a strong presence in Australia/New Zealand due to our base being here, but we also have strong markets in Western and Eastern Europe, as well as Central and South America, Asia and North America."

Breeding, producing and marketing seeds in both hemispheres for the international marketplace allows the company to maintain a steady workflow year round.

"Due to being specialized in onion and shallot seed, we still have a very seasonal business, which peaks twice a year, due to the markets we are in," says Dan, "but having a presence in both hemispheres helps to make operations more stable."

Such stability makes expansion possible for the company, as Dan explained.

"Our breeding program will expand on its current base because we now have a short day breeding program as well as our more advanced intermediate day program. Combined with this focus on conventional onion varieties we also have a focus on our seed shallot and echalion breeding program which is showing fantastic results."

It is the company's international presence which they expect to take them forward in the future.

"Our growth is going to be driven by our overseas markets and we have a new range of hybrid yellow and red intermediate day varieties which are well suited to our target markets. These are being released this year and next - the seed shallots are a major development for us and we have a strategic release planned for 2012 and 2013, which is very exciting.

For more information:
Dan Weddel

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