May 23, 2006

Cornell enters into an alliance for processed apples with Cadbury Schweppes

GENEVA, N.Y. -- Over the last century, apple breeders at Cornell University have named 62 apple varieties, many of which, like Empire and Cortland, are internationally renowned for their taste, quality, nutritional value and yields. But, when laboratory size is measured by the acre and output by the ton, maintaining a world-class research apple program can be expensive.

To help sustain the research program as well as the New York state apple industry, Cornell has entered into a 10-year research alliance with Mott's, a Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (CSAB) company. The agreement will give CSAB exclusive rights to new processing apple varieties for use in the development of Mott's products in exchange for the company's help in supporting Cornell's apple breeding program.

"The alliance with Cadbury Schweppes reflects our strong commitment to strengthening the state's fruit and vegetable industries from farmer to consumer," said Susan K. Brown, Cornell professor of horticultural sciences at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., and director of Cornell's apple breeding program.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Cadbury Schweppes on our apple research program," said Brown. "As one of the world's largest purchasers of processed apples, they have a significant stake in the continued growth of apple farming in New York, and that closely aligns with the mission of the Experiment Station."

Under the terms of the alliance, Mott's will purchase exclusive rights to a new apple, NY674, which has very favorable processing characteristics. Mott's also will have the first option on processing varieties from future Cornell breeding program releases. In exchange for these rights, Mott's will pay Cornell $50,000 annually for 10 years, in addition to a one-time payment for the rights to NY674 of $25,000, plus royalties based on the volume of NY674 purchased from growers and royalties from other varieties they license.

According to Brown, Cornell's nonexclusive licenses for growing fresh market apples will be unaffected by this alliance.