The acquisitions of the lettuce program of Coastal Seeds, California in 2000, and of the onion program of Dessert Seeds in 2007, implied major steps forward in the Enza Zaden fast growing sales areas.
Enza's commercial success backed by energetic, professional customer and sales management in Mexico have led to unprecedented sales growth in the past three years. With our hybrid pepper variety Orion (resistant to bacterial wilt) we are now the market leader in outdoor peppers. All peppers are destined for export to the hungry US consumer market. Our Gironda and Attention have become leading tomato varieties for both greenhouse and outdoor production. Enza's tomato, pepper and cucumber varieties developed for greenhouse production in Europe have proved to be highly suitable for cultivation in Mexico's rapidly expanding greenhouse acreage, too.
Enza Zaden USA, Inc. is a specialized lettuce-breeding company that sells its products directly to growers in the important Salinas valley lettuce market via its own sales force. The intensive breeding programmes run from our station at San Juan Batista have led to major successes. The iceberg varieties Diamond and Silverado are market leaders in California, closely followed by the newcomer Durango. Enza Zaden USA' Margarita is the market leader in Butterhead varieties. The Romaine varieties Gladiator and Heart's Delight are growers' first choices for their hearts as well as the entire heads.
In the past five years Enza Zaden has been paying close attention to the important Canadian greenhouse centres of Leamington in Ontario and British Colombia in the west. Intensive screening trial programmes have resulted in a range of varieties better adapted to the requirements of local and US consumers. The hybrid pepper Triple 4 is the market leader in the green to red blocky varieties. Though operating at more scattered locations, the US greenhouse growers may also rely on the services of our experienced technical sales forces. Growers in the US look to the Netherlands for ideas and advice.
New developments in the high-tech greenhouse world of the Netherlands are rapidly taking over in North America. Enza Zaden's range of outdoor pepper varieties with resistance to bacterial spot are highly appreciated by growers throughout the United States. The bacterial-wilt-resistant Orion has found a niche for itself in Florida, which is an intensive autumn, winter and spring production area.
Only very recently Enza Zaden started R&D activities in the Los Mochis and Culiacán areas in Mexico. The main aim of the activities in Mexico is to develop greenhouse and outdoor tomato and pepper varieties, greenhouse cucumber varieties and outdoor squash varieties specifically suited to this country's rapidly growing and developing market.
The acquisition of Coastal Seeds Inc. in 2000 enabled Enza Zaden USA to expand and intensify its breeding efforts of lettuce varieties for several important United States lettuce markets: Salinas, Huron and Yuma. The Enza Zaden USA breeding station is located in San Juan Bautista near the Salinas valley, which is the most important lettuce cultivation area in the United States.
We are convinced that Enza Zaden USA' extensive knowledge of the market and renowned lettuce-breeding experience and the exchange of new, valuable genetic resources and technologies with our R&D stations in France and the Netherlands will result in a range of outstanding lettuce varieties in the near future.