TRADING SYMBOL: The Toronto Stock Exchange:
Village Farms International, Inc. – VFF
VANCOUVER, Feb. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Village Farms International, Inc. ("Village Farms" or the "Company") announced a long term exclusive seed agreement with Axia Vegetable Seeds, BV. Axia is an innovative breeding company specializing in the development of vegetable seeds for protected crops. This is the first time Axia Vegetable Seeds will partner with any company in North America under an exclusive agreement.
"Village Farms is steadfast in searching the world over to bring consumer centric varieties to market and the Axia partnership is another positive result of our dedication to this mission", said Village Farms President and CEO, Michael A. DeGiglio. According to Axia, the partnership will highlight their portfolio of products for the North American consumer. Alois van Vliet CEO of Axia had this to say, "Axia has found in Village Farms a partner who understands how to create value with our tomato varieties through the importance of creating a brand in the food supply chain that is focused primarily on the consumer."
The new exclusive seed agreement will continue to allow the Company to expand and focus its production and sales efforts on smaller more flavorful tomato varieties, which is a continuing trend with retailers, chefs and consumers. Since the Company's launch of its initial exclusive seed agreement for the Mini San Marzano, in 2013, it has expanded this variety from an initial one acre of production to over forty acres by the end of the Company's 2015 crop cycle, or over 17% of the Company's production capacity.
The initial 2015 launch of the new exclusive seed agreement with Axia will start small, but based on early retailer feedback, the Company has high expectations of its ability to quickly expand its production acreage for this variety. In addition, the Company is working with Axia and other seed companies on exclusive agreements, as it continues to move away from the larger tomato varieties which are losing market share and are grown by most growers in North America to distinguish itself with exclusive varieties and local for local production.
The Company will announce its fourth quarter and full 2014 results on March 18, 2015 and hold a conference call to discuss the Company's results and current trading on March 19, 2015.
About Village Farms
Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers in North America. This premium product as well as premium product produced under exclusive arrangements with other greenhouse producers is grown in sophisticated, highly efficient and intensive agricultural greenhouse facilities. Product is marketed and distributed under the Village Farms® brand primarily to retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by friendly growing methods, growing produce vegetables 365 days a year from its facilities that are healthier for people and the plant.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain "forward looking statements". These statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect the Company's expectations regarding its growth, performance, business prospects, opportunities or industry trends. These forward looking statements reflect the Company's current internal projections, expectations or beliefs and are based on information currently available to the Company. In some cases, forward looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will", "should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "predict" , "potential", "continue" or other comparable terminology. In evaluating these statements, you should specifically consider various factors, including, but not limited to, such risks and uncertainties as availability of resource, competitive pressures and changes in market activity, risks associated with U.S. and Canadian sales and foreign exchange, regulatory requirements and all of the other "Risk Factors" set out in the Company's current annual information form and management's discussion and analysis for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, which are available electronically at www.sedar.com. Actual results may differ materially from any forward looking statement. Although the Company believes that the forward looking statements contained in this press release are based upon reasonable assumptions, you cannot be assured that actual results will be consistent with these forward looking statements. These forward looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and other than as specifically required by applicable law, the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances.
SOURCE Village Farms International, Inc.
For further information: Stephen C. Ruffini, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Village Farms International, Inc., (407) 936-1190 ext 340; [email protected]