Beotanics Builds New R&D Centre

25 Apr 2019 | 08.33 am

Beotanics Builds New R&D Centre

Food crop offshoot from Fitzgerald Nurseries

25 Apr 2019 | 08.33 am

Crop producer Beotanics is investing €1m in a new research and development centre at its offices in Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny. The firm has a focus on niche crops such as sweet potato, yacon and wasabi.

Pat and Noirín FitzGerald set up parent company FitzGerald Nurseries in 1990 to supply ornamental shrubs, and then established Beotanics Plant Lab to research and apply plant innovations. 

After 25 years of experience with the propagation, breeding and development of many genera of plants from plant tissue culture, cuttings, division and seed, the spinout company stepped things up a gear by applying non-GMO breeding practices to minority crops. The resulting varieties are now sold to growers all over the world.

Chief executive Pat Fitzgerald said: “We want to be the go-to experts for our chosen crops, and for evolving food ingredients and new variety development with added nutrition and bio-actives. The future of food is readjusting to become more plant-based. We’ve specialised in plant production development for over 25 years and this is a necessary natural progression for the business.

“Everything we do comes from a social need. We want to bring more complementary options into the food chain that are vegetable and plant based and widen Irish and European opportunities in crop production.”

The FitzGeralds expect that ten new jobs will be created at the R&D centre. The company’s expansion is supported with cash from Enterprise Ireland, Kilkenny Leader Partnership and Kilkenny Local Enterprise Office.

EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan said: “Beotanics is now a key Irish player on the international stage in discovering new ways to feed the planet, improve human health, balance resources, enhance biodiversity and reduce the environmental impact of crop production.”

Beotanics Ltd booked a net profit of €190,000 in 2017. Company net worth at year-end was €690,000.

Photo: Pat Fitzgerald (left) and Phil Hogan. (Pic: Dylan Vaughan)

 

 

 

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