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Landec CEO Discusses F4Q 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

During fiscal year 2011, we also continue to work closely with Chiquita to expand the Chiquita-to-Go banana program and to launch the Fresh & Ready Avocado product line with both programs utilizing our BreatheWay proprietary packaging technology. Both programs continue to expand. The newer Avocados program is delivering fully ripened and ready to eat avocados to consumers and at the same time, the program is delivering two participating retailers, good revenue growth in the new category for Chiquita providing double-digit sales increases compared to conventional avocados.

In our third fiscal quarter, we announced $15 million equity investment in Windset Farms. Apio, our food subsidiary had an existing exclusive license agreement with Windset and views the equity investment as a continuation of our ongoing strategic partnership in the fresh produce market.

Apio gives Windset Farms, the most advanced hydroponic greenhouse producer in North America where the demand for hydroponically grown produce is rising rapidly. The hydroponic process just as in the side uses no soil and only a fraction of the water required in fuel production. Furthermore, the process results in higher yields per acre and it is not burdened with traditional weather-related or soil-borne risk.

In our existing license agreement, Windset Farms license from us the exclusive rights to Apio’s BreatheWay packaging technology for use with their hydroponic greenhouse grown cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers.

As part of our strategic equity investment in Windset, we also received a 7.5% annual dividend on our investment and quarterly we will recognize 20.1% of the change in their fair market value. By example, from the closing date of February 15, 2011 through the end of fiscal year 2011, which was this past May, Landec recognized $328,000 in dividends and $662,000 in income from the increase in the fair market value of its investment in Windset.

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