KWS expands vegetables breeding activities with new R&D Center in Andijk

Andijk, June 17, 2024

Seed specialist KWS is expanding its R&D capacities in Andijk, the Netherlands. On a 10,000m2 site, a state-of-the-art greenhouse will be constructed, as well as a dedicated preparation and research area for outdoor vegetables including an office and laboratory. The completion of this project is scheduled for early 2025.

Model of the new facilities

Model of the new facilities

The new greenhouse area will be used for research in the outdoor crops spinach, beans, red beet and Swiss chard. Another part will be dedicated to the fruity crops cucumber and pepper with the main focus on trials with, and reproduction of doubled haploid plants, which are developed at the KWS research site in Wageningen.

“The new facilities in Andijk are an important milestone in our efforts to strengthen our strategic position in the vegetable seed market,” says Frank Hollenberg, Site Manager Andijk. “Our site in Andijk, in the heart of Seed Valley – the center of vegetable breeding in the Northwest of the Netherlands – serves as a central hub for our Vegetables business unit, allowing us to scale up our core activities. The newly gained space will enable our R&D colleagues to carry out more and higher quality trials. As a result, we can accelerate our innovative vegetable varieties that respond to the current challenges growers and value chain partners are facing.”

Embracing sustainable practices

In a commitment to sustainable practices, the new R&D Centre will harness the power of 360 solar panels installed on the roof of the building, creating a renewable source of electricity for the Andijk site. Additionally, the rainwater will be collected to realize a grey water circuit in the whole facility.

Background: New business unit for vegetable seeds

KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. With a history of more than 165 years in the seed industry, the company focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seeds for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, rapeseed and sunflower. In 2019, the company announced its entry into the long-term growth market for vegetable seeds, based on a greenfield approach which entails organic growth, supplemented by suitable acquisitions and the sales of licensed-in varieties. This included the acquisition of the Dutch vegetable breeding company Pop Vriend Seeds, a very important player in spinach and beans breeding. In addition, KWS acquired the Italian vegetable seed company Geneplanta S.r.l. (now: KWS Vegetables Italia), a specialist in breeding, production and sales of tomato varieties, in March 2021.

In parallel, KWS has been concentrating on staffing the new business division as well as on launching its own breeding activities in Brazil, Spain, Turkey, Italy, The Netherlands and Mexico. To that end, the seed specialist is continuously expanding its network of breeding stations, most recently with a new R&D station in Navolato, Mexico. The aim of KWS is to develop a strategically significant position in the vegetable seed market by focusing on breeding for the needs of the value chain and keeping the end-customer at the forefront of its strategy.

About KWS*

KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. More than 5,000 employees* in over 70 countries generated net sales of around €1.8 billion in fiscal 2022/2023. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for over 165 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, vegetables, oilseed rape and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield for farmers and plants’ resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested more than €300 million last fiscal year in research and development.
*excl. seasonal workforce

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