Monsanto announced this afternoon it was offering its Posilac division for sale, including BST manufacturing facilities in Augusta, GA.
"Our core focus will be on our seed and trait business, primarily in corn, soybeans, vegetables and cotton,” says Christie Chavas, commercial development and strategy lead for Monsanto.
Monsanto divestiture of Posilac follows on the footsteps of its sale of its swine business last year.
In a press conference this afternoon, Chavas says 2008 BST sales have actually out-paced sales from 2007. That's despite announcements by numerous companies and co-ops they would no longer accept milk from cows treated with BST. She notes that most of the bans have been in fluid milk, but that fluid accounts for only 25% of U.S. milk utilization.
Chavas maintains BST is still a "very compelling value proposition for dairy farmers” and that one-third of the U.S. dairy herd is being supplemented. She also says Monsanto sees significant growth opportunity for BST sales both here and outside the country, particularly in Mexico and Brazil. BST is currently labeled for use in 20 countries.
Monsanto has set no timeline for the sale of the Posilac division. In the meantime, the company plans to produce and market BST as business as usual. "There are no plans to discontinue its production,” she says.