ARBORGEN

ArborGen

ArborGen is the global leader in the commercialization of advanced forestry genetics. Through the application of a proprietary technology platform to its extensive forestry germplasm base, ArborGen develops and produces high-value plantation tree seedlings that generate a step-change in forestry productivity. These seedlings are sold to land owners and managers in many of the world’s largest and fastest growing forestry markets.

ArborGen has a strong and growing market position, with over 6,000 active customers, including many of the largest forest land owners and managers in the United States, New Zealand, Brazil and Australia. ArborGen is the largest global provider of tree seedlings to the commercial forestry industry, currently producing circa 350 million seedlings per annum. Its products, sold under the ArborGen and SuperTree Seedlings brand names, are specifically developed for land owners and managers supplying the sawtimber, plywood and other structural wood products, pulp and paper, and industrial markets. ArborGen’s current focus is on loblolly pine, radiata pine and eucalyptus, which are among the most widely-planted commercial species in the world.

ArborGen’s proprietary technology platform enables it to be the only commercial seedling company with products spanning a broad technology spectrum. It sells conventional seedling products developed using traditional plant breeding methods, as well as proprietary next-generation (or advanced) seedling products developed using advanced plant breeding technologies (including genomics) and clonal propagation. Its next-generation products are designed to enhance customers’ financial returns by improving the growth rates, yields, log quality, stress-tolerance, uniformity and processing efficiency of trees, and enable it to create and capture greater value than with conventional products.

ArborGen’s product development pipeline includes improved versions of these next-generation seedling products as well as transgenic seedling products, which are seedling products with specific genes introduced to enhance targeted traits. Other than certain eucalyptus products in Brazil, which will use transgenic techniques, none of its products on the market or under development require any regulatory review or approval.

ArborGen believes it has the broadest portfolio of intellectual property in its industry, as well as the largest and most diverse repositories of germplasm, encompassing more than 40 commercial tree species and hybrids. It operates an extensive field trial system, with ~1 million trees measured and analysed each year. It is using genomics technology in pine, and its biotechnology capabilities in eucalyptus, to further accelerate and enhance its tree improvement programs. Its technology platform combines the on-going efforts of its product development and research teams, drawing upon 100+ years in the aggregate of tree improvement research programmes contributed from its industry-leading founding shareholders International Paper, WestRock (previously MeadWestvaco) and Rubicon (previously Fletcher Challenge).

ArborGen is applying a business model similar to that which has been successfully applied in agriculture, where seed companies have introduced genetically-improved crops that have dramatically improved the economic per acre as compared to their conventional seed competitors. Through increased pricing, these seed companies are sharing in the higher value their advanced products create for their customers. Although there are differences between the forestry industry and agriculture, such as increased rotation length for trees as compared to agricultural crops, ArborGen believes its next-generation seedlings will have an impact on the productivity and economics of the commercial forestry industry similar to the impact that genetically-improved crops have had on the agricultural industry. ArborGen is focused on driving these improved economics by transitioning its customers from conventional seedling products to its next-generation advanced genetic products.

ArborGen plans to leverage these efforts by using its improved products to increase its market-share in those geographies and markets in which it is already established. It is also investigating expanding into new markets and geographies, where its products, technology and partners position it for rapid growth. In that regard, ArborGen now has an established position in the Brazilian pine and eucalyptus markets and is currently exploring other markets such as China.

ArborGen has 160 employees and owns or leases 15 nurseries, 16 seed orchards, 32 distribution centres and three research and development facilities located throughout the Southern United States, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil.

ArborGen's website is www.arborgen.com

 

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