FRESNO, Calif. — Sheehan Genetics LLC (“Sheehan Genetics”), Specialty New Fruit Licensing’s (“SNFL” or the “Company”) North American branch, today announced its strategic investment in opening a new state-of-the-art Sheehan Research and Development Innovation Center of Excellence in Fresno, CA. Projected to open in 2021, the facility will focus on driving research, innovating and developing premium table grape varieties to complement SNFL’s existing European operations and will support the Company’s continued global breeding and varietal expansion plans.
The Innovation Center will enable Sheehan Genetics to accelerate its expansion efforts in key portfolio additions and enhancements. It will also better position the Company to leverage its exceptional varietals to create value-added offerings for California and the broader Americas region. The chosen location dates back to Sheehan Genetics’ Co-Founder, Tim Sheehan, a table grape varietal development pioneer, and it will stand as a testament to SNFL’s commitment to his work and to the greater California table grape community.
“Establishing this new innovation facility reinforces our commitment to investing in the advancement of new solutions for the table grape industry,” said Josep Estiarte, General Manager of SNFL Globally. “Our new facility will allow Sheehan Genetics and SNFL to continue to grow, diversify our portfolio and strengthen our position as a market leader.”
The table grape industry, a multibillion-dollar global sector, grows at a sustained pace annually propelled by the secular shift from commoditized, public varieties to proprietary, seedless varieties that better accommodate grower, retailer and consumer preferences. The work by SNFL and Sheehan Genetics to innovate and develop technology that accelerates the development of new varieties is pivotal to the continued development of the sector.
The Sheehan Genetics Research and Development Innovation Center of Excellence will also feature a customer experience hub to bring together SNFL’s partners – growers, retailers, consumers and the broader community – to experience first-hand the process, products and future of the table grape industry.
Elena Aguaron, Chief Operating Officer of SNFL’s Sheehan Genetics, commented, “We look forward to hosting our partners and customers in a tailor-made facility where they can learn more about our projects and varieties, exchange know-how and collaborate in the development of our future innovation pipeline.”
Founded in 1992, Special New Fruit Licensing, SNFL, is the global leading platform in the development, licensing and commercialization of patented Table Grape varieties; anchored in a best-in-class research and development innovation engine. SNFL’s proven varieties have demonstrated a track record of preference and demand by farmers, retailers and consumers globally, holding the top global position in licensed farming hectares.