Monsanto to rebrand seed trait business

Monsanto Canada plans to tie all its seed trait technologies to a single, overarching new brand starting in 2010.

The new international brand, Genuity, was rolled out by the Winnipeg-based firm’s U.S. parent late last month at the Commodity Classic, a major ag trade show in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, though it didn’t specify a Canadian launch date at that time.

Monsanto Canada last Thursday described the new Genuity brand as “a family of traits designed to work together to enhance crop potential and simplify trait selection for farmers.”

“As new trait technologies in Monsanto’s research and development pipeline are introduced, having a common and consistent brand platform will help represent those products to farmers in the most straightforward way possible and avoid potential confusion in the marketplace,” the company said.

“Genuity gives us the opportunity to communicate about our traits as a family of innovative products that will enable farmers to do what they do best, even better,” said Mike Nailor, Monsanto’s trait marketing lead for Eastern Canada.

The brand, he said, “will provide a single, easily recognized brand to simplify the process by which farmers select Monsanto trait technology for use in their farm operations.”

The Genuity logo, as rolled out in Texas, will incorporate some or all of a series of “identity system icons” on different seed products, to represent “herbicide tolerance, insect protection, weather protection and increased production.”

In Canada, the company said, the first traits under the Genuity banner will be Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans and Genuity Roundup Ready canola. Following regulatory approval, Genuity SmartStax corn will also be added, the company said.

The first “visual evidence” of the brand will come this spring and summer in materials used to identify the branded products to be available in the marketplace in 2010, said Todd Younghans, trait business manager with Monsanto in Western Canada.

“The Genuity icon system, which will be a prominent part of materials, including seed bags, will help farmers match traits with the specific needs of their farm operation,” he said.

Monsanto Canada said it expects to have more information about the Genuity brand go out to farmers starting this spring and summer, leading up to the 2010 growing season.

In coming up with the brand, St. Louis-based Monsanto said it shortlisted 18 from over 2,000 it reviewed, and found the name “jumped off the page” when tested using farmer focus groups, according to Dion McBay, Monsanto’s U.S. trait marketing lead.

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