5 years ago

The Partnership no. 7

  • Text
  • Enza
  • Organic
  • Zaden
  • Partnership
  • Tomatoes
  • Varieties
  • Consumers
  • Breeding
  • Products
  • Cultivation

Over 25 years ago Enza

Over 25 years ago Enza Zaden expanded its commercial activities and began selling seed in Australia and New Zealand. Distribution company South Pacific Seeds, new to Australia at the time, turned out to be an indispensable partner. “The product range was limited and featured greenhouse cucumbers and tomatoes,” states Area Manager Australia and New Zealand Herman van der Gulik. “But a lot has changed over the years.” Partnership Australia and New Zealand, two very interesting countries when it comes to climate, nature and fresh produce. Australia is a country of extremes, with intense sunlight, drying winds, long droughts, bushfires and floods. Not all areas of Australia are suitable for growing vegetables, so produce, which focuses mainly on local consumption, is grown in the best climatic areas and transported over the long Australian distances. Shelf life and firmness are therefore important requirements for fresh produce. Key products in the Australian markets are onions, pumpkins, spinach, cucumber, tomato, zucchini and lettuce. Potatoes and carrots are the main export products. New Zealand producers are more export focused and try to stretch production windows as much as possible with local production. This country exports eighty percent of its onion, kabocha squash and sweet pepper production. In winter months tomatoes and sweet peppers are imported from tropical areas of Australia, but during summer more tomatoes are exported to Australia than imported. This time of year it’s too hot to grow tomatoes in Australia. Key products are lettuce, especially cos and Eazyleaf® types, sweet pepper, onions and pumpkins. Dave McDonald and Lindsay Knight from SPS Australia and Jan Panman from Enza Zaden. South Pacific Seeds Group service local growers. Terranova is the exclusive Enza Zaden hybrid Van der Gulik: “Australia and New Zealand are both very interesting onion distributor in both countries. Onion sales are a major part of markets for Enza Zaden due to the history of sales, product our Australia and New Zealand turnover.” development and breeding with our long-term partners. We distribute through the South Pacific Seeds group, consisting of SPS Strong cooperation and Terranova, in both countries. While physically the area is distant The breeding activities of Enza Zaden in Australia and New Zealand from Europe, our distributors have close relationships with our sales focus on onions, pumpkins and cauliflower. Recently screening for and breeding teams around the world.” spinach has started. There is strong cooperation between technical History people from the distributors and Enza Zaden’s local breeding teams. Louise Millar, SPS technical manager covered crops for Australia In 1986 South Pacific Seeds was formed when staff from the and New Zealand: “I really appreciate how open Enza Zaden is with dominant seed supplier of the time, Yates Australia, left the their distributors and the access I have, especially with the sweet company after an ownership takeover. They setup a vegetable seed pepper and tomato breeding teams.” Terranova's Territory Manager sales and seed multiplication organisation led by chairman Mr Phil in Pukekohe Alan McKee believes working together has delivered Hancock. SPS later developed a sales organisation in New Zealand. some great varieties like the onion variety Plutonus. In 2003, SPS and Enza Zaden together purchased the Yates Van der Gulik adds: “In recent years Enza Zaden and SPS have commercial division. The breeding activities of Yates, focused on worked together to develop a strong relationship in this area. We lettuce, onion and pumpkins, were incorporated into Enza Zaden. assess trials together, from in farm trials to first screening in many Down under SPS took control of the Yates sales organisation, renamed it crops. We also hold field days together for salad crops, greenhouse ‘Terranova Seeds’ and continued to operate it as a stand-alone crops, pumpkins and onions. Moreover, SPS New Zealand and distributor. All products previously bred and sold by Yates continued Enza Zaden also work together on other projects, such as the Young to be sold by Terranova in Australia and New Zealand. Grower Group we have started together to boost the interest and innovation of the next generation. We have shown that we have a Van der Gulik: “SPS has a large worldwide seed production depth of knowledge, passion and genetics to work together for operation with locations in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Chile. success. And as the SPS Open Field Crop Manager Steve McCraith Sales in both countries take place via both SPS and Terranova, two recently said about the speed of lettuce breeding: ‘If we don’t work with South Pacific Seeds & Terranova Seeds SOUTH PACIFIC SEEDS distributors of commited and expert staff. The SPS New Zealand team has direct sales to growers, from their base in Pukekohe, and they have recently opened their Pukekohe seed coating operation to together on this, we’ve got nothing.’ It sums up how working together breeds more success.” The Partnership | 13

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