Campbell has reached an agreement to sell its Agricultural Research Center in Davis, Calif., to Harris Moran, a division of Vilmorin Company, effective September 18, 2012.

As the world's fourth-largest seed company, Vilmorin creates, produces and sells vegetable and field seeds. It possesses powerful research capacity, particularly in plant biotechnology.

Harris Moran's seed production operations are located across the street from Campbell's Agricultural Research Center facility in California's Central Valley. This region produces about 40 percent of the world's tomato crop, including most tomatoes in Campbell's North American products.

Harris Moran will purchase Campbell's research center and equipment, and will provide roles for all 19 regular full-time Davis employees based in California. Campbell will work with Harris Moran to procure seeds for ongoing needs.

Campbell will work with Harris Moran to procure seeds for ongoing needs.

"This sale is consistent with our new R&D strategies and capabilities, which focus on ways to drive innovation by leveraging external partnerships to complement our internal expertise," said George Dowdie, Senior Vice President-Global Research and Development. "Strategic partnerships give us the flexibility to create additional capacity and the expertise to move our innovation agenda forward.

"At the same time," George said, "Harris Moran offers a great opportunity for the Davis employees to be part of a company whose primary business strategy is focused on seed development and sales. I thank each of our Davis employees for their many contributions, and I wish them much success in their new roles at Harris Moran."