Vitalis: from a pioneer to a global player in organic vegetable breeding

25 September 2019 News

From a pioneer to a global player in organic vegetable breeding.

 

25 years of creating an organic world

About a Dutch family business that developed from a pioneer into a global player in organic vegetable breeding.

This year, Vitalis Organic Seeds will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The international organic vegetable breeding company celebrates this jubilee on Wednesday, 25 September, during the demo days. These demo days take place in Voorst, the Netherlands, from 24 until 27 September. Wednesday is a day of seminars, field demonstrations, the latest organic vegetable varieties, and a festive dinner. Employees, customers and other relations celebrate 25 years of passion, craft, and growth of the organic vegetable breeding company.

Rapidly growing organic market

Safe and healthy food is becoming more important all over the world. Also, a growing number of people realise we have to treat our planet differently. So, it is not surprising that the demand for organic products is soaring. Researchers estimate that the current total global market for organic products is 90 billion dollars per year. This figure will only increase. Enough work for the vegetable breeders from Vitalis.

A company with an organic mission

Vitalis Organic Seeds founder Jan Velema is a man on a mission. This former lettuce breeder dreamed of a world in which organic food production is a natural phenomenon. ‘Creating an organic world is still our mission today,’ says Marcel van Diemen, Manager Organic R&D at Vitalis.

Organic vegetable breeding

‘Organic farmers use growing methods that are different from those of regular farmers. The vegetable varieties we develop for them have different properties, such as 

  • extra high resistance against all kinds of diseases and pests, 
  • efficient use of nitrogen, and 
  • the capability of conquering weeds and tolerating insects,’ 

Marcel says. ‘Our global seed production and breeding programmes are fully adjusted to organic growing methods. But also to the consumers’ wishes, for instance, concerning flavour. Combining all of these properties in one vegetable variety is a great challenge.’

Best of both worlds: organic vegetable breeding expertise & innovative strength

Vitalis is part of Enza Zaden. Enza Zaden has been a family company and vegetable breeding company pur sang for more than 80 years. Marcel: ‘We can safely say that Vitalis combines the best of both worlds. It’s a unique combination of organic expertise of Vitalis and innovative strength of Enza Zaden. In the past 25 years, Vitalis has developed from a small pioneer into a global market leader in certified organic vegetable breeding.’ We sell the organic vegetable seeds of more than 500 Vitalis varieties in 35 countries across the world.

Full steam ahead

We have taken the first steps toward realising a more organic world. Now, it is full steam ahead for the next 25 years. With the same mission for man and the planet.