Arcadia Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:RKDA) said Thursday that it is tapping Grant Aldridge as the company’s new head of commercial development in a bid to move forward with the development of its supply chain as it advances its GoodWheat™ portfolio of non-GMO wheat ingredients.
A key focus for California-based Arcadia Biosciences is wheat, which accounts for roughly 25% of the almost 2,000 calories per day that an average person consumes. Despite its dietary importance, it is a crop that hasn’t benefited from a lot of modernization over the past 75 years, according to Arcadia.
Therefore, up first on Arcadia’s agenda is selling its GoodWheat™ portfolio of wheat flour ingredients, which include reduced gluten, high-fiber, and better tasting whole wheat with a longer shelf life. The company developed all of these products using its proprietary TILLING technology, a screening technology that identifies natural variation in plants and that’s non-GMO.
Since mid-2018, Arcadia has significantly expanded its grower base for unique GoodWheat varieties to provide adequate supply for its consumer and animal feed customers. The company said it just completed counter-season planting of GoodWheat, which will increase seed inventory available for Arcadia’s grower partners.
“In 2019, the company plans to expand acres in the southern hemisphere which will expedite supply through a two-hemisphere production cycle and will increase access to key markets for the commercial adoption of GoodWheat,” said the company.
The push is being driven by Aldridge, a crop production agriculture expert who brings over 25 years of agribusiness experience to Arcadia. Aldridge has served leadership roles in several major agriculture and biotechnology companies, executing new market models for high-value traits in corn, soybeans, melons and novel industrial crops. He has a track record of success in every aspect of commercialization, from research and product development to commercial operations like sales, marketing and crop production management. Aldridge has a master’s degree in plant genetics and breeding from Purdue University.
“These supply chain advancements demonstrate our commitment to bringing our GoodWheat™ portfolio to market, enabling consumers to improve nutrition by eating foods they love,” said Arcadia Biosciences CEO Raj Ketkar. “Grant is an excellent addition to our team, and he adds the level of expertise and proven experience that will help us successfully launch GoodWheat.”
Aldridge said that he was “impressed” that Arcadia was driving tangible innovation in wheat, a crop that has “seen limited innovation over the past 75 years. “With the GoodWheat™ product portfolio, we will enhance value throughout the supply chain, allowing growers to capture more value on the farm, consumer packaged goods companies to differentiate their brands in the marketplace, and consumers to get the nutrients they need by eating foods they enjoy.”
Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]